Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth

Here Be Dragons How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth Why do we find polar bears only in the Arctic and penguins only in the Antarctic Why are marsupials found only in Australia and South America In a book that Science News called fascinating and revelat

  • Title: Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth
  • Author: Dennis McCarthy
  • ISBN: 9780199542468
  • Page: 396
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Why do we find polar bears only in the Arctic and penguins only in the Antarctic Why are marsupials found only in Australia and South America In a book that Science News called fascinating and revelatory, Dennis McCarthy tells a story that encompasses two great, insightful theories that together explain the strange patterns of life across the world evolution and plateWhy do we find polar bears only in the Arctic and penguins only in the Antarctic Why are marsupials found only in Australia and South America In a book that Science News called fascinating and revelatory, Dennis McCarthy tells a story that encompasses two great, insightful theories that together explain the strange patterns of life across the world evolution and plate tectonics We find animals and plants where we do because, over time, the continents have moved, separating and uniting in a long, slow dance because sea levels have risen, cutting off one bit of land from another because new and barren volcanic islands have risen up from the sea and because animals and plants vary greatly in their ability to travel, and separation causes the formation of new species This is the story of how life has responded to, and has in turn altered, the ever changing Earth And it includes many fascinating tales of pygmy mammoths and elephant birds and of radical ideas by bold young scientists.

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    About “Dennis McCarthy

    • Dennis McCarthy

      Dennis McCarthy Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth book, this is one of the most wanted Dennis McCarthy author readers around the world.



    819 thoughts on “Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and Earth

    • If you want to read a book about biodiversity, read David Quammen's "Song of the Dodo." That is an excellent book that is more entertaining, more informative, more scientific, better wwritten, core comprehensive. It is everything you wanted to know about biodiversity written in terms a layman can understand.This book, on the other hand, is a quick gloss over of a very interesting topic. It jumps around a lot. It does not cover anything in depth. It does not explain how biodiversity is studied. I [...]


    • Why are there no dragons in Europe? Why are frogs so rarely found on oceanic islands? Well, the answers are complicated. But we can understand this complexity through theories of biogeography. Whereas physicists are still searching for the grand unified theory that will tie general relativity to quantum mechanics, biologists already have an overarching theory for the history of life on Earth. Biogeography explains the relationships between the theory of evolution and the planet on which known li [...]


    • Dennis is a buddy of mine, so I picked up his book on biogeography, a subject I haven't delved into since reading Guns, Germs, and Steel freshman year of college. Here Be Dragons is an interesting overview of the history & importance of the topic with dozens of interesting factoids about the spread and evolution of various fauna and flora. The last chapter, on human biogeography & evolutionary psychology, is the most fascinating.It may go too far, like E.O. Wilson does, to try to reduce [...]


    • This is an amazing book about biogeography! For a non-science person, I was able to understand the concepts easily. Dennis McCarthy wrote the book with the layperson in mind. I have a much better understanding of evolution theories and plate tectonics, and how these ideas explain plant and animal distribution. I highly recommend it!



    • A fascinating read on the subject of biogeography, very readable and easy to understand. The chapter on plate tectonics should be required reading for high school science classes, as should "The Battle Over Eden" - a look into how biogeography affected the human race.


    • Before reading this book, I had no idea of what intrepid Swashbucklers geographers are. Now, I can see that understanding geography is essential in many ways to understanding evolution and the formation of new species. "Here Be Dragons" covers some of the same territory as Dawkins' "The Greatest Show on Earth," but from the focused perspective of the, often tragic, clash between bio-organisms and the geographical changes that lead to natural selection and new species. The author gives extremely [...]


    • This is a good primer on biogeography, the science that relates the forms of life to the forms of the Earth. It covers the ground well and is interesting, though not quite exciting. We learn about: the travels and musings of Darwin and Wallace; sea-floor spreading; the isolating effects of the breakup of Gondwana in the southern hemisphere; the barriers (not always geographical) that induce speciation; and the impact of biogeographical factors on the development on human civilisation.This last i [...]


    • Easily one of the best science books I've ever read. Not only does it popularize an exciting (and too-often overlooked) field of science, but it's engaging all the way through, a supremely well written book. You learn that Life and the Earth change and evolve together, with great examples from killer whales to polar bears to people. But this book isn’t just a coffee table, feel-good book full of quirky factoids (though there’s plenty of them!) about a certain field of study. It presents the [...]


    • A brief introduction to how the theory of evolution and continental drift gave rise to biogeography. Its always a pleasure discovering new facets of natural history, such as how the Antartic was once teeming with life, but became an absolute hell when it was cut off from the other continents whilst freezing over due to climate change. That there are different 'tribes' of killer whales swimming our oceans. Or how Komodo dragons evolved to dine on pygmy elephants before there were deer and pigs on [...]


    • A fascinating and inspiring read, a slightly different focus which is not often taught as much as other biological subjects, this book has a great range of basic information (boardering on a little too basic sometimes) whilst providing more advanced insight and a touch of humor, the author is not afraid to show his opinion but this only makes the book more gripping to read, seeing the thought process behind the man.


    • An excellent introduction to the notion of biogeography that tiptoes around some potentially controversial material toward the end, this book is loaded with fascinating examples that help keep what could be a very dry narrative engaging. When in doubt, bring out the pygmy elephants; they always keep things moving along.


    • I had hoped that this book might be useful as a fun supplementary text for one of the classes I am teaching, however it is a little too basic for advanced undergraduate/graduate level. That being said, if you're interested in biogeography, especially from a historical perspective, this book is a great introduction into what the science is about.


    • This is probably the ultimate geographic history, after Guns, Germs, and Steel. But whereas that book dealt with overwhelmingly human matter, this one is all about the entire process of long term tectonic shift and animal evolution. A real star of books in this field.




    • This is a very interesting book on biogeography. I wish the book was longer though. The author's dry sense of humour is also amusing.


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