Europe: A Natural History

Tim Flannery, with Luigi Boitani. Atlantic Monthly, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2916-1
Paleontologist Flannery (Atmosphere of Hope) pulls back the curtain on Europe’s past environments, while also giving a glimpse of its possible future, in this marvelous work. Flannery begins 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs still walked the Earth and Europe was a “tropical archipelago.” In this and each following section, Flannery introduces readers to the species that coexisted during a particular epoch, ranging from the very small to the very large and always including examples of the very strange, such as the “hell pigs” of the Oligocene period, between 33 million and 23 million years ago, or the Deinogalerix, the largest hedgehog to ever live, during the Miocene, between 23 million and five million years ago. Flannery also tracks the ebb and flow of less exotic species, such as relatives of bears, elephants, giraffes, and humans, and, throughout, shares a plethora of surprising facts, such as that “falcons and robins are more closely related to each other than are falcons and hawks.” In the final chapters, Flannery discusses the prospects for “rewilding” Europe—perhaps by importing once-native species, including lions and elephants. Beyond this book’s obvious appeal to conservation-minded Europeans, it should attract any reader interested in the past and future of the natural world. Agent: David Forrer and Kim Witherspoon, InkWell. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2018
Release date: 02/05/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-8021-4695-3
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-8021-4870-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-7997-1247-3
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