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Have you ever wondered why New Zealand's plants and animals are so different from those in other countries? Why the kakapo is the only parrot in the world that cannot fly, or why the kiwi lives here and nowhere else? New Zealand is an extraordinary place, unique on Earth, and the remarkable story of how and why life evolved here is the subject of Ghosts of Gondwana. The science that traces the history of life on Earth is called historical biogeography and it is the theme of this book. Biogeography is a wide-ranging study, involving geology, genetics and biology. There are no departments of it and no professors, but to understand 'what lives where and why' it is necessary to probe the cutting edge of fields as disparate as continental drift and the inner secrets of the magic DNA molecule. Although we are blessed in New Zealand with many descriptive books about our birds, plants, landscapes and conservation issues, there is currently no up-to-datebook that explains the origin of our life.

Ghosts of Gondwana is a highly readable and engaging book. Heavily illustrated with photographs and diagrams, this is popular science writing at its best. As the only contemporary book on this subject, it will undoubtedly become essential reading for anyone interested in New Zealand's natural history. ex libraries condition

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  • Seller location: Hibiscus Coast, Auckland, NZ

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