A Natural History of Australia

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Academic Press, 1998 - Nature - 304 pages
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A Natural History of Australia takes a comprehensive look at the sometimes bizarre, oftentimes spectacular, and always fascinating natural history of the island continent. It describes in words, illustrations, tables and charts, and with some truly inspiring photographs Australia's geography and geology, its Aboriginal people, the Great Barrier Reef, and its fauna and flora. It also deals with the country's colorful history, its laidback lifestyle and the quirky and entertaining brand of English that Australians speak. A Natural History of Australia is a serious but accessible book that describes how isolation and aridity have shaped Australia's fauna and flora. The book explains the principles of Australia's biogeography and the complexity of its Great Barrier Reef. It compares the reproductive system of Australia's unique monotremes (egg-laying mammals) with those of its well-known marsupials and with placental mammals, and it reviews the latest discoveries in paleoanthropology.

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Contents

y The Gondwana Legacy
38
J The First Australians
52
The Plants
68
Copyright

16 other sections not shown

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About the author (1998)

An educator, zoologist, and author, Tim Martin Berra was born in 1943, earned a B.S. from St. Louis University in 1965, an M.S. in 1967 from Tulane University, and a Ph.D., also from Tulane, in 1969. Berra's career has been influenced by the writings of American naturalist and explorer William Beebe. His first book was the compilation, William Beebe: An Annotated Bibliography, published in 1977. Berra's next book, An Atlas of Distribution of the Freshwater Fish Families of the World, is a significant contribution to the field of zoogeography, the study of the geographic distribution of animals. His most important contribution so far has been the controversial Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolution Debate. Berra obtained a Fulbright Fellowship in 1969 and again in 1979 that allowed extensive travel in Australia and provided the background for his editorship of the lavishly illustrated, A Natural History of Australia, published in 1998. Berra has been a senior tutor at the University of Papua New Guinea, a research associate at Western Australian Museum, and a visiting professor at the University of Concepcion in Chile and the University of Otago in New Zealand. A member of the zoology faculty at Ohio State University since 1972, Berra is Professor Emeritus at the Mansfield campus. Berra resides in Bellville, Ohio.

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