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The secret life of wombats. Paperback – 2002

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Paperback, 2002

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (2002)
  • ISBN-10: 1877008435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877008436
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,037,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I came across this book in Tasmania, at the Tasmanian Devil conservation centre near Port Arthur. Wombats were one of the few marsupials we hadn't come across in our trip yet and I was intrigued by their elusiveness and their tank-like features. Just flicking through the pages on the shop I was immediately called into it. The writing style is fresh and engaging, striking a beautiful balance between scientific completeness and rigor, and mystery book storytelling.

The book starts following a teenage student (Peter Nicholson) as he would put on his over-patched wombatting pants, leave his school sleeping at Timbertop and caterpillar into wombat burrows with a lamp and a notepad. For more than a year he would spend the nights underground with these shy yet surprisingly social animals providing probably the best account of their habits and behaviors to-date. Woodford talks to a plethora of wombat experts as he completes a portrait of the animal and its environment.

Wombats turn out to be a truly fascinating animal. Named "the hobbits of the Australian bush" (though they also are "the largest burrowing herbivores on the planet"), these animals live in large and intricate burrows "designed to fit their own bodies snuggly". They have surprising statistics: "wombats are able to execute a barrel roll with a twist that allows them to flip around a full 180 degrees"; "are able to flatten themselves like dough under a rolling pin and slip through cracks less than 10cm high"; "they can easily run 100m in under 10 seconds. in fact, they can maintain a speed of 40 kmh for over 150m"; "superb swimmers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic read! 14 Aug. 2005
By A Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Even if you've never heard of the wombat (it's an Australian marsupial that looks like a little piggy, but isn't one), you'll still be captivated by this book. The author - who won a science writing prize in 2002 for this book - not only gives us the low-down on who wombats are and how wombats live, but does it in such a way that it's hard to put the book down. On the side we learn about Australian prehistory and the giant dinosaur wombats that used to roam Australia. We also hear about wombat research done by a young teenager from Geelong Grammer who spend his time climbing into the narrow wombat burrows on a schoolcamp - mostly at night while the teachers and other students were asleep. It's an example of great non-fiction writing - a documentary, journalism and a terrific story all in one!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The best natural history read ever 8 Dec. 2010
By Nathan Shepard - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lets just say this book sets the bar unbelievably high for great non-fiction nature writing; combining journalism, history, natural science, ecology, and conservation in one absolutely fantastic read. I'm not a huge reader of popular books, but this non-fiction account of an incredibly charismatic animal kept me urging for more. This book embodies what great non-fiction nature writing should entail. James Woodford's writing style is immersive, as the history of Australia is explored and the life of these secret animals in examined. This somewhat light read, is a great account of the secret life of the wombat. Its a great read for natural science, nature writing, or conservation biology classes. Of all the books I've read on the natural history of life, this one is the best of the group.
This is an awesome book if you like to read about science written ... 4 Aug. 2014
By Samantha Doss - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book if you like to read about science written in a conversational way. Very easy to read and filled with interesting facts. Here is the greatest one I came away with- wombats poop CUBES! Yes, scientists are baffled at how these little critters can make it come out in a cube shape. Anyhow, lots of "I didn't know that" moments. Fun!
Excellent start 2 Aug. 2013
By Wommy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first part about going down the burrows is excellent, after that it gets boring for a non technical person.It is worth buying for that part.
Five Stars 19 Mar. 2015
By rose - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
informative and entertaining read
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