Vanished and Vanishing Creatures
by Robert Silverberg
There were lots of details in here I never knew before about the fate of passenger pigeons. Descriptions of unfamiliar animals (takahe and moho birds of Hawaii) sent me to the internet numerous times to learn more about them. Did you know that there used to be nine distinct species of moa, ranging in size from the giants twelve feet tall (all I knew of before this book) to the size of the kiwi (only one left extant)? or that dodos were related to pigeons? Mostly I was baffled by the reactions of people in the 1800's when they realized an animal was on the verge of extinction- not a rush to try and save it, but to obtain a specimen for their museum, or just to have the honor of shooting one. Who takes pride in being the person who killed one of the last of a kind? It makes me angry to think of.
Funny, the cover I found to show (my edition has a pretty drab one) has the words of the title in a different order.
Rating: 3/5 246 pages, 1967