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William O. Eloise Dresses Up Eloise. Chris Hahner Marc Cheshire. Page 1 of 2 Showing 1 - 48 of 76 Next. The Adventures of Paddy the The Burgess Bird Book for Burgess Author The Burgess Animal Book for Burgess Author John Lieder Narrator The Adventures of Grandfather Thornton W. The Burgess Seashore Book for Burgess Author. The Adventures of Old Mr. The Adventures of Peter The Adventures of Danny The Adventures of Chatterer Burgess Author Group Narrator Maybe you stand among those well-informed people for whom the notion of catastrophic worldwide losses of biological diversity is a serious concern.
Chances are, still, that you lack a few crucial pieces of the full picture.
Chances are that you haven't caught wind of these scientific murmurs about ecosystem decay. Chances are that you know little or nothing about a seemingly marginal field called island biogeography. Bookclub Guide Reading Group Discussion Points Discuss the ways in which Quammen's The Song of the Dodo is part adventure story, part scientific study, part travelogue, part murder mystery, part history book, and part biography. Comment on Quammen's writing style and his ability to impart difficult scientific material in both an interesting and understandable way.
Why do you think Quammen chose to use as his title figure the dodo bird, a large-headed, big-butted, lumbering, flightless bird?
What does the dodo bird represent in the book? Why in particular did he choose to mention the song of the dodo? What resonance does this have? Why do you think Quammen invests so much time dispelling the fictional stories of science, stories based more on convenience and tidiness than on the truth -- such as Darwin being portrayed as the sole mind behind the theory of evolution, when in fact there was another man named Wallace who came upon it on his own?
The Tasmanian Aborigines were driven to the brink of extinction by the colonial settlers in the late 19th century. Compare their fate to the extinction of the dodo bird in the s. Why is it so resonant? How is it haunting? What implications does it have for the human race?
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Why is Quammen's book so powerful? In what ways did it change your view of the natural world? Did it in any way alter your perspective on your own life and on life itself? If so, how? Near the end of The Song of the Dodo Quammen writes, "Yes, Simberloff predicts, the current cataclysm of extinctions is indeed likely to stand among the worst half-dozen such events in the history of life on Earth. This time around, we're the Death Star. But with a difference. Our own devastating impact on the biosphere will probably be a singular event, not part of a recurrent pattern.
Because we probably won't survive long enough, as a species, to find out. What is conservation biology and how important does Quammen lead us to believe it is in the prevention of animal and plant extinction? Discuss the conservation biology work that is being done, and its rate of success.
For example, review Carl Jones's work with the kestrel in Mauritius, and Lovejoy's experimental work in the Amazon. At the end of The Song of the Dodo, Quammen returns to Aru to find the bird of paradise which Wallace had described so poignantly a century ago. The sad, dire things that have happened elsewhere in so many parts of the world Probably they soon will. Meanwhile, though, there's still time. If time is hope, there's still hope.
Do you believe there is still hope?
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