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Western Indian Ocean Tortoises: Ecology, Diversity, Evolution, Conservation, Palaeontology

By: Justin Gerlach (Editor), Russell A Mittermeier (Preface By)

352 pages, 200+ colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour & b/w maps

Siri Scientific Press

Paperback | Nov 2014 | #216128 | ISBN-13: 9780992997908
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £39.99 $51/€48 approx

About this book

The islands of the Western Indian Ocean (Madagascar and the small island groups of the Seychelles, Mascarenes and Comoros) are home to a remarkable diversity of animals and plants. Among the most notable are the tortoises, including some of the world's largest, smallest and rarest species. Historically, at least ten species were present in the islands but today only five survive. Western Indian Ocean Tortoises reviews all of the information on the species, drawing together the historical records (many previously unpublished) including how humans decimated the tortoise populations as a source of food for long sea voyages, along with the latest information on palaeontology, evolution and ecology, including from a molecular genetics perspective. the conservation status of each species is described, as are the current efforts to restore tortoises to their central position in the ecology of these islands. Western Indian Ocean Tortoises includes contributions from twelve expert authors from the UK, France, USA, Canada and Madagascar.


Contents

Preface by R.A. Mittermeier
1. A note on nomenclature
 J. Gerlach
2. Evolution of the tortoises of the Western Indian Ocean
 J. Gerlach & S. Rioux Paquette
3. Unequal struggle – how humans displaced the dominance of tortoises in island ecosystems
 A.S. Cheke & R. Bour
4. Morphology and palaeontological exploration (until 2000) of the extinct tortoises of the Mascarene islands
 R. Bour, C. Mourer-Chauviré & S. Ribes
5. Fossil discoveries on Mauritius and Rodrigues
 J.P. Hume
6. Ecology and status of Western Indian Ocean Aldabrachelys giant tortoises
 J. Gerlach
7. The radiated tortoise Astrochelys radiata
 R. Walker
8. The ploughshare tortoise Astrochelys yniphora
 A. Mandimbihasina & L. Woolaver
9. The Madagascar spider tortoise Pyxis arachnoides
 R. Walker
10. The Madagascar flat-tailed tortoise Pyxis planicauda
 R. Walker
11. Rewilding in the Indian Ocean
 C. Griffiths


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