The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders. In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen in David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in i...

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Title:The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
Author:David Quammen
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:0684827123
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:702 pages pages

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions Reviews

  • Mads
    Jun 22, 2007
    Wildlife biologist and author Aldrin Mallari lent me a copy of this staggering book after knowing I had read "Wild Thoughts From Wild Places." I think I learned more about biogeography from reading this book than talking to a dozen biologists. The final image of the last Dodo on earth ...
  • Brie
    Jun 26, 2007
    I have a liberal arts degree. My little sister is studying conservation biology. She gave me this book and it interested me so much that I want to go back to school and study science now. ...
  • Jen
    Jul 16, 2007
    One of my all-time favorite books (this was a re-read) by my favorite natural history author. Anyone who likes Stephen Jay Gould or Howard Zinn style writing will enjoy David Quammen. Not only is it beautifully written, it intertwines stories of the development of the theory of evoluti...
  • Reid
    Dec 19, 2007
    This is the first book I've read by Quammen, an imminently talented journalist who perfectly balances the information and writing style of the book. He follows a chronological progression of island biogeography from Darwin through Jared Diamond (who became hugely famous shortly after t...
  • Evan
    Nov 29, 2010
    Looking back, this book played a large part in making me change my major from Biology to English in college. It was assigned as a side project with mini-quizzes in one of the most difficult and memorization-based classes I took, and reading it was a breath of fresh air every time I sat...
  • Rebecca
    Dec 31, 2010
    I loved this book. I read it in a small village in northern Cambodia, while on a vulture research trip, and it infused the landscape and the work I was doing with new meaning - profound enough that when I finished working on that project, I went back to the US and got my master's degre...
  • Ellen
    May 26, 2017
    I finished it! (Further thoughts coming soon) ...
  • Savanna
    Jul 11, 2008
    This is the best natural history book I have ever read. Many sections read like a mystery novel, and yet it is still, according to Hutch (Whitman evolutionary biology professor), totally on-the-mark accurate. David Quammen's writing got me so fascinated with island biogeography that I ...
  • Stephen
    Jul 02, 2009
    I have owned a copy of ?The Song of the Dodo? for several years but at 625 pages, 178 chapters it seemed a bit daunting to dive into. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day. But after reading Quammen?s ?The Reluctant Mr. Darwin,? I felt it was time to give it a go. ...
  • brian dean
    Jan 17, 2009
    A fantastic book whose only flaw is that it requires the reader to keep track of various storylines. Let's get my only complaint out of the way. Quammen does a good job of making us feel like we are part of the investigation into island biogeography but he does so by mixing several ...
  • Tippy Jackson
    Dec 10, 2009
    This book is one of my favorites and another one that feels more like a journey that I didn't want to end. It asks questions about the distribution of various animal species and uses island biogeography to understand extinction patterns. Follows the history of Wallace and Darwin and ot...
  • Nikki
    Nov 22, 2009
    Overall this was a well written book revolving around biogeography, ecology, evolution and extinction (amongst a plethora of other things). Quammen makes it a bit of an ecology travel log of sorts, which sometimes adds but sometimes detracts from the overall goal of the book. Quammen d...
  • Jimmy
    Jun 10, 2010
    One of the great classics of science literature. If the grading system were a one to ten, I would give it a ten. Quammen gives a pretty thorough history of island evolution and extinction. It's interesting to note that island evolution and extinction now applies to the mainland because...
  • Sylvia
    Dec 14, 2012
    Disclaimer: I'm only about a third of the way through, I'll update this review as I go. So far: This book is physically WEIGHTY. At first, I was pleased about this--if it's a good read give me more of it!--but as I went I grew more and more disappointed. No, the length isn't real...
  • John Nelson
    Jul 08, 2016
    The title of this book is both evocative and misleading: the dodo bird, the famous flightless, turkey-sized pigeon that lived on the island of Mauritius and proved to be an easy target for humans, and went extinct soon after the island was settled, had no song, as it was not a songbird...
  • Ms.pegasus
    May 10, 2014
    This is a book about history: Animals and plants that once were and are no more, and how we should interpret that fact. When the question, ?Why?? was asked, a new science was born. Quammen spends considerable effort building a context for this science. At first there were only obse...
  • Laura
    May 17, 2011
    "This one goes to 11." I would give this book 11 stars if I could. This is THE book I recommend to people as an introduction to evolution, evolutionary biology, extinction, or anything related. I made my mother read this book. And she enjoyed it. David Quammen (whom I have been luc...
  • Biogeek
    Jul 18, 2017
    Some great writing and even greater examples of biodiversity are at times hidden by self-indulgent writing (at times I wonder of Quammen saw himself more of a travel writer in the Bill Bryson mode) ...well described in other reviews. Having said that, I am grateful for all the great ex...
  • Tasha
    Jul 17, 2017
    If you can get over the long & overly-descriptive parts, this book offers much of what there is to learn (& criticize) in an Intro to Ecology course. ...
  • Dac Crossley
    May 05, 2012
    This came highly recommended. And Island biogeography has been important in the development of ecological theory. The first part of the book discusses Alfred Wallace; it's very well written and I enjoyed it. I began to part with the author when he spoke disparagingly about a simple ...
  • Jo Marshall
    Jan 03, 2012
    After reading 'The Flight of the Iguana' by David Quammen, I had no qualms about undertaking another amazing journey, 'The Song of the Dodo' even though I had no clue at the time what island biogeography was, and only an elementary concept of extinction. This book could actually have h...
  • John
    Feb 14, 2012
    A great book about ecology and travel This is unquestionably the finest book I've read that explains biogeography and population ecology in clear, concise English for the average intelligent person interested in the natural world who lacks a background in science. Quammen deserves h...
  • Dan
    Oct 27, 2018
    This book gets high marks for its large scope covering many of the notable species extinctions and current vulnerable island populations and creating a convincing link between the two. This book does well when the author talks about the history of the animal species and those naturalis...
  • Fab Mackojc
    Dec 29, 2016
    I didn?t enjoy this book very much. Don?t get me wrong, I don?t think it?s poorly written, I just personally don?t have enough of an interest in island biogeography to enjoy reading 700 pages of it. I ended up deciding to slog through this book instead of just putting it down...
  • Jeanette
    Nov 10, 2017
    No rating. I read about a fourth and then skim read about half more. His tone and attitude is so much accusatory and "chicken little" that what particles of real information that I can get about island isolation and other historic evolutionary boundaries, is lost within his sarcasm and...
  • Carol Tensen
    Jun 22, 2018
    Whew - can't believe I finished this. I could have read The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote and Moby Dick in the same amount of time. The Song of the Dodo was given to me by someone who reads a heck of a lot faster than I do. Even though I was daunted by its heft, I was swayed by her e...
  • Dave Walker
    Jul 11, 2018
    An immense book, very well-researched. Quammen's science writing is among the best I've read. A bit detailed in certain sections to the point of monotony, but counterbalanced by many very meaningful sections. The final chapter was my favorite, diagramming the history of mass extinction...
  • Leah Markum
    May 22, 2017
    From the Malay Archipelago in the 1850s to the Malay Archipelago in the 1990s with stories of literal and metaphorical islands from around the globe, Song of the Dodo comes full circle. David Quammen's 625 pages worth of heavy reading donates the reader a sense of accomplishment measur...
  • Patrick Trümpi
    Mar 04, 2017
    Definitely worth reading! You might need to be a bit patient at the beginning until you reach the big (incredibly interesting) picture. Several paragrahs might be a bit infomation overloaded. ...
  • Bradley Johnson
    Nov 24, 2018
    This book was initially assigned reading in graduate school, but David Quammen's writing was so powerful that I returned to the book years later and then re-read it again. This is an eye-opening book that provides an unvarnished yet compelling read. Anyone who has read Elizabeth Kolber...