Rocky, fragile, beautiful, strange―the Galápagos archipelago is unlike any other place on earth. Its geology, its unique flora and fauna, and its striking role in human history intersect in surprising and dynamic ways. This book is the most wide-ranging and beautifully illustrated book available on the famous islands. Not since Darwin’s Naturalist’s Voyage has a book combined so much scientific and historic information with firsthand accounts that bring the Galápagos to life.
Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World describes how tragedy and murderous pirates curtailed settlement of the islands and how the islands’ pristine nature, spectacular geology, and defining isolation inspired Darwin’s ideas about evolution. The book explores the diverse land and marine habitats that shelter Galápagos species and considers the islands’ importance today as a frontier for science and a refuge for true wilderness.
The book’s extensive gazetteer provides details about endemic plants and animals as well as travel advice about visitors’ sites, diving, photography, when to go, and what to take. Vividly illustrated throughout, this guide is an indispensable reference for natural history enthusiasts, armchair travelers, and island visitors alike.
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Paul D. Stewart has published extensively in leading science and conservation journals. He has produced and filmed many award-winning documentaries for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Godfrey Merlen, a thirty-year resident of the Galápagos, works with the National Park Service and is director of the Wildaid Foundation. Patrick Morris is an award-winning wildlife documentary maker and the series producer of Galápagos. Andrew Murray is producer of the second episode of the Galápagos series and works with the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Joe Stevens works for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Richard Wollocombe, one of the first dive guides in the Galápagos, is a naturalist guide and filmmaker in South America.Review:
"This group of volcanic islands lying along the equator in the Pacific Ocean are famous for their rare species of fauna and flora. Stewart and five coauthors first decide the geological journey that sets each island's lifespan from volcanic birth to death and burial. Then they narrate what they label 'the human history of the Galapagos' and explain how Charles Darwin revealed the islands as a land of riches and triggered a revolution of scientific thought. . . . A special treat of a book."—Booklist "Want to visit the Galapagos Island, but haven't managed it yet? This book, with its beautiful pictures and interesting text, will either make you think you've been there or make you arrange your plane tickets."—Ecology
"I have been to the Galapagos and as I read this book I found myself 'walking the paths' again. Stewart offers an enjoyable and complete overview of the islands."—Noble Proctor, author of A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife "The definitive single volume on the Galapagos that ecotourists and readers from all walks of life have been awaiting."—Margaret Lowman, author of Life in the Treetops and co-author of It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops "To anyone contemplating a visit to Las Encantadas (Galapagos), the Gazetteer alone is worth the price of this book. Paul Stewart's Galapagos will be my treasured companion on my next visit, and I shall take along an extra copy to present to the boat's library. If you are not able to go in person, reading this book and savouring its pictures is, if not a substitute, a delight to be going on with."—Richard Dawkins (from the foreword)
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