Out of Eden

Out of Eden

An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion

Book - 2005
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Baker & Taylor
In this search for both scientific answers and ecological authenticity, the author tours the front lines of ecological invasion in the company of world-class scientists to explore the disparity between what is nature and what is natural.

McMillan Palgrave
A stunning work of narrative nonfiction that asks: what is natural?

Now as never before, exotic animals and plants are crossing the globe, borne on the swelling tide of human traffic to places where nature never intended them to be. Bird-eating snakes from Australia hitchhike to Hawaii in the landing gear of airliners; disruptive European zebra mussels, riding in ships' ballast water, are infiltrating aquatic ecosystems across the United States; parasitic flies from the U.S. prey on Darwin's finches in the Galapagos. Predatory American jellyfish in Russia; toxic Japanese plankton in Australia; Burmese pythons in the Everglades-biologists refer fearfully to "the homogenization of the world" as alien species jump from place to place and increasingly crowd native and endangered species out of existence. Never mind bulldozers and pesticides: the fastest-growing threat to biological diversity may be nature itself.

Out of Eden is a journey through this strange and shifting landscape. The author tours the front lines of ecological invasion--in Hawaii, Tasmania, Guam, San Francisco; in lush rainforests, through underground lava tubes, on the deck of an Alaska-bound oil tanker--in the company of world-class scientists. Wry and reflective, animated and richly reported, Out of Eden is a search both for scientific answers and for ecological authenticity.


Blackwell North Amer
Now as never before, exotic animals and plants are crossing the globe, borne on the swelling tide of human traffic to places where nature never intended them to be. Bird-eating snakes hitchhike to Hawaii in the landing gear of airliners; pernicious European zebra mussels, riding in ships' ballast water, disrupt aquatic ecosystems across the United States; feral camels plague Australia, as do poisonous foreign toads; giant Indonesian pythons lurk beneath homes in suburban Miami. As alien species jump from place to place and increasingly crowd native and endangered species out of existence, biologists speak fearfully of "the homogenization of the world." The fastest-growing threat to biological diversity, they contend, may be nature itself.
Out of Eden is a personal journey through this strange and shifting landscape. Alan Burdick routs the front lines of ecological invasion: in Hawaii, Tasmania, Guam, San Francisco; in lush rain forests, through underground lava tubes, aboard an Alaska-bound oil tanker, inside a spacecraft-assembly facility at NASA. He follows world-class scientists - invasion biologists, "mix-o-ecologist" - and a global cast of alien species to ask: What exactly is nature? What in natural?

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374219734
0374219737
Characteristics: 324 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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