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A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials
by Christopher Dickman
illustrated by Rosemary Woodford Ganf
University of Chicago Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-226-14630-0
Library of Congress Classification QL737.M3D53 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 599.20994

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

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.


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