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The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric Life of New Zealand

Out of Print

By: TH Worthy and RN Holdaway

718 pages, Bw photos, illus, figs, maps

Indiana University Press

Hardback | Dec 2002 | #122238 | ISBN: 0253340349
Out of Print Details

About this book

Investigates one of the richest and most unusual faunas in the world, which thrived in isolation for 80 million years, but which over the past two millennia has been reduced to a shadow of its former glory. In a fauna dominated by birds, the flightless Moa, one of the largest birds ever known, was a particularly remarkable evolutionary curiosity. Worthy and Holdaway present the various species of Moa, describe their skeletons and reconstruct their life history and ecology. They discuss the only threat to the survival of an adult Moa, an eagle of enormous size.
`A landmark work, a book that paleontologists, ornithologists, biogeographers and ecologists alike will use as a resource for some time to come.' James O Farlow

... documenting in extraordinary detail what we know about the fate of New Zealand's fauna and landscapes before and during the first human settlement some 700 years ago ... Trevor Worthy and Richard Holdaway describe an isolated world that is an unfortunate model for present-day effects of human activities, where forest destruction is driving so many (overwhelmingly unnamed) species to extinction... This book should prompt those who think 'things are getting better' to explain just how future massive global changes driven by sophisticated technologies and massive energy consumption will harm so few species, given that a few people with primitive technologies eliminated so many in New Zealand. - Nature, 28 November 2002 "A landmark work, a book that paleontologists, ornithologists, biogeographers, and ecologists alike will use as a resource for some time to come." James O. Farlow " ... The Lost World of the Moa is a book full of fascinating details about a vanished scene. It brings home that we are responsible for the 76 species, or more than 30 per cent of New Zealand's birds,. lost at the hand of humans over the past 1000 years." - New Scientist " ... documenting in extraordinary detail what we know about the fate of New Zealand's fauna and landscapes before and during the first human settlement some 700 years ago ... Trevor Worthy and Richard Holdaway describe an isolated world that is an unfortunate model for present-day effects of human actitivities, where forest destruction is driving so many (overwhelmingly unnamed) species to extinction... This book should prompt those who think 'things are getting better' to explain just how future massive global changes driven by sophisticated technologies and massive energy consumption will harm so few species, given that a few people with primitive technologies eliminated so many in New Zealand." - Nature, 28 November 2002


Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents - Introduction - The Land that Time Forgot; The Early Record; The Unveiling; The Discovery of Moa; Moa Anatomy and Evolution; The Living Moa; Kiwi; Waterbirds of All Kinds; The Grandest Eagle; Other Birds of Prey; A Plethora of Rails; Seabirds, Parrots, and Passerines; Oceanic Birds on Land; Bats to Frogs; Guilds and Regional Faunas; Extinction, the Final Word

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