Kangaroo: Portrait of an Extraordinary Marsupial

Kangaroo: Portrait of an Extraordinary Marsupial

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by Stephen Jackson, Karl Vernes
     
 

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The remarkable social, anecdotal, and historical story of Australia's most famous marsupial, recognized the world over for its adorable pouch and trademark hopping
 
From their ancient origins and prehistoric significance to current-day management and conservation, this book describes the ecology, history, and behavior of

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Overview


The remarkable social, anecdotal, and historical story of Australia's most famous marsupial, recognized the world over for its adorable pouch and trademark hopping
 
From their ancient origins and prehistoric significance to current-day management and conservation, this book describes the ecology, history, and behavior of these unique animals. The amazing diversity of this group of animals is revealed, from tiny forest dwellers and tree kangaroos to large majestic animals living on the open plains of central Australia and the giant kangaroos that once roamed the Pleistocene landscape. It describes their interaction with both the original inhabitants and the European settlers of Australia and addresses the issue of how the population of these animals can be best managed, making the points that some species are heading for extinction due to habitat loss while others have increased in numbers since humans first settled in Australia. The authors also investigate the animal's natural history—their unique reproduction methods, intriguing behaviour, varied diet, and trademark hopping ability; and examines humans' sustained fascination with kangaroos—spanning 40,000 years—that allows these engaging marsupials to be instantly recognized.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The red kangaroo is an iconic and beloved symbol of Australia, but it is just one of 77 kangaroo species living on the continent. Here, marsupial specialists Jackson (Koala: Origins of an Icon) and Vernes (zoology, Univ. of New England, Australia) present an introductory survey of the kangaroo's surprising diversity, natural history, and cultural significance. The authors utilize abundant primary-source material and scientific research to address topics such as discovery by Europeans, reproduction, social behavior, and the physiology of hopping. Population management—including government-sanctioned culling and conservation efforts for certain species—is discussed at length. The authors' coverage of this highly diverse species is balanced but ultimately superficial, e.g., the section on the kangaroo's significance in Aboriginal culture is far too cursory. The strongest part of the book focuses on early European reactions to kangaroos and Europeans' awkward attempts to depict the animals in art. VERDICT This work provides a brief overview of an intriguing animal, suitable as a starting point for academic research and as fodder for motivated lay readers, especially those with knowledge of Australian geography and basic biology.—Kelsy Peterson, Johnson Cty. Community Coll., Overland Park, KS

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781741759037
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

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