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"Tthe platypus looks bizarre: its duck's beak, webbed feet, fur, swimming skills, secretive lifestyle and egg-laying talents combine to make the Australian mammal an object of fascination for would-be observers around the globe. Yet few of the monotreme's admirers have seen one in the wild; fewer still know the key roles platypuses have played in theories of evolution and in European concepts of Aussie life. Moyal a historian of science based in Canberra, sets out to tell us all this and more in a cleanly written tome combining scientific curiosities with narrative history. Naturalists from Napoleonic France visited New Holland (Australia) in 1801, carrying wombats, emus and a platypus back to Paris, where astonished Europeans had trouble believing their eyes. Early 19th-century thinkers tried to arrange all the creatures they knew into a "Chain of Being," reflecting divine creation. The egg-laying, warm-blooded platypus and echidna (and their distant cousins, the marsupials) confounded all existing models, and hence sparked intense debate: did these critters really lay eggs? Readers who care about Darwin and his successors, and readers who simply dig exotic animals, should enjoy Moyal's work: folks who belong in both categories won't be able to put it down."
- Publishers Weekly (US)

Very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2002.

226 pages.

Photographs and other illustrations throughout.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston ?North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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