- ハードカバー: 208ページ
- 出版社: William Heinemann Ltd (2001/11/15)
- 言語: 英語
- ISBN-10: 0434008192
- ISBN-13: 978-0434008193
- 発売日： 2001/11/15
- 商品パッケージの寸法: 28.2 x 23.8 x 2.4 cm
- おすすめ度： 1 件のカスタマーレビュー
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 2,250,534位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals (英語) ハードカバー – 2001/11/15
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A lament for the lost animals of the world. In collaboration with Peter Schouten, a prominent wildlife artist, Flannery catalogues over 100 creatures that have vanished from the face of the earth.
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Tim Flannery should be well known to most natural science readers and his writing in this book does not disappoint being simple enough for the layperson yet informative. However, this is primarily a showcase for Peter Schouten's fantastic illustrations. I've been a fan of his work since his "Prehistoric Animals of Australia" came out in '83 and I can say that his work in "Gap" is his best yet!
My only complaint is the decision to exclude recently extinct amphibians and freshwater fish, both groups have suffered tremendously in recent years.
When my grandchildren visit, they often ask me the classical question of how I can read a book without pictures. Not with this book! The pictures are the chief attraction of "A Gap In Nature". Organized by the Australian writer, Tim Flannery, this book collects in one place a tribute to the many species that have become extinct in the recent past, since the first voyage of Columbus.
The artist, Peter Schouten, spent years drawing life-sized portraits for each of the 103 animals, for the beautiful illustrations of this book. Schouten's brilliant, full color illustrations are a delight to look at, and will keep the attention of even a three-year-old boy. My grandson asked, "What's that?" as we turned the pages and then, "Is that a mouse?" when looking at the "Pig-footed Bandicoot" on pages 96-97. No, I found out that the Bandicoot was not a mouse, but rather an Australian marsupial, about "...the size of a kitten". I had never seen such an animal before, and that is the poignant message of this book. The beautiful pictures show animals that no longer exist.
The author, Tim Flannery, has previously expounded his thesis that the arrival of humankind heralded the extinction of so many different animals on so many different continents and islands. For example, in his recent book, "The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples", Flannery ascribes the destruction of the mammoths, mastodons and giant sloths to the arrival of the first humans in North America some 13,200 years ago, in what he terms "a megafauna barbecue". In "A Gap In Nature", Dr. Flannery does not have to dwell too deeply on the culpability of humans in this worldwide extinction. It is enough to sit there and sadly turn page after page, picture after picture, of so many beautiful animals, which no longer exist.
The illustrations are beautiful and a quick browse through may leave you with a disturbing and lasting impression of just what colorful and variety of species has been lost. Flannery's descriptions are informative, if basic. One of the most noticeable features is the high representation of Island species. The Auckland Island merganser, Chatham Islands fernbird, and the Falkland Islands dog are long gone. So are species in Cuba, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, Jamaica, Labrador Island, Martinique, Seychelles, Swan Island, Tahiti, Tonga and Wake Island. Not yet mentioned is Mauritius which is known for one of the more shameful extinction stories - not the blue pigeon, but the Dodo.
The high representation of Island extinctions is not a surprise to persons familiar with the subject of biodiversity. Islands have some of the richest ecosystems on the planet. Unfortunately they are also some of the most vulnerable to both man-made and natural shocks.
This book is aimed at non-specialists, those taking introductory college level biology, or persons who are just beginning to be aware of what biodiversity is all about. If that's you and you enjoyed these beautiful illustrations but were saddened by the loss, I would encourage you to follow up by reading THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE by E.O. Wilson or David Quammen's book on Island Biogeography appropriately titled THE SONG OF THE DODO