Island Life: Or, the Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras: Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climatesby Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace is best known as the codiscoverer, with Charles Darwin, of natural selection, but he was also historyOCOs foremost tropical naturalist and the father of biogeography, the modern study of the geographical basis of biological diversity. "Island Life" has long been considered one of his most important works. In it he extends studies on the influence of the glacial epochs on organismal distribution patterns and the characteristics of island biogeography, a topic as vibrant and actively studied today as it was in 1880. The book includes historyOCOs first theory of continental glaciation based on a combination of geographical and astronomical causes, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras. aaaaaaaaaaaThe year 2013 will mark the centennial of WallaceOCOs death and will see a host of symposia and reflections on WallaceOCOs contributions to evolution and natural history. This reissue of the first edition of "Island Life," with a foreword by David Quammen and an extensive commentary by Lawrence R. Heaney, who has spent over three decades studying island biogeography in Southeast Asia, makes this essential and foundational reference available and accessible once again. "
This is one the first and most important books about 18th century Malaysia and covers a wide array of topics from Malaysian culture and history to nature and wildlife. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Malaysia.<P><P>A century and a half after it was first published, this book remains one of the great classics of natural history and travel--perhaps the greatest. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) deserves equal billing with Charles Darwin for his independently drawn but parallel conclusions on the theory of evolution. Darwin himself called Wallace "generous and noble" and referred favorably to his work in later editions of The Origin of Species.The Malay Archipelago is an extraordinarily accessible book. There is a wealth of detail about pre-modern life in the Indonesian archipelago which Wallace accumulated on over 60 separate journeys spanning 14,000 miles. He was equally fascinated by the exotic peoples, flora and fauna he encountered in his epic travels. A mark of his achievement lies in the size of the collections he bequeathed to British museums--some 125,000 specimens ranging from large mammals to tiny insects, exotic butterflies and splendid birds of paradise.
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