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Date of Publication: 2013
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Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record Hardcover – 2 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1st Edition edition (2 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691161372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691161372
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 20.3 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,102,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


One of Amazon.com's 2014 Best Books of the Year: Arts & Photography
One of nbc.com’s "Holiday Gift Books Span the Science Spectrum" for 2014

"Erroll Fuller's Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record is a sad and moving collection of passenger pigeons, heath hens, Tasmanian tigers and other vanished animals. . . . [A] blurry glimpse is still a worthy glimpse when it comes to seeing a number of species in their last moments."--New York Times, The 6th Floor

"[A] natural history page-turner. . . . In the wrong hands a book like Lost Animals could be a wan march through a morbid family album, and there are certainly moments when the cumulative loss of these creatures seems overwhelming. But Fuller's knowledgeable, compassionate, and occasionally humorous narrative carries the day. . . . It takes a steady guide to lead readers through such territory, and Fuller proves up to the task."--Dianne Timblin, American Scientist

"The indistinct images here, though, are evocative; if they weren't among the last visions of these species, we probably would not pay so much attention to them. But here they are, scores of images, sometimes of low quality, reproduced in a large-format book, along with as much as can be known about how they happened to be taken, and with short histories of the demise of the depicted species. . . . It is a beautiful book; the species deserve to be remembered this way, but they didn't deserve destruction."--Rob Hardy, Columbus Dispatch

"Collected together here for the first time, these photos provide a tangible link to animals that have now vanished forever, in a book that brings the past to life while delivering a warning for the future. The photos, together with the well-written species accounts, including excerpts from writings of the day and reminiscings from firsthand experiences, the book is an excellent piece to have in your library or on your coffee table at home."--Chris West, Southwest Wisconsin Birder

"A fascinating collection of photographs of now extinct animals, many of them unique and not previously published."--Peter Menkhorst, Australian Book Review

"The quality of the photographs ranges from extremely poor to quite incredible but each and every one provides you with a deep connection to the species that's been lost. . . . I would highly recommend this book and hope that the photographs that the author has included will help lead people to understand how important it is to protect our endangered species. . . . If we do not act to save species, his next edition of the book will be much longer."--Nutty Birder blog

"The photographs are often grainy, or poorly framed, or badly lit. But this fact, oddly, is also part of the book's power--the everyday nature of these snapshots somehow hammers home the enormity of the subject matter."--Chris Wright, Boston Globe

"Errol Fuller's new book is a visual lament. Lost Animals is a handsome but sad record of animals that existed for millennia--long enough for photography to be invented--but have now disappeared from the face of the Earth. The images are accompanied by short, evocative texts about the creatures and the naturalists who recorded their existence."--Nancy Szokan, Washington Post

"Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record reaches into your imagination and draws you closer to the final days of a variety of extinct animals on Earth . . . filled with poignant and powerful first-hand accounts, photographic records, and illustrations."--Gabriel Thoumi, MongaBay.com

"Exceptional . . . the book includes beautiful paintings of the animals in the appendix. But it's the photos--and the stories of each animal--that caused me to read this book cover to cover three times--and stare longingly at each photo."--George Smith, Bangor Daily News

"Here . . . are the last recorded chances of seeing animals not just endangered, but gone forever. It is a beautiful book; the species deserve to be remembered this way, but they didn't deserve destruction."--Rob Hardy, Dispatch

"The macro-causes are always the same, at least since Westerners began to up the pace in the 19th century: some over-hunting (passenger pigeons) and a lot of habitat destruction, of the sort that may yet doom the monarch butterfly. But at the micro-level, as Errol Fuller details in Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record, the deaths of the last individuals often smacks of contingency or even absurdity."--Brian Bethune, Macleans Magazine

"They are grainy and sometimes out of focus. And if they were of anything else, they'd probably long since have been thrown away. But these pictures are anything but ordinary. For they offer a glimpse of some truly remarkable creatures--now lost to the world forever. . . . Now brought together in Lost Animals, a new book by Errol Fuller, the world's foremost expert on vanished animals, they also offer a stark warning: life can be a very fragile thing."--Hannah Wilkinson, The Lady

"Reading Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record is a reverential experience. Fuller is absolutely correct about the power of these photographs. I'm thankful that these vestiges of what we've squandered have been preserved, and now made available for all to see."--Grant McCreary, Birder's Library

"Lost Animals is a moving visual elegy to the many animals that humans have ushered into the void."--Fiona Capp, The Age

"Errol Fuller's Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record (Princeton University Press) calls to mind the sort of commemorative volume that might follow a singular human disaster, such as September 11, which aims to testify to the unique, irreducible existence of each of the victims. But each of the victims in Fuller’s book is not an individual at all but a species. Many of his short biographies of the recently vanished are touching, even revelatory. . . . Profound."--Justin E.H. Smith, Chronicle of Higher Education

"Fuller presents photographic images of select extinct bird and mammal species. . . . The photographic record is complemented by a short vignette attempting to contextualize the circumstances surrounding the extinction and in some cases by information about the last known representative animal. . . . The pictures vary widely in quality yet each is compelling as proof of existence for the species. . . . This somewhat depressing book will be of interest to those who enjoy zoological literature."--Diana Hartle, Library Journal

"Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record is a unique book; it connects us to lost birds and mammals through the medium of their images. It is a book for birders who want to enhance their readings of BirdLife International records and Passenger Pigeon and Ivory-billed Woodpecker histories with an approach that is visual and personal. Reading the stories of these extinct creatures evokes sadness and anger, yes, but, as I said earlier, it also brings out hope. I'm not just talking about the few instances where Fuller says there is the slimmest of slim chances that the bird is not extinct. There is hope because extinction is being witnessed. And remembered. It's a lot harder to ignore conservation campaigns to save habitat when you've seen the 'photographic record' of what happens when you do."--Donna Schulman, 10,000 Birds blog

"The indistinct images, accompanied by informative species profiles reinforce the enormity of the loss; these animals survived long enough for photography to be invented, but then quickly blinked out."--Audubon Magazine

"If ever a book embodied the truth behind the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, it is Errol Fuller's new Lost Animals. . . . Lost Animals is not a book to be read cover to cover in one sitting; it should be read one species at a time, with plenty of attention and contemplation given to the remarkable photographs of each one."--John Riutta, Bird Watcher's Digest

"One of the most melancholic tomes I've read. . . . Extraordinary stories and images."--Tim Flannery, Monthly

From the Back Cover

"The species accounts are engaging, and I can truthfully say that I learned something in every case. The photographs are fascinating and sobering."--Luke Hunter, author of Carnivores of the World

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Mooney on 15 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting a great book when I read the description and heard reviews of Mr. Fuller's previous book on extinct birds. However this book is not that good. The first thing I noticed was that the text was rather large, perhaps to make up for the lack of it. It seems as though very little information is given on anything. He glances over most species. It would have been a much better book had he gone into detail on each of the species and how they had perished. Granted, this wasn't possible for all species listed, but it would have at least added text. The pictures are ok, but nothing special, nothing you can't google. I was hoping for a great book, but was disappointed. Like the previous reviewer said, it seems more like a children's book. The price tag is nowhere near worth it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rautospoon on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased all of Mr. Fullers previous natural history titles (Extinct Birds, The Great Auk, The Lost Birds of Paradise etc.) and found them all to be excellent, erudite and scholarly works of a superb standard. Unfortunately this falls well short of the quality of his earlier works. Whilst I still find his tales of extinction fascinating, the overall "feel" is that of a "dumbed down" enterprise, which coupled with the ludicrously large and irritating print size gives a very slipshod impression.
I was very much looking forward to reading this, but am really sad to say it proved a massive disappointment.
I wonder why the author (who I admire and respect greatly) has so "missed the mark" on this occassion - any ideas ?
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By G.I.Forbes on 29 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book describes 28 animals and birds that are extinct or are thought to be extinct.
The author has attempted via a good text and pictures that range from first class to poor The poor pictures are explained as they are the only ones that exist and for that reason are used.The author has tried to authenticate all pictures but this was not possibls as in some cases the photographer had died.
Well researched and written while it discloses the stupidity of man in caring for nature.
The section on the Tasmanian Tiger Is outstanding.
A first class read-highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Phantom Minutes on 13 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this book having owned Mr Fuller's Extinct Birds for some years.

Sadly this book does not compare. Although the images are on the whole quite interesting the majority are black and white and some are at best poor.

In addition, the text does not reflect his previous writing and verges on the level of a schoolchild's text book-I think in some cases there just simply isn't a lot to be said and Mr Fuller freely admits on a couple of occasions that the circumstances and people behind some of the images are unknown.

I think this would actually have worked better as a chapter in another of his books rather than as a book in itself.
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