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Island Life Paperback – 1 May 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602065039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602065031
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,405,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book Description

A friend and correspondent of Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913) was an eminent naturalist and evolutionary theorist. In this study of the flora and fauna of islands, first published in 1880, he explores some of the earliest evidence of massive climate change, and investigates the migration of species. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

For many years Alfred Russel Wallace traveled the globe, observing fauna and flora and wondering whether the environment in which they lived affected their development. Island Life, a classic of scientific literature, is the result of those studies. In it, he examines a variety of biospheres to determine whether species are immutable (as was long thought), regardless of changing conditions in their surroundings, or are in fact capable of adapting in order to survive. Island Life is divided into two parts: -The Dispersal of Organisms: Its Phenomena, Laws, and Causes, and -Insular Faunas and Floras. In Part 1, Wallace discusses the distribution across the planet of plants and animals, then examines how changes of climate have affected their dispersal. Part 2 contains case studies of the organisms on islands as varied as the Galapagos, Great Britain, and Madagascar. English naturalist ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823-1913) developed a theory of natural selection independent of his contemporary Charles Darwin. His works include Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (1870), The Geographical Distribution of Animals (1876), and Darwinism (1889).

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This was delivered well within time and the packaging was very good. It was a present for a friend and he is enjoying it.
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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, must read for the Evolution lover 11 Aug. 2003
By Sergio A. Salazar Lozano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alfred Russel Wallace was a great naturalist of the nineteenth century, (codiscoverer of the evolutionary theory by means of natural selection with Darwin) he wrote several classics in science literature. Two things operated against him, his belief in the occult and the great prestige Darwin already had when he was just a young naturalist making great discoveries in Darwin's own line of investigation.
This particular book was written when Wallace was a mature scientist and had already a prestigious carreer. He used his experience and previous works to theorize in Species Distribution through Islands all over the world. He personally made lots of field work (a marked difference with Darwin, since the latter suffered most of his life with bad health) and by then personally knew most of the elite scientists of that epoch. All this ingredients and many more make this a must read book for the science historian or anyone interested in the evolution of thought in the evolution theory. This reading is particularly interesting too, because all this was previous to the theory of continental drift and plate tectonics in 1915, so Wallace had to deal with the species distribution problem in islands without this knowledge. A must read book.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Details, but too old. 27 July 2000
By Yen-Ju Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wallace is as important as Darwin in evolution, but less famous. "Island Life" is a great book in species distribution. not never an introduction. If you want a book of introduction, you can try Edward Wilson's "The Diversity of Life" or David Quammen's "The song of the Dodo". The former half of the book is the theory of species distribution. Some are still useful and basic for now, but some are too old to be true. But the later half of case study is worthy of reading. There are many details in comparison of difference island. If you are major in biology or ecology, it is easy to read. But if not, I suggest you should read some introduction book first. The most interesting thing is that you can realize the nature world one century ago from this book. Some place are still natural and not damaged by human activities. This book is definitely a science study, not a general science. That's why I don't recommend it to everyone, but the naturalist.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
one of Wallace's enduring classics 19 Oct. 2000
By C. H Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wallace is most remembered for his independent discovery of the theory of natural selection, but he was also the father of the modern approach to biogeographical studies, and history's foremost tropical naturalist--and he made many important contributions beyond biology as well. "Island Life" is one of his most important works. In it he extends studies begun in another of his classic publications, the two-volumed "The Geographical Distribution of Animals," to two subjects: the influence of the glacial epochs on organismal distribution patterns, and the characteristics of island biogeography. Many students of Wallace's career consider this book his finest scientific effort, both for its joining of theory and empiricism, and for his attention to detail and breadth of study. Included is a full working out of history's first theory of continental glaciation based on a combination of geographical and astronomical causes, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras. I give it a "4" rating here only because *now* it is primarily of interest to historians of science and those environmentalists who might want information on the late nineteenth century state of island biotas around the world; still, as a major study by one the period's great minds, it arguably demands attention on its own terms.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, must read for the Evolution lover 11 Aug. 2003
By Sergio A. Salazar Lozano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alfred Russel Wallace was a great naturalist of the nineteenth century, (codiscoverer of the evolutionary theory by means of natural selection with Darwin) he wrote several classics in science literature. Two things operated against him, his belief in the occult and the great prestige Darwin already had when he was just a young naturalist making great discoveries in Darwin's own line of investigation.
This particular book was written when Wallace was a mature scientist and had already a prestigious carreer. He used his experience and previous works to theorize in Species Distribution through Islands all over the world. He personally made lots of field work (a marked difference with Darwin, since the latter suffered most of his life with bad health) and by then personally knew most of the elite scientists of that epoch. All this ingredients and many more make this a must read book for the science historian or anyone interested in the evolution of thought in the evolution theory. This reading is particularly interesting too, because all this was previous to the theory of continental drift and plate tectonics in 1915, so Wallace had to deal with the species distribution problem in islands without this knowledge. A must read book.
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