Galapagos: A Natural History

Overview

The Galápagos Islands are a paradise for birders, botanists, geologists, and snorkelers, with many islands still devoid of human habitation. Since they lie more than 600 miles west of South America and were never connected to the mainland, almost all plant and animal life arrived here by chance. As Charles Darwin discovered, the evolution of plants and animals is more visible here than anywhere else on earth.

John Kricher, a renowned ecologist and Galápagos ecotour guide, ...

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Overview

The Galápagos Islands are a paradise for birders, botanists, geologists, and snorkelers, with many islands still devoid of human habitation. Since they lie more than 600 miles west of South America and were never connected to the mainland, almost all plant and animal life arrived here by chance. As Charles Darwin discovered, the evolution of plants and animals is more visible here than anywhere else on earth.

John Kricher, a renowned ecologist and Galápagos ecotour guide, presents a detailed natural history of this spectacular archipelago. He looks at the amazing diversity of life found here, from iguanas to penguins, and explains the fascinating geology of these remote islands. Throughout his narrative, Kricher weaves the intriguing history of evolutionary biology that is intimately connected with the islands, and describes Darwin's adventures and observations while he was visiting in 1835.

Indeed, Kricher takes his chapter titles from comments scattered throughout Darwin's account of his expedition around the world, The Voyage of the Beagle. Kricher closes his book by assessing the conservation efforts to preserve the Galápagos--and the challenges these efforts have met. Of special interest is the book's richly detailed island-by-island guide. For both the ecotraveler and the nature enthusiast, Galápagos is essential reading.

  • Essential reading for the nature enthusiast and ecotraveler alike
  • Detailed island-by-island guide
  • Vivid descriptions of plant and animal life
  • Fascinating explanation of the islands' geology
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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Tim Dee
Galapagos: A Natural History will do well when packed alongside a couple of field guides and a pair of binoculars. Its lucid and crisp chapters on the islands' origins and geology, human history, Darwin's findings and the flora and fauna will give the background story to visitors.
National Center for Science Education Reports - Kenneth S. Saladin
Beyond the wry anecdotes of human involvement in the Galapagos, there is a wealth of lucid natural history in this fine book. Kricher covers all the essentials ... [and] provides the clearest explanation I have ever seen of how the ocean currents affect the Galapagos climate, nutrient availability and biogeography.... Kricher has provided the best available introduction to Galapagos natural history.
From the Publisher

"Galapagos: A Natural History will do well when packed alongside a couple of field guides and a pair of binoculars. Its lucid and crisp chapters on the islands' origins and geology, human history, Darwin's findings and the flora and fauna will give the background story to visitors."--Tim Dee, Times Literary Supplement

"Beyond the wry anecdotes of human involvement in the Galapagos, there is a wealth of lucid natural history in this fine book. Kricher covers all the essentials ... [and] provides the clearest explanation I have ever seen of how the ocean currents affect the Galapagos climate, nutrient availability and biogeography.... Kricher has provided the best available introduction to Galapagos natural history."--Kenneth S. Saladin, National Center for Science Education Reports

Times Literary Supplement
Galapagos: A Natural History will do well when packed alongside a couple of field guides and a pair of binoculars. Its lucid and crisp chapters on the islands' origins and geology, human history, Darwin's findings and the flora and fauna will give the background story to visitors.
— Tim Dee
National Center for Science Education Reports
Beyond the wry anecdotes of human involvement in the Galapagos, there is a wealth of lucid natural history in this fine book. Kricher covers all the essentials ... [and] provides the clearest explanation I have ever seen of how the ocean currents affect the Galapagos climate, nutrient availability and biogeography.... Kricher has provided the best available introduction to Galapagos natural history.
— Kenneth S. Saladin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691126333
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 604,873
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Kricher is Meneely Professor of Biology at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. He has led ecotours to many places around the world, including the Galapagos Islands, coastal New England, the Pacific Northwest, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Trinidad, and Ecuador. He is the author of "A Neotropical Companion"[Princeton].

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