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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 David Quammen (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Song of the Dodo

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An excellent, understandable science book

I loved this. The information presented here is very important to all who live on this earth.

1 person found this helpful

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Extensive and Entertaining

Long but in a good way, covers a lot of the early history of the discovery of evolutionary biology and how it has been influenced by the study of islands in particular. It's packed with cool stories and excellent information. This is aimed for intermediate readers who are already somewhat familiar with the history and study of evolution, biology and ecology.

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A Fun Story Of How Good Intentions Are Not Enough

This is a really wonderful book. It's a brilliant mosaic, of sorts, formed by weaving together information and personal experiences to create a picture of what's happening to so many of Earth's life forms and how human's efforts at creating restricted and protected reserves for endangered animals are falling short of their well-intentioned efforts. The author (David Quammen) enlightens the listener with the latest research on the amazing amount of information that must be factored in when setting aside parcels of land for the protection of these animals. The tapestry that he pulls together is eye-opening, a bit depressing and yet very beautiful as we humans become more and more awake to the fact that we are closely related to these other magnificent beings in ways that have simply heretofore been unimaginged and it is our responsibility to see that they are not deprived of their right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness.

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A f*cking masterpiece

It's a book that will open up the world of ecology to the layperson. One of those books that every human alive should read.

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The ecologists behind Island Biogeography

Quammen presents great basic ecology and stories of the ecologists and evolutionary biologists who founded the fields of evolution and Island biogeography. Quammmen' story includes the story of the controversial priority dispute between Wallace and Darwin and hte myth of Darwin's finches. Quamman includes fascinating anecdotes and theories about swimming elephants and Komodo dragons, and how they interact. Follow Quammen and Case as they do field research. Learn about Preston’s canonical lognormal distribution as an explanation of extinctions and Soule’s founding of conservation ecology. The cataloguing a list of extinct island species is a bit tedious but sad and important.

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So you want to understand despeciation?

Through, impactful, authentic and naturally beautiful. It's a slow worthwhile ride that does a great job of education.

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A great read on Ecology, Evolution and Extinction

I have this twice and now listened to it... I learn more every time I pick it up. I also find it a great source to review in order to pursue further studies.

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Excellent

yet another excellent book by David quammen and the reading was very well done. Would recommend.

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Excellent read

This is a truly great book about biodiversity. Narrated with a sense of exploration and adventure. Nicely read too. Highly recommend