Extinct Madagascar

Extinct Madagascar : Picturing the Island's Past


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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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  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 22.86mm | 884.5g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, ILUnited States
  • English
  • New.
  • 21 colour plates, 87 halftones, 12 tables
  • 022614397X
  • 9780226143972
  • 427,822

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Goodman and Jungers have carefully discussed each subfossil site and its community. . . . Extremely useful to both biologists and policy makers to have these two volumes ["Extinct Madagascar" and the "Atlas of Selected Land Vertebrates of Madagascar"] published and easily accessible. Not only are sighting, trapping, and paleontological sites labeled and mapped, but the type of forest and ecosystem is also clear. Current threats to the fauna are also outlined. Recent renaming of taxonomic groups based on molecular evidence is also clarified, making this information very useful to young scientists. The authors, well-known, seasoned scientists, are praised for excellent fieldwork and thorough scholarship in presenting these data of Malagasy fauna past and present. --Patricia Chapple Wright, Stony Brook University "Quarterly Review of Biology ""

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About Steven M. Goodman

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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