On the Organic Law of Change


Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674726022
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 588
View: 5949

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Marking the centennial of Alfred Russel Wallace's death, James Costa presents an elegant edition of the "Species Notebook" of 1855-1859, which Wallace kept during his Malay Archipelago expedition. Presented in facsimile with text transcription and annotations, this never-before-published document provides a window into the travels, trials, and genius of the co-discoverer of natural selection. In one section, headed "Note for Organic Law of Change"--a critique of geologist Charles Lyell's anti-evolutionary arguments--Wallace sketches a book he would never write, owing to the unexpected events of 1858. In that year he sent a manuscript announcing his discovery of natural selection to Charles Darwin. Lyell and the botanist Joseph Hooker proposed a joint reading at the Linnean Society of his scientific paper with Darwin's earlier private writings on the subject. Darwin would go on to publish On the Origin of Species in 1859, to much acclaim; pre-empted, Wallace's first book on evolution waited two decades, but by then he had abandoned his original concept. On the Organic Law of Change realizes in spirit Wallace's unfinished project, and asserts his stature as not only a founder of biogeography and the preeminent tropical biologist of his day but as Darwin's equal.

Discovery of Australia's Fishes

A History of Australian Ichthyology to 1930
Author: Brian Saunders
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING
ISBN: 0643106707
Category: Nature
Page: 491
View: 5175

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Provides insight into the diverse pathways by which Australia's fish were discovered and outlines the history of early maritime explorations in Australia that collected natural history specimens. The book covers the life and work of each of the most important discoverers, and assesses their accomplishments and the limitations of their work.

The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII

The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes
Author: Roger Safford,Frank Hawkins
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408190494
Category: Nature
Page: 960
View: 1978

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Universally recognised as by far the most authoritative work ever published on the subject, The Birds of Africa is a superb multi-contributor reference work, with encyclopaedic species texts, stunning paintings of all species and numerous subspecies, hundreds of informative line drawings, detailed range maps, and extensive bibliographies. This eighth and final volume covers the Malagasy region which comprises Madagascar and the various islands and archipelagos of the Indian Ocean including the Seychelles, the Comoros, Mauritius and Réunion. Every resident and migrant species is covered in full detail, comparable to other volumes in the series, and with a colour map for each species. Vagrants are treated in less detail. All species are illustrated on a beautiful series of 64 colour plates, with original artwork from John Gale and Brian Small.

The Song of the Dodo

Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
Author: David Quammen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439124965
Category: Nature
Page: 704
View: 8853

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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.

Terrestrial Isopod Biology


Author: A.M. Alikhan
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 9789054101932
Category: Science
Page: 240
View: 3224

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This text contains the papers of a meeting on American isopods, the only crustacean group with representatives in all terrestrial ecosystems ranging from the sea shore to the desert. Due to such adaptibility, this group can be seen as a model for the successful transition on land. The text deals with two main subjects: the effects of stressful conditions on the individual animal as reflected by its survival or by the disruption of its normal reproductive pattern; and the distribution of the isopods and their selection of microhabitat.