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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 
     Extinctions.
     
     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.
     Great fun.