Notes From New Zealand

Notes From New Zealand

A Book of Travel and Natural History

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
Recounts the author's three visits to New Zealand, and his efforts to view, alive and in the wild, the kiwi, the tuatara, and the rare native frogs

Blackwell North Amer
Unlike Australia, which is geologically stable, New Zealand is young and impetuous--ready to rumble at any moment. Temperate and green as the jade its original Maori inhabitants dug from the land, the country's modern cities and prosperous farms coexist today with striking land-forms and ancient beasts that are lifted, it seems, straight from the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World. It is New Zealand's natural history that attracts Edward Kanze, who, in the course of five years, made three eventful trips to these isolated lands in search of rare and elusive animals.
Shaped like two canoes, one behind the other, and holding a position in the Pacific due south of Fiji and two thousand miles south of the equator, New Zealand's two main islands combined are roughly the size of Colorado. A journey from the northern tip of North Island to the southern tip of South Island measures almost one thousand miles.
New Zealand drifted away from the neighboring continents so early on that it became a living museum of flightless birds, primitive frogs, and other ancient, less competitive forms of wildlife. For example, three of the four primitive frogs that retain tail-wagging muscles live in New Zealand; the fourth lives in northwestern North America. The present distribution of these amphibians is among the most convincing pieces of evidence supporting the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift. The frogs are so ancient in origin that they date to a time--hundreds of millions of years ago--when much of the world's dry land was fused into a single supercontinent.
In his narrative, which takes the form of a journal, Mr. Kanze recounts his experiences as he traveled throughout the islands, exploring and studying New Zealand's native flora and fauna, especially its relic species, and pursuing his own, personal quest. At the end of his last trip, when the author holds one of the rare frogs in his hands and gazes into its eyes, he understands something of the pattern that binds all of earth's creatures, past and present.

Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 1992
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805019902
Characteristics: xv, 236 p. : maps ; 22 cm


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