Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
Rats, Cats & Foxes
Beautiful, interesting, well-written book, but it is clearly not intended as a scientific monograph, so if that is what you want you'd better look elsewhere.
Most of the species covered are rodents and birds, with some reptiles and larger mammals thrown in. All are beautifully illustrated.
While there are certainly many species in the book wiped out by direct human action (hunting & habitat destruction) in recorded history, most of the lost species seem to have been wiped out by indirect human action--the introduction of rats, cats, and foxes to the (usually) isolated island habitats by modern humans meant the end for the species which had evolved without these creatures. Interestingly, many of the species seem to have barely survived only in niche habitats even before the arrival of European colonists, etc. Two other species seem to have been wiped out by a volcanic eruption and a hurricane, respectively, in their very small habitats.
The book also records many instances of the last known specimens of clearly endangered species being killed by hunters and museum collectors (!), often identified by name. While it makes you wonder what makes these people tick, it sure seems like any species reduced to a handful of survivors didn't have long for this world in any event.
And the good news? Well, it sounds like many (by by no means all) of the lost species are survived--at least for now--by closely-related species. Hopefully we'll do better with these survivors!
Two sides to this book
I found this to be an excellent, but simple book. I say it in this way in that it is one that is a quick overview of the species involved, but also one that makes me appreciate what has been lost. It's not an in-depth biological study nor is it intended to be.
It's also has two sides in that it shows the wonder of nature and how amazing it is, but by the end of the book, it left me depressed. So much has been lost and this book makes me appreciate it. It give me the motivation to do what I can, however little that is, to perhaps help prevent this in the future.
I read this book several time and every time I went, "Wow!"
beatifully written and illustrated
this book is a masterpiece. everyone that i have shown it to has loved the illustrations and descriptions of these animals. the joy of this book, however, is bittersweet due to the loss of these animals from the face of the earth. it is a beautiful work and is a must if you are interested in evolution, extinction or conservation.