Super Species

Super Species

The Creatures That Will Dominate the Planet

Book - 2010
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A gripping examination of invasive species' impact.

Super species are the phenomenally successful invasive life-forms that are dominating ecosystems. These animals, plants and microbes have spread far from their native habitats, most often as a result of human activities.

The key to super species' success is their ability to adapt quickly. Super species may be unusually aggressive, difficult to kill, unfazed by the presence and activity of humans, capable of astonishingly rapid rates of growth and reproduction, exceptionally tolerant of pollution or, in many cases, all of the above!

Author Garry Hamilton profiles the 20 super species that are having the greatest impact in our world today, including:

Feral pigs-- relentless boars that are trampling across Europe, North America and Australia Bullfrogs -- predatory amphibians that are endangering native frog populations Jellyfish -- spineless wonders that are dominating the world's oceans C. difficile -- potentially deadly microbes that flourish in human intestines Brown tree snakes -- unusually vicious reptiles that have overrun Guam and are now infiltrating America Argentine ants -- aggressive insects capable of forming super-colonies spanning thousands of miles Humboldt squid -- gigantic beasts that hunt in packs of several hundreds

The author also examines the opposing views of top ecologists who are studying this global phenomenon. While some of these experts view invasive species as a threat to biodiversity that costs humans millions of dollars, others believe these creatures may simply be nature's way of restoring ecological vibrancy in the wake of human-mediated destruction.

Whether good or bad, the life-forms in Super Species are the current winners in nature's ruthless process of natural selection.

Publisher: Richmond Hill, ON : Firefly Books, 2010
ISBN: 9781554076307
Branch Call Number: 578.62 HAM
Characteristics: 271 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm

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dylankemp
Aug 23, 2013

This is an amazing book. Easy to read. Thought provoking and thorough. Reasonable and intelligent. It's an important work, and relevant to us all. And - it speaks of hope. It warns us not to mess with the balance, but explains we need to understand nature hates a vacuum, and provides new kinds of balance as we go. Its the most interesting book Ive read this year. Five stars.

j
johnsankey
Nov 03, 2012

This book is much more thoughtful than the alarmist cover implies. Hamilton chooses 20 organisms that have profited from human modification of our planet, that therefore are very visible to us, then shows that many are in fact increasing local biodiversity, rather than decreasing it as alarmists always claim.

I've professional knowledge of one of his species, the house sparrow, and Hamilton's presentation is spot on. House sparrow numbers, initially huge, crashed when horse power was replaced by diesel power, and are decreasing again in eastern North America following the spread of the formerly western house finch into our urban areas. I'm not aware of a single species that has even been threatened by the introduction of house sparrows, and I've looked, carefully.

This book can restore your hope for the future of life on our planet. It's well worth the time to read it.

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