Africa is home to an amazing array of animals, including the world’s most diverse assortment of large mammals. These include the world’s largest terrestrial mammal, the African elephant, which still roams great swathes of the continent alongside a host of hooved mammals such as hippopotamuses, giraffes, rhinoceroses, and zebras. African Ark: Mammals, Landscape and the Ecology of a Continent tells the story of where these mammals have come from and how they have interacted to create the richly varied landscape that makes up Africa as we know it today. It also highlights small mammals, such as rodents and bats, which are often overlooked by both naturalists and zoologists in favour of their larger cousins. African Ark explains the processes through which species and population groups are formed and how these fluctuate over time. It explores the impact of megafauna on the environment and the important roles they play in shaping the landscape. In this way, mammals such as elephants and rhinoceros support countless plant communities and the habitats of many smaller animals. The book brings in a human perspective as well as a conservation angle in its assessment of the interaction of African mammals with the people who live alongside them. African Ark is at once scientifically rigorous – drawing on the contributions of numerous zoologists, ecologists and conservationists – and an engaging read for anyone dedicated to the understanding of Africa and its wildlife.
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