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Best essays from david quammen the song of the dodo

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The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

Best essays from david quammen the song of the dodo
Best essays from david quammen the song of the dodo
Best essays from david quammen the song of the dodo
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Book Review: Song of the Dodo – Oakmoss Education

Written a few years back for a graduate course, I recently came upon this write-up and thought it important to share. Modern naturalists are quite challenged in practicing their craft. Not only are they expected to have an overall comprehension of many natural and physical sciences, naturalists also must be able to communicate to others what they have studied, researched and observed. In a world where so many professions are specialized, the naturalist must be a generalist and, in doing so, can at times find it daunting. There is so much to understand; so much to remember.
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David Quammen

Wilson triggered a far-reaching scientific revolution. In a book titled The Theory of Island Biogeography, they presented a new view of a little-understood matter: the geographical patterns in which animal and plant species occur. Why do marsupials exist in Australia and South America, but not in Africa?
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Dodos and extinctions are dinner-party topics, but island biogeography sounds like the domain of academic monographs. In Song of the Dodo Quammen writes about the popular topics for a popular audience, but sneaks in some real science on the sly. He offers a mix of travel narrative, natural history, and biography — and highlights the significance of islands in the geographical distribution of species around the planet. Quammen begins with the role biogeography played in the origins of evolutionary theory, following Alfred Russel Wallace on his expeditions around the Malay Archipelago. He then explores the "signature features" of island species and communities such as dispersal ability, size change, and adaptive radiation , using as examples iguanas in the Galapagos, lemurs in Madagascar, Komodo dragons, and lizards on islands in the Gulf of California, among others.
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