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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history of lost species and human folly., 24 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Extinct (HB) (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely excellent - a really absorbing history of six very different lost species. It starts with three ice age creatures: the mammoth, sabre-tooth tiger and Irish elk (a giant deer type thing). Interestingly, we don't really know why they died out, and various theories - climate change, disease - are put forward and explained by the author and the various experts interviewed.
The second half of the book covers three species much closer to our era: the dodo, great auk (penguin thing) and the extremely odd Tasmanian tiger. The most interesting is the Tas tiger - one of those strange Australian marsupials that seemed to be its own evolutionary dead-end. Considered a pest and hunted to extinction in the 20th century, it truly is a cautionary tale.
The book is well illustrated with lots of diagrams and photographs (harrowing b/w shots of pathetic Tas tigers in the zoo particularly effective).
EXTINCT was originally a tie-in to a Channel 4 series that didn't exactly set the world on fire, and there are brief features on the making of the programme - fine if you like that kind of thing (again, great photos).
If you're interested in natural history and ecology, I'd thoroughly recommend this book. It's also full of accounts of human endeavour and exploration, like 'Longitude' or 'Cod' - well worth a read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone...but not forgotten, 9 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Extinct (HB) (Hardcover)
Unlike the image provided, my copy of this book didn't come with a dust-jacket (never noticed the small print), but as an accompanying guide to the 2001 Channel 4 series of the same name, it fits the bill. Back in the old days, books that accompanied a series were the nearest you could get to seeing it again. In the case of 'Extinct' which has yet to appear on DVD (as far as I know), the book takes on an added relevance. I still have the series on VHS tapes, but it would be nice to see it in pristine quality. For those who never caught it, imagine 'Walking With Dinosaurs' interspersed with scientific experts. In fact, the balance between CGI/Animatronic reconstructions and the scientific experts works well, for the lives as well as the deaths of each animal profiled are examined with equal detail.
The tragedy of unnecessary extinction (mostly caused by man) is especially poignant in the case of the dodo and the great auk, but saddest of all is the story of the Tasmanian tiger, an extinction so recent that film of the last survivor of the species from the 30s exists. A very underrated and neglected series and one, had it been produced by the BBC, would have been available on DVD for years, therefore nullifying the need for the book. As it is, I'm glad I bought it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Replacement book, 15 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Extinct (HB) (Hardcover)
My original book was destroyed in a flood and i could not find a replacement. It did not have its fly cover which was a pity but it was in excellent condition and does not even appear to have been ever read or opened. Came within a few days very prompted.
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Extinct (HB)
Extinct (HB) by Alex West (Hardcover - 12 Oct. 2001)
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