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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson on where ignorance and shortsightedness can lead to, 15 May 2004
By 
Marc Gyssens (Antwerp, Belgium) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals (Hardcover)
The book gives a chronological overview of mammals, birds, and reptiles that became extinct between 1600 and 1999, mainly because of human interference, be it hunting or habitat destruction or both. The book is written in a very narrative style and the reconstructions of all these species by Peter Schouten are superb. Besides the "classics" such as the dodo and the great auk, I learned about a lot of extinct species of which I never suspected their former existence. When reading the accounts on the species, one almost forgets they are no longer
around. The book is a very good lesson to teach us to what shortsightedness and ignorance can lead. Unfortunately, if one
browses through the most recent extinctions, it seems this lesson is very hard to learn ...
As explained in the Introduction, the author had to make very tough choices in selecting the species to be treated. Therefore, he decided to include only those species whose former existence is beyond doubt, whose extinction is as good as beyond doubt, and whose status as a valid species is not contested. In particular, he does not deal with extinct subspecies of a species of which other subspecies are still extant. This choice has one unfortunate side effect in my opinion, which is that the famous Quagga has been left out, because it is considered by many as a subspecies of the Common Zebra. I appreciate, however, that the book concludes with a list containing the species that did not meet the author's criteria, including the Quagga.
This is a very accessible book that everybody should read to realize in full the necessity of conservation efforts!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gap in Humanity, 5 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals (Hardcover)
This book is of outstanding quality, each creature, tale and illustration is documented, described and drawn superbly. Flannery and Schouten make no attempt to include humouror present a bright outlook for the future. They present their knowledge frankly and morbidly as extinction should be. "A Gap In Nature" has one key result on me, a renewed concern over our fragile planet. I was particularly disgusted by the experiments Georg Steller performed on the sea cow that bears his name using a harpoon. From the Atitlan Grebe (a favourite of mine) to the White Footed Rabbit the scale of extinction is great and wide. Starting in 1500 with the last Moas and ending in 1989 with the Atitlan Grebe birds make up a huge percentage of this book (the majority of large mammals having been wiped out by our species at the end of the last ice age). This book is superb not only for the reader who is learned in our planets peril but especially for those who live in a state of ecological denial. The only drawback of this book would be the lack of sub-species such as the Quagga, Kyoto Wolf and Hawaiin Crow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How many more???, 19 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals (Hardcover)
Read this book and I wonder why have they gone? How many more will go in my lifetime? How will it end?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gap in nature., 7 April 2012
This review is from: A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals (Hardcover)
A fascinating book with amazing illustrations. A sad topic to cover, handled with great insight. A must for anyone interested in natural history.
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A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals
A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals by Timothy Flannery (Hardcover - 15 Nov 2001)
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