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1. Leadbetter's Possum: Bred To Be
2. The Jeff Corwin Experience - Into
3. The Management of Marsupials in
4. Koalas 2005 Wall Calendar
5. Platypus

1. Leadbetter's Possum: Bred To Be Wild
by Des Hackett
Paperback: 126 Pages (2006-03-06)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$13.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1412083826
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The endangered Leadbeater's Possum, once considered to be extinct, is the Victorian State faunal emblem.Shortly after its rediscovery in 1960, naturalist Des Hackett began his successful quest to breed the animal in captivity.

Bred To Be Wild documents the work of Des Hackett, including his struggle with wildlife authorities after handing over thriving colonies of Leadbeater's Possum to zoos throughout Australia.

While initially, breeding programs were a great success and Leadbeater's Possum were sent to other zoos throughout the world, they were never released into the wild.Breeding programs have since stopped and only two individuals remain alive in captivity today.

"With just two Leadbeater's Possum left in captivity in Australia, the publication of this book is very timely.It will provoke public debate about the future management of this endangered species while at the same time provide a fascinating insight to the behaviour of the Leadbeater's Possum.It is a good read too."

Sera Blair

President - Friends of the Leadbeater's Possum Inc.

"Des Hackett worked tirelessly to provide zoos throughout the world with thriving colonies of Leadbeater's Possum.His dream, documented by this book, was to see his captive-bred Leadbeater's released into the wild. Unfortunately, the wild population is still on the decline as logging continues throughout much of their natural range and the species has become virtually extinct in captivity.We may have missed our opportunity to turn the tide of extinction for Victoria's State emblem."

David Swinson

Secretary - Upper Yarra Conservation Society

"This book questions the function of zoos in terms of conservation and exposes Australia's wildlife authorities as incompetent in terms of protecting our wildlife heritage.Would we allow this to happen to the panda or gorillas?When will we learn to truly appreciate our native wildlife?"

Maryland Wilson

President - Australian Wildlife Protection Council ... Read more

2. The Jeff Corwin Experience - Into Wild Tasmania
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2004-09-21)
list price: US$23.70 -- used & new: US$17.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1410302474
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Tasmania is the land under the land down under. And it's home to some very unusual animals. Jeff finds the fierce Tasmanian devil and an egg-laying mammal: the duckbill platypus. (20040901) ... Read more

3. The Management of Marsupials in Captivity
by John (editor) Partridge
 Paperback: Pages (1986)

Asin: B0019JACVI
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4. Koalas 2005 Wall Calendar
by Browntrout Publishers
Calendar: 14 Pages (2004-06-15)
list price: US$11.99
Isbn: 0763173606
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

5. Platypus
by Ann Moyal
Hardcover: 212 Pages (2001-05-01)
-- used & new: US$7.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1865083739
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When the first dried specimen of a platypus arrived in England in 1799 it was greeted with astonishment and disbelief. Nineteenth-century naturalists struggled to classify the platypus and the little animal excited curiosity and sparked fierce debate in international scientific circles. This volume presents the enigmatic story of a biological riddle that confounded scientists for many years, challenging theories of creationism, evolution and the classification of species along the way.Amazon.com Review
Consider the platypus, that curious Australian creature that seems neither fish nor reptile nor mammal, but that has characteristics seemingly borrowed from all over the animal kingdom. Charles Darwin certainly considered it, puzzling over the platypus in the light of the rest of the world's creatures, and remarking, "Surely two distinct Creators must have been at work."

Australian historian of science Ann Moyal offers plenty of natural-historical information on the platypus in this slender, enjoyable book. What's more, she examines the sometimes shocked reactions the platypus inspired in European naturalists when they first saw specimens of the creature at the dawn of the 19th century. For, Moyal writes, the platypus almost single-handedly (or, perhaps better, single-web-footedly) overturned the prevailing classification of animals according to great-chain-of-being models; with its hodgepodge of physical traits and behaviors, it offered "an unexpected bridge between the categories of mammal/quadruped and reptiles and birds." That bridge helped set evolutionary theory on a new course; as Moyal writes, the platypus played an explicit role in Charles Darwin's ideas on isolation, species diversity, and natural selection, and he branded it a prime example of a "living fossil" that had managed to find an unoccupied ecological niche and live, relatively undisturbed, while fellow creatures marched toward extinction.

Scientists continue to study the platypus, Moyal writes in closing, for its remarkable traits, including a seeming sixth sense that helps it locate its prey in the underwater darkness. Her graceful book sheds new light on the history of biology and ought to earn Ornithorhynchus anatinus many new admirers. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Breezy, light work of natural history
This is a little gem of a book. The platypus frustrated naturalists' taxonomic efforts and inspired some creative speculation about how exactly an animal that looks like a mammal might lay an egg like a bird. The scientific study of the platypus inspired heated debates, international posturing, and a surprising amount of awkwardly rhyming poetry. To be fair, this is not a weighty work and it tells more the story of European fascination with the animal than the biology and behavior of the animal itself.

Still, this is a charming work of natural history and runs as a nice tangent to the broader fields of the history of science and evolutionary biology. It isn't for everyone, but it is a breezy, fun work of popular science for readers interested in the subject.

4-0 out of 5 stars A hsitory as interesting as the animal
Ann Moyal's "Platypus" is really two stories in one.As the tital suggests one of those stories is the history of the scientific struggle to understand an animal originally thought to be a chimaera and hoax.The second story is that of the people, preconceptions, and politics surrounding the science of natural history in the decades preceding and immediately following the Darwinian revolution of scientific thought.Moyal, through the narrow lens of a platypus-centralized story tells of the struggles, missteps and transformation of western science from franco/clerical to anglo-colonial/secular domination, and finally to the global excersise it has become today.It is fascinating that many of the greatest names in 18th and 19th century science (Cuvier, Meckel, Home, Geoffrey St-Hilaire, Owen, Darwin) all studied to some degree the anatomy and biology of the platypus!

The difficulties in studying the platypus are recreated in the pattern and pace of Moyal's prose.The overall progression of the book is temporal, but the chapters focus on the individuals and many of the chapters begin by backtracking in time to follow the story of another player in the story.This allows Moyal to explore each portion of the story she is telling as a series of mini-biographies, but requires diligence on the part of the reader to keep maintain an orderly timeline.

What was even more suprising is the size of the book, 15 chapters covering 205 pages (in an 5 in. X 8 in. format) with glossary (incomplete, but good for non-scientists), references, and index bringing the total to 226 pages.Out of the box my first impression was that is was too short.However, by the end of the book I felt satisfied that Moyal had adequetly, though not exhaustively, recounted the history of the study of the playpus and illuminated the position of this enigmatic creature as a focal point (one of many to be sure) of contention and controversy during a crucial period in the maturation of biological science.

3-0 out of 5 stars A mediocre book about an extraordinary animal
This book is the story of a fascinating creature and those who studied it. Unfortunately, it was a letdown; the author's style is wordy and repetitive and the book is inflated with paragraphs and even chapters that could and should have been deleted. The entire story could have easily been told more concisely in the form of a magazine article. But then, the author wouldn't have had a book, would she? I am starting to think that these writers, who otherwise don't have much to say, stuff their manuscripts with minimally related material so as to have as many pages as they can. Do they get paid by the number of pages they write, or what?

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
This book was an amazing story of how one small creature stumped a bunch of stuffy scientists. It really taught me about the platypus, and amused me at the same time. Kudos to the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful scholarly treatise.
Ann Moyal's portrait of the evolution of science with the Platypus as the centrefold was richly rewarding. The detail is a blessing as is the easy description of scientific terminology. I probably learnt as much about science as I did about the platypus. Complaints ? I don't read fiction so I love this stuff and it was too short. C'mon Ann, what's next ?***** ... Read more

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