Dawson, Lyndall

This book tells the story of fossil bones of giant animals found in caves, lake beds and riverbanks across Australia.  These bones fascinated ‘natural philosophers’ of the past and continue to stimulate intense scientific debate today. Inevitably, it is a story of extinctions, first of a vibrant rainforest fauna that existed 10 million years ago, then of the more recent demise of the megafauna, the giant herbivores and carnivores that roamed this land during the Pleistocene era. For the first time this book brings together 200 years of fiery debate and research seeking the cause of those extinctions. It tells of how 20 million years of changing climates and then arrival of Aboriginal people impacted on ecosystems in Australia, the ‘different’ continent. Past and current research is explained with as little technical language as possible and brought to life with anecdotes and stories. Change is, and always has been, part of nature. We humans are now the cause of unusually rapid environmental change. The insight gained from deep time provides a framework for the thinking and action of people who care for, appreciate and enjoy the Australian natural environment.

In stock


Author, April 2020.  165 pages, paperback