Galápagos: A Natural History

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Princeton University Press, 2006 - 221 pages
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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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Review: Galapagos: A Natural History

User Review  - Gary Ganong - Goodreads

This is a thorough and entertaining description of the geology, natural history, flora and fauna of the Galapagos. Kricher expalins how the theory of natural selection was developed by Darwin as he pondered his data back in England with specialists from different fields. Read full review

Contents

Nothing Could Be Less Inviting
1
First by Bucaniers and latterly by Whalers
7
This Archipelago
17
Charles Darwin and 3 7
37
At Least Two Thousand Craters
49
These Great Monsters
63
HideousLooking Creatures
81
All the Birds Were So Tame 9 9
99
One Small Intimately Related Group of Birds 12 5
125
Several Huge Whales
151
Galapagos 3000?
171
The Islands
181
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

John Kricher's works include the Peterson Field Guides to Eastern Forests, Rocky Mountain and Southwestern Forests, and California and Pacific Northwest Forests.

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