Mammals of the Pacific World

Mammals of the Pacific World

Mammals of the Pacific World

Mammals of the Pacific World

Excerpt

Since the beginning of the Japanese war relatively enormous numbers of men and some women who never before dreamed of visiting the islands of the Pacific and the East Indies have found themselves transported thither. Everything about them there is new and strange. Not only do the various natives look and behave differently, but even the locally commonplace garden plants, useful woods, birds, animals, and insects look, sound, and act differently from the familiar kinds at home. This book, designed to introduce the mammals of this vast area to the new- comer, has been written as one of the parts of a series of handbooks on the Pacific, in course of preparation.

The animals are described as concisely as possible under their respective classes. Technical words have been generally avoided; in some cases the use of such words serves to prevent frequent repetition of explanatory clauses. The meanings of those words are defined in a short glossary placed before the geographical index.

So many geographical names have been given when indicating the places where animals are found that a map has been included to assist the reader to locate such names.

A discussion of the ancient history of the region from the standpoint of animal development and movement--how animals reached islands from their continental homes, how they survived after arrival, and the character of the evidence for such histories--is provided with the hope that interest in the subject may be aroused.

A few words are offered on each of the seemingly but not really contradictory subjects of conserving native animals and collecting specimens of them for scientific study.

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