By Tim Flannery
Tim Flannery is likely one of the world’s so much influential scientists, credited with gaining knowledge of extra species than Darwin. In one of the Islands Flannery recounts a sequence of expeditions he made on the sunrise of his occupation to the unusual tropical islands of the South Pacific, a superb arc stretching approximately 4,000 miles from the postcard perfection of Polynesia to a few of the most important, maximum, historic, and so much rugged islands on earth.Flannery used to be touring looking for infrequent and undiscovered mammal species, yet he came upon even more: wild, bizarre locations the place neighborhood taboos, foul climate, dense jungle, and sheer remoteness made for tricky and dramatic exploration. one of the Islands is filled with attention-grabbing creaturesmonkey confronted bats, titanic fat, gazelle-faced black wallabies, and moreand the journey of discovery. this is often an idea learn for somebody who has ever imagined voyaging to the ends of the earth to discover and learn the infrequent and the fantastic.
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Additional resources for Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific
Greg stressed that the creatures had to be alive—he was anxious to take samples for molecular analysis. When I explained this part of our mission to the head of the village council, his eyes grew wide, for the islanders generally fear and avoid snakes. But word of the impending visit by this remarkable person and his need for living serpents, preferably venomous ones, spread as quickly as news of a circus coming to town. That very afternoon, snakes—tied, trussed and bagged in every way imaginable—began pouring in, and soon our humble abode was festooned with dozens of canvas bags holding writhing and understandably angry serpents.
Slowly tropical nature was reclaiming the island as its own. Saplings were sprouting between the sheds, and the submarine pylons of the dock were clad in languorous sea-fans and elegant long-spined sea urchins, around which flitted clouds of tropical fish so bright and sprightly as to take one’s breath away. Not all trade is gone from Samarai, however, for in place of the pith-helmeted traders of yesteryear we found shy Papuan women. Some sat before the derelict stores, their wares meticulously laid out before them.
Why do islands have such peculiar powers over the evolutionary process? Imagine taking a species from the complex, rich continental ecosystem in which it has evolved, then releasing one or two randomly chosen individuals on an island where nothing like it has previously existed. If they survive, the individuals that begat the island population will have just a small subset of the species’ genetic diversity, and this alone will wield an influence. To understand how, just imagine choosing two humans—say a red-head and a very tall person—and leaving them on a desert isle, then returning in a million years to examine the characteristics of their descendants.
Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific by Tim Flannery