Koala: A Historical Biography

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Csiro Publishing, 2008 - Nature - 246 pages
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This work embraces the story of the koala in Australian history of science and society. It examines the animal‚__s long seclusion from discovery (1803); its slow penetration of the European classificatory system and the part played by British and European experts; its emergence, description and depiction in Australia, the important marriage of science and art; the role of the Aborigines; koala destruction through settlement and hunting in the 19th century and its rise as a national identity around Federation.

In the 20th century, the focus shifts to the koala in Australian literature; the advent of the nature park, zoos, transportation, resettlement, and protection by key individuals and organizations; koala as cartoon and political favorite; the surprisingly slow growth of research on the animal‚__s biology and the dynamic change in knowledge from the 1990s. The book is studded with key scientific figures and some excellent, widely sourced, pictorial material.

The book‚__s distinctive character attaches to Moyal‚__s reputation as a historian of science in blending scientific scholarship with an engaging and widely accessible historical narrative.
 

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Contents

1 The land that waited
1
2 Science and art
15
3 Putting the animals on the map
31
4 The upsidedown world
51
5 The indigenous people
71
6 Field and metropolis
87
7 Fire fur and guns
113
8 The literary koala
131
10 The new protectors
155
11 Being and doing
179
12 The survivor?
195
Up close and personal
213
Select bibliography
223
Illustrations
235
Index
239
Copyright

9 Colin MacKenzie and the amazingkoala shoulder
145

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