Once and Future Giants

Once and Future Giants : What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth's Largest Animals

4.08 (123 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 10 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Until about 13,000 years ago, Europe and North America were home to a menagerie of massive mammals. Mammoths, camels, and lions walked the ground that has become our cities and streets. Then, just as the first humans reached the Americas, these Ice Age giants vanished forever. In Once and Future Giants, science writer Sharon Levy digs through the evidence surrounding Pleistocene large animal ("megafauna") extinction events worldwide, showing that understanding this history-and our part in it-is crucial for protecting the elephants, polar bears, and other great creatures at risk today. These surviving relatives of the Ice Age beasts now face an intensified replay of that great die-off, as our species usurps the planet's last wild places while driving a warming trend more extreme than any in mammalian history. Inspired by a passion for the lost Pleistocene giants, some scientists advocate bringing wolves back to Scotland, and elephants to America's Great Plains as stand-ins for their extinct native brethren. By reintroducing big browsers and carnivores to colder climes, they argue, we could rescue some of the planet's most endangered animals while restoring healthy prairie ecosystems. Critics, including biologists enmeshed in the struggle to restore native species see the proposal as a dangerous distraction from more realistic and legitimate conservation efforts. Deftly navigating competing theories and emerging evidence, Once and Future Giants examines the extent of human influence on megafauna extinctions past and present, and explores innovative conservation efforts around the globe. The key to modern-day conservation, Levy suggests, may lie fossilized right under our feet.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 47 line drawings, 7 halftones
  • 0195370120
  • 9780195370126
  • 467,381

Review quote

Sharon Levy does a marvellous job * New Scientist * Packed full of fascinating work, Once and Future Giants successfully marries modern investigations to ancient evidence, creating an interesting and thought provoking read that raises questions regarding the true 'natural state' of our Earth. * Natasha Ganecki, The Biologist * Packed full of fascinating work, Once and Future Giants successfully marries modern investigations to ancient evidence, creating an interesting and thought provoking read that raises questions regarding the true 'natural state' of our Earth, our impacts upon it and the importance of megafauna to struggling ecosystems across the globe. * Natasha Ganecki, The Biologist *show more

About Sharon Levy

Sharon Levy is a freelance science writer who specializes in making natural resource and conservation issues accessible for a broad audience. She is a contributing editor at OnEarth magazine and writes regularly for National Wildlife, BioScience, and New Scientist. Her work has appeared in Nature, Natural History, Audubon, High Country News, and Discovery Channel Online. She lives in Humboldt County, California.show more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Elegy for the Mastodon ; 2. Mammoth Tracks ; 3. Giants Down Under ; 4. Wild Dreams ; 5. Wild Realities ; 6. The Big Heat ; 7. Dead Beasts Walking ; References ; Indexshow more

Review Text

Packed full of fascinating work, Once and Future Giants successfully marries modern investigations to ancient evidence, creating an interesting and thought provoking read that raises questions regarding the true 'natural state' of our Earth, our impacts upon it and the importance of megafauna to struggling ecosystems across the globe. Natasha Ganecki, The Biologistshow more

Rating details

123 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 31% (38)
4 49% (60)
3 18% (22)
2 2% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X