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A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials Hardcover – January 30, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0226146300 ISBN-10: 0226146308

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Many drawings and far more words have been devoted to Australian mammals; this book surpasses them all. The drawings, nay the art , of Ganf, is breathtaking. Every hair, every spot of mold on a leaf, every piece of bark, is drawn in exquisite detail. The text . . . is authoritative and engaging. . . . Don't miss the opportunity to bound to a bookstore, glide to the Internet, or jump on the opportunity to spend hours with this book."
(Choice)

"The author is one of the world's leading marsupiologists, and he draws deeply on his own three decades of research experience as he leads us through the evolution, systematics, ecology, ethology, natural history, and conservation of Australian marsupials. . . . A superb all-round introduction for any researcher who wants to know more about marsupials. . . . Ganf's breathtaking portraits of marsupials have a kind of transcendent quality that almost suggests an inherent vulnerability, in corroboration of the book's title."
(Marcel Cardillo Quarterly Review of Biology)

About the Author

Christopher Dickens is professor in the school of biological sciences at the University of Sydney.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (January 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226146308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226146300
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James L. Spingarn on January 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Magnificently produced volume on everything one could possibly wish to know about Australian marsupials. It is written by a very knowlegable and readable expert , Christopher Dickman, (definitely not a textbook) and wonderfully illustrated (perhaps amongst the finest mammalian artwork ever (Audubon would have been envious); illustrations borrowed from the three volume collector's set "Marsupials of Australia," which took over 15 years to complete by the incomparable Rosemary Woodford Ganf. Thus, this is a steal at $65 US. If you like beautiful, authoritative, informative books on natural history, then this is a must for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Kuijpers on March 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as soon as it came on the market.
Great it is.

Why you are asking ? Well first of all the drawings, they are great and must be one of the most beautiful seen and made today. Take a look at the cover of this book here on Amazon, and then think of a book full of these !

The text explains to you the developement of the marsupials, their status,distribution in Australia (remember this is about the Australian marsupials) and different marsupial families.
It highlights some of the most unusual marsupials.

If you have got any interest in Australian marsupials this book should be in your library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No joke, for a factual tome, this book is well enough written to manage a couple chapters at night after a long day at work. Even without the illustrations, which are superb, the material is presented in a logical and fascinating way by an academic scholar who has the rare gift of writing for the layman and being able to make the information digestible and interesting. If you have an interest in Australian marsupials, this would be an excellent starting point to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

The illustrations remind me of James Lansdowne's birds - they almost seem alive!
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