A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials by Christopher Dickman and Rosemary Woodford Ganf (illustrator)
Synopsis: Marsupials are nearly synonymous with Australia. Although one of these enigmatic pouched mammals—the opossum—inhabits the United States and another 80 or so thrive in South America, some 220 species are confined to the Australasian region. In Australia, marsupials are the most diverse and dominant indigenous species, from the wallaby and the wombat to the kangaroo and koala.
The extraordinary story of these fascinating animals, A Fragile Balance provides the most up-to-date information on marsupials without losing sight of the unique set of circumstances that led them to prevalence Down Under. Covering all marsupial species in Australia, the book uses an evolutionary framework to interpret the marsupial’s biological traits. Each species account includes a basic biological description, a range map, and a measure of conservation status. The accounts are bounded by general chapters on biology, natural history, cultural history, and conservation. A Fragile Balance is the first book to emphasize interactions between and among marsupials, as well as between humans and marsupials.
Combining the expertise of renowned biologist Christopher Dickman with the artistic talents of illustrator Rosemary Woodford Ganf, A Fragile Balance will be a much celebrated reference for mammalogists worldwide, as well as for readers interested in Australian natural and cultural history.
Published: 2007 | ISBN-13: 978-0226146300
Mini-bio: Chris Dickman is Professor in Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Sydney, and author of the popular book “A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials” (2007), which won the Whitley Medal for advancing zoological knowledge in 2008. He has been studying the natural history of the Desert Channels area for 20 years, and has published extensively on this.
A Fragile Balance is an excellent example of natural history illustrations in action. The painstakingly rendered illustrations, by Rosemary Woodford Ganf, depicts each species of marsupial with diagnostic clarity and without distractions or distortions that can arise with photography. The illustrations support Zoologist Christopher Dickman’s accessible and informative story on the biology, historical, cultural and ecological value of Australia’s unique marsupials. – From 10 Great Books on Science Illustration
Sydney Morning Herald Book Review
Danny Reviews Book Review
CSIRO Publishing Book Review [pdf]
[Image Credit: http://tmm.chicagodistributioncenter.com/IsbnImages/9780226146300.jpg ]