The Australian Ark: A History of Domesticated Animals in Australia

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  • Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Log In Sign Up. Danielle Clode. Providing a detailed history with the beasts that support us, so for anyone with an of the animals that dominate our rural industries, The interest in either subject, this book would make a Australian Ark also provides an unusual perspective on valuable addition to their library.

    This book will no doubt become a valuable University of Melbourne, Parkville reference and offer an interesting insight into an impor- Victoria , Australia tant component of Australian history Far from a simple transplantation of European animals to Australia, Parsonson paints a far more exotic history of domestic animal movement across Australian Ants:Their Biology and Identification the globe.

    Similarly, there is the suggestion that the Few, if any, terrestrial ecologists working in Australia Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle may contain fail to encounter ants at some stage during their empir- traces of the original African Bantu cattle of the ical endeavours. The problem is that identification keys have not thoroughly documented in the chapters on cattle and been very accessible to the non-specialist and, worse, sheep diseases , the ease with which this herd estab- it often turns out that the ant in question has not been lished itself in a foreign land was surely an omen of formally described.

    Australian colonial history — through the eyes of our However, this excellent book will be very helpful to companion colonizers. While providing some infor- those wanting to place their ant in the correct genus.

    The definitive work on the introduction of domestic animals to Australia.

    But what makes Australian Ants so valuable and Initially, I was disappointed to find most of the book novel is the compendium of biological information restricted to cattle and sheep, but since these species about the hundred or so genera that occur on main- played a critical role in the early colonies, this per- land Australia, Tasmania and nearby islands. For each spective offers a ringside seat to many familiar and genus, Shattuck provides a description of the charac- unfamiliar historical events.

    Indeed a stronger his- ters used to separate the genus from other, similar torical framework may have been beneficial for the genera: electron micrographs; distribution maps; a list reader. A number of interesting distribu- founding. But for those of us who recollect Macarthur tional patterns emerge from this list.

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    The Australian Ark, Ian Parsonson,

    Like most rather vaguely from an image of a man and a sheep on regions of the world, the greatest diversity of ant a two-dollar note, more historical background would genera in Australia are found in the moist, forested have helped. A stronger structure and editorial focus coastal regions, with relatively few genera penetrating might also have assisted in ironing out the sense of the arid zones. However, the pattern reverses at the repetition that plagues this book. The result is that the arid are likely to whet a curious appetite, but those wishing regions have the highest species richness.

    This con- to gain more information will have to cross-reference trasts with the rest of the world, in which the tropical with heavier tomes because only a few references are regions are typically the most speciose. Shattuck provides other gems of information about Ants are found everywhere in Australia, often but the biology of Australian ants.

    The Australian ark : a history of domesticated animals in Australia

    Interspecific variation not always in great numbers. This considerable abun- in the behaviour and ecology of the ants of Australia, dance, together with their range of foraging behav- like elsewhere in the world, is remarkable. Some iours and diversity of interspecific associations, makes species, like those of the relatively primitive genus them one of the most important groups of terrestrial Myrmecia, have solitary workers that typically forage animals in the continent. Yet they attract relatively less on live prey.

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