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A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials [Hardcover]

Christopher Dickman , Rosemary Woodford Ganf

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Hardcover 52.50  
Hardcover, 5 May 2008 --  

Book Description

5 May 2008
The extraordinary story of Australian marsupials deserves an extraordinary book and at last it is here: wide and generous in its view: up-to-date in its science and accessible in its style. This book combines a comprehensive coverage of all Australian marsupials by a highly respected academic, researcher and writer in the field, and fine illustrations of those species by a watercolourist of impeccable repute. The text distinguishes the diverse marsupial group from other mammals and places it in its geographical context. It covers all species in Australia and draws together diverse branches of knowledge to interpret the many unique biological traits that characterize these marsupials. Six notable species are highlighted in feature pages and text is completed with thumbnail accounts of all species of Australian marsupials, outlining size, distinguishing features, distribution and key aspects of their biology. The tangled interactions of marsupials and people are also examined marsupials are integral components of the natural environment and of human endeavour in Australia and this book makes a compelling case for a new, more inclusive attitude towards them.

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"The author is one of the world's leading marsupiologists, and he draws deeply on his own three decades of research experience as he leads us through the evolution, systematics, ecology, ethology, natural history, and conservation of Australian marsupials. . . . A superb all-round introduction for any researcher who wants to know more about marsupials. . . . Ganf's breathtaking portraits of marsupials have a kind of transcendent quality that almost suggests an inherent vulnerability, in corroboration of the book's title."--Marcel Cardillo "Quarterly Review of Biology " --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Christopher Dickman is professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure to behold and own 1 Jan 2008
By James L. Spingarn - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Magnificently produced volume on everything one could possibly wish to know about Australian marsupials. It is written by a very knowlegable and readable expert , Christopher Dickman, (definitely not a textbook) and wonderfully illustrated (perhaps amongst the finest mammalian artwork ever (Audubon would have been envious); illustrations borrowed from the three volume collector's set "Marsupials of Australia," which took over 15 years to complete by the incomparable Rosemary Woodford Ganf. Thus, this is a steal at $65 US. If you like beautiful, authoritative, informative books on natural history, then this is a must for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful balance ! 31 Mar 2008
By M. G. Kuijpers - Published on
I bought this book as soon as it came on the market.
Great it is.

Why you are asking ? Well first of all the drawings, they are great and must be one of the most beautiful seen and made today. Take a look at the cover of this book here on Amazon, and then think of a book full of these !

The text explains to you the developement of the marsupials, their status,distribution in Australia (remember this is about the Australian marsupials) and different marsupial families.
It highlights some of the most unusual marsupials.

If you have got any interest in Australian marsupials this book should be in your library.
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be read at night! 12 April 2013
By Virginia L Kubic - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
No joke, for a factual tome, this book is well enough written to manage a couple chapters at night after a long day at work. Even without the illustrations, which are superb, the material is presented in a logical and fascinating way by an academic scholar who has the rare gift of writing for the layman and being able to make the information digestible and interesting. If you have an interest in Australian marsupials, this would be an excellent starting point to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

The illustrations remind me of James Lansdowne's birds - they almost seem alive!
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