In this beautiful book, Bruce Beehler, a renowned author and expert on New Guinea, and award-winning National Geographic photographer Tim Laman take the reader on an unforgettable journey through the natural and cultural wonders of the world's grandest island. Skillfully combining a wealth of information, a descriptive and story-filled narrative, and more than 200 stunning colour photographs, the book unlocks New Guinea's remarkable secrets like never before.
Lying between the Equator and Australia's north coast, and surrounded by the richest coral reefs on Earth, New Guinea is the world's largest, highest, and most environmentally complex tropical island – home to rainforests with showy rhododendrons, strange and colorful orchids, tree-kangaroos, spiny anteaters, ingenious bowerbirds, and spectacular birds of paradise. New Guinea is also home to more than a thousand traditional human societies, each with its own language and lifestyle, and many of these tribes still live in isolated villages and serve as stewards of the rainforests they inhabit.
Accessible and authoritative, New Guinea: Nature and Culture of Earth's Grandest Island provides a comprehensive introduction to the island's environment, animals, plants, and traditional rainforest cultures. Individual chapters cover the island's history of exploration; geology; climate and weather; biogeography; plantlife; insects, spiders, and other invertebrates; freshwater fishes; snakes, lizards, and frogs; birdlife; mammals; paleontology; paleoanthropology; cultural and linguistic diversity; surrounding islands and reefs; the pristine forest of the Foja Mountains; village life; and future sustainability.
Complete with informative illustrations and a large, detailed map, New Guinea offers an enchanting account of the island's unequalled natural and cultural treasures.
Bruce M. Beehler is an ornithologist, naturalist, and author of many books. A renowned authority on New Guinea, he has visited the island seventy times. His most recent books include North on the Wing: Travels with the Songbird Migration of Spring and Encounters with Nature: Hiking, Biking, and Birding through the Year. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Tim Laman is a contributing photographer for National Geographic, with more than twenty feature articles to his name. His photos have also appeared in many books, including the acclaimed Birds of Paradise. In 2016, he was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
"A great introduction to the natural history of New Guinea, this book is remarkably thorough in its breadth and depth. Beehler is a noted authority on many of the subjects covered, from the island's birds to its ecology. He provides an excellent description of a 'traditional' New Guinea village of today, and gives a feeling for what the island's untouched forest is really like. And Tim Laman's photographs are great."
– John P. Dumbacher, California Academy of Sciences
"With its excellent photos, this is a highly readable and appealing account of the natural and cultural history of New Guinea. There really isn't any book comparable to this."
– Allen Allison, Bishop Museum, Honolulu