Europe: A Natural History

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Atlantic Monthly Press, Feb 12, 2019 - Nature - 288 pages
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A tale of cave bears and comet strikes and a hundred million years of history by the bestselling author of Here on Earth: “Marvelous.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In Europe: A Natural History, world-renowned scientist, explorer, and conservationist Tim Flannery applies the eloquent interdisciplinary approach he used in his ecological histories of Australia and North America to the story of Europe. He begins 100 million years ago, when the continents of Asia, North America, and Africa interacted to create an island archipelago that would later become the Europe we know today. It was on these ancient tropical lands that the first distinctly European organisms evolved. Flannery teaches us about Europe’s midwife toad, which has endured since the continent’s beginning, while elephants, crocodiles, and giant sharks have come and gone. He explores the monumental changes wrought by the devastating comet strike and shows how rapid atmospheric shifts transformed the European archipelago into a single landmass during the Eocene.

As the story moves through millions of years of evolutionary history, Flannery eventually turns to our own species, describing the immense impact humans had on the continent’s flora and fauna—within 30,000 years of our arrival in Europe, the woolly rhino, the cave bear, and the giant elk, among others, would disappear completely. The story continues right up to the present, as Flannery describes Europe’s leading role in wildlife restoration, and then looks ahead to ponder the continent’s future: with advancements in gene editing technology, European scientists are working to recreate some of the continent’s lost creatures, such as the great ox of Europe’s primeval forests and even the woolly mammoth.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ma_Washigeri - LibraryThing

Easy and entertaining read and lots of interesting stuff. I hadn't heard the name for the european bison - wisent - before but I won't forget it now. I'm still struggling to grasp the different sweeps ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dreesie - LibraryThing

I was so excited to read this. A natural history of Europe! Also that cover, it's gorgeous! And then I received a digital ARC. Please note: this means no maps (a couple were mentioned to come), no ... Read full review


10034 Million Years
Destination Europe
Hategs First Explorer
Dwarfish Degenerate Dinosaurs
Islands at the Crossroads of the World
Origins and Ancient Europeans
The Midwife Toad
Other Temperate Giants
Ice Beasts
What the Ancestors Drew
HUMAN EUROPE 38000 Years Ago to the Future
The Balance Tips
The Domesticators
From the Horse to Roman Failure
Emptying the Islands

The Great Catastrophe
A PostApocalyptic World
New Dawn New Invasions
Messela Window into the Past
The European Great Coral Reef
Cats Birds and Olms
Europes Extraordinary Apes
The Messinian Salinity Crisis
The PleistoceneGateway to the Modern World
HybridsEurope the Mother of Metissage
The Cultural Revolution
Of Assemblages and Elephants
The Calm and the Storm
Europes Global Expansion
New Europeans
Animals of Empire
Europes Bewolfing
Europes Silent Spring
Recreating Giants

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About the author (2019)

Tim Flannery is a scientist, explorer, and conservationist. He has published more than 130 scientific papers and several books, including the #1 international bestseller The Weather Makers, Throwim Way Leg, Here on Earth, and Among the Islands. He was named Australian of the Year in 2007, and from 2001 to 2013, he was Australia’s Climate Commissioner.

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