RE: Song of the Dodo

To: "'Susan Knowles'" <IMCEAX400-c=AU+3Ba=+20+3Bp=MOV+3Bo=328SWANSTONWALK+3Bdda+3ASMTP=>
Subject: RE: Song of the Dodo
From: "Conole, Lawrie" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 09:54:40 +1000
>I have just finished reading "The song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in
>an age of extinctions" by David Quammen (Scribner 1996). Unfortunately I
>did not keep the original message recommending this so I cannot thank the
>person who recommended it, but I cannot praise it too highly.  It explains
>complex scientific concepts in a readable, sometimes chatty style and
>should be essential reading for anybody interested in the survival of the
>natural environment.  The story of the Mauritius Kestrel is heartening -
>others are less so.

I think it was Susan Myers who recommended this book.

Whilst we're on the subject of recommended reading, I'd like to put in a
plug for the book I've just finished reading "Where Worlds Collide.  The
Wallace Line" by Jenny van Oosterzee (Reed Books, 1997).  This is also
very readable & deals with the otherwise rather dry topic of continental
drift & plate tectonics better than anything I've read.  It's mainly
about Alfred Russell Wallace of course - the co-discoverer of the
mechanism of evolution & the man who encouraged Darwin to get off his
conservative backside & publish his radical tome.  Wallace is also
credited, amongst other things, with inventing biogeography, & being the
first European to see live birds-of-paradise.  His time in the Malay
Archipelago (now Indonesia) is fascinating to read about, as is the
robustness of his observations, ideas and theories, such that many of
them still hold true today.  Though much debate goes on about precisely
where Wallace's Line should be, he undoubtedly was a remarkably
perceptive & free thinking person by the standards of his era.  My main
criticism of the book is that it's too short!  Some of the subject
matter could easily have stood greater & deeper discussion.  A good

  Lawrie Conole                 Newsletter Editor               
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