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An Un-Self-Serving Book Plug (for a Change)
Folks, I want to recommend a book I'm about halfway through:
David Quammen, Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of
I don't have the book right in front of me, so the citation may not be
exact. But this is one fine read. Quammen talks about the history of
study of island biotas, and how this affected Wallace's and Darwin's
ideas about the origin of species, as well as current thinking about
evolution on islands, in the first half of the book. The grim second
half applies island theory to the matter of species extinction.
Anyway, I know a fair bit about island theory and biogeography, but I
have already picked up quite a few bits of island natural history that
I didn't know. There is also quite a lot of interesting biographical
stuff about Wallace.
Finally, anybody interested in dinosaur ecology is bound to get a
couple ideas of things-that-should-be-looked-at-more-carefully from
Quammen's book. And it is well written, with lots of interesting
field anecdotes, including one about an exciting day on Komodo Island.