Extinct Madagascar

Extinct Madagascar : Picturing the Island's Past

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Description

The landscapes of Madagascar have long delighted zoologists, who have discovered, in and among the island's baobad trees and thickets, a dizzying array of animals, including something approaching one hundred species of lemur. Madagascar's mammal fauna, for example, is far more diverse, and more endemic, than early explorers and naturalists ever dreamed of. But in the 2,500 or so years since the arrival of the island's first human settlers, the vast majority of its forests have disappeared, and in the wake of this loss a number of species unique to Madagascar have vanished forever into extinction. In Extinct Madagascar, noted scientists Steven M. Goodman and William L. Jungers explore the recent past of these land animal extinctions. Beginning with an introduction to the geologic and ecological history of Madagascar that provides context for the evolution, diversification, and, in some cases, rapid decline of the Malagasy fauna, Goodman and Jungers then seek to recapture these extinct mammals in their environs. Aided in their quest by artist Velizar Simeonovski's beautiful and haunting paintings - images of both individual species and ecosystem assemblages reproduced here in full color - Goodman and Jungers reconstruct the lives of these lost animals and trace their relationships to those still living. Published in conjunction with an exhibition of Simeonovski's paintings set to open at the Field Museum, Chicago, in the fall of 2014, Goodman and Jungers' awe-inspiring book will serve not only as a sobering reminder of the very real threat of extinction, but also as a stunning tribute to Madagascar's biodiversity and a catalyst for further research and conservation.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 22.86mm | 884.5g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 21 colour plates, 87 halftones, 12 tables
  • 022614397X
  • 9780226143972
  • 344,903

Review quote

Goodman and Jungers s book is a comprehensive work, bringing to a general audience an overview of ecological change and animal extinction on Madagascar in the Holocene. While not a technical summary, it cites close to four hundred scientific papers which can lead the interested reader further on his quest for information. Especially interesting is also the first part of the book, which gives a thorough general introduction to Madagascar starting with the breaking up of the supercontinent Gondwana some 165millionyearsago. Several aspects are discussed: geography, geology, vegetation types, etc., all in an easy-to-read language and documented with well-chosen pictures. I highly recommend this authoritative and thoroughly enjoyable book! --Petra De Block, Botanic Garden Meise, Belgium "Biological Conservation ""

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About William L. Jungers

Steven M. Goodman is the MacArthur Field Biologist at the Field Museum, Chicago, and based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. He is coeditor of The Natural History of Madagascar and Atlas of Selected Land Vertebrates of Madagascar, the former published and the latter distributed by the University of Chicago Press. William L. Jungers is distinguished teaching professor and chair of anatomical sciences at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

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