The New York Times
Chasing Kangaroos: A Continent, a Scientist, and a Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Creatureby Tim Flannery
In his most personal book yet, Tim Flannery, the internationally acclaimed author of The Weather Makers, draws on three decades of travel, research, and field work to craft a love letter to his native land and one of its most unique and beloved inhabitants: the kangaroo. Crisscrossing the continent, Flannery shows us how the destiny of this/i>
In his most personal book yet, Tim Flannery, the internationally acclaimed author of The Weather Makers, draws on three decades of travel, research, and field work to craft a love letter to his native land and one of its most unique and beloved inhabitants: the kangaroo. Crisscrossing the continent, Flannery shows us how the destiny of this extraordinary creature is inseparable from the environment that created it. Along the way he uses encounters with ancient aboriginal cultures and eccentric fossil hunters, farmers and scientists, kangaroo advocates and kangaroo hunters, to explore how Australia’s deserts and rain forests have shaped human responses to the continent--and how kangaroos have evolved to handle the resulting challenges. Ultimately, Chasing Kangaroos is a captivating blend of memoir, travel, natural history, and evolutionary science--and further proof of Flannery’s “offhand interdisciplinary brilliance” (Entertainment Weekly).
The New York Times
This paean to a remarkable animal by Flannery, author of the well-received global warming treatise The Weather Makers, is fascinating but scattershot. The kangaroo, the only large animal that hops, can travel at speeds of 15-40 kilometers per hour. Female kangaroos, who carry their young in pouches, have two vaginas, but don't give birth through either of them, and are always pregnant, because they mate a few hours after their young are born. There are 70-odd species of kangaroo: some drink salt water; others live in trees. But as a paleontologist, Flannery is obsessed with finding out when and where the first kangaroos lived. Much of the book is about his searches for the fossils of extinct species in remote areas of the Australian outback, where he discovered the remains of "the grandfather of all kangaroos," as well as the fossils of ice age giants, such as the short-faced kangaroo and a carnivorous kangaroo. The accounts of his discoveries are engaging, but he covers too much ground, switching back and forth between physical descriptions, kangaroo evolution, reminiscences of his fossil hunting travels, worries about Australia's environment and the aborigines, and his controversial extinction theories. B&w and color illus. not seen by PW. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
After tackling global climate change in The Weather Makers, Flannery returns to his native Australia and its most famous creature: the kangaroo. In tracing the developmental history of this marsupial, his research involves travel throughout the Australian continent in search of fossils and other evidence of the kangaroo's evolution and adaptation to its changing environment. Flannery personalizes his scientific account with entertaining tales of his journeys through deserts and rain forests and encounters with eccentric scientists and native aborigines. This combination of scientific treatise, travel journal, and autobiography should appeal to readers with an interest in conservation or environmental issues, kangaroos, and Australia. Recommended for public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/15/07.]
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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- 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
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