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

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

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders.
In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries. We trail after him as he travels the world, tracking the subject of island biogeography, which encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin and extinction of all species. Why is this island idea so important? Because islands are where species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like fragments by human activity.
Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution and extinction, and in so doing come to understand the monumental diversity of our planet, and the importance of preserving its wild landscapes, animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating human characters. By the book's end we are wiser, and more deeply concerned, but Quammen leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.

Title:The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Laura

    "This one goes to 11." I would give this book 11 stars if I could. This is THE book I recommend to people as an introduction to evolution, evolutionary biology, extinction, or anything related. I made...

  • Sylvia

    Disclaimer: I'm only about a third of the way through, I'll update this review as I go. So far:This book is physically WEIGHTY. At first, I was pleased about this--if it's a good read give me more of ...

  • Jeanette

    No rating. I read about a fourth and then skim read about half more. His tone and attitude is so much accusatory and "chicken little" that what particles of real information that I can get about islan...

  • Reid

    This is the first book I've read by Quammen, an imminently talented journalist who perfectly balances the information and writing style of the book. He follows a chronological progression of island bi...

  • Dan

    This book gets high marks for its large scope covering many of the notable species extinctions and current vulnerable island populations and creating a convincing link between the two. This book does ...

  • brian dean

    A fantastic book whose only flaw is that it requires the reader to keep track of various storylines.Let's get my only complaint out of the way. Quammen does a good job of making us feel like we are pa...

  • Jen

    One of my all-time favorite books (this was a re-read) by my favorite natural history author. Anyone who likes Stephen Jay Gould or Howard Zinn style writing will enjoy David Quammen. Not only is it b...

  • Ms.pegasus

    This is a book about history: Animals and plants that once were and are no more, and how we should interpret that fact. When the question, “Why?” was asked, a new science was born. Quammen spends ...

  • Stephen

    I have owned a copy of “The Song of the Dodo” for several years but at 625 pages, 178 chapters it seemed a bit daunting to dive into. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day. But after re...

  • Dac Crossley

    This came highly recommended. And Island biogeography has been important in the development of ecological theory.The first part of the book discusses Alfred Wallace; it's very well written and I enjoy...