The Rise and Fall of Earth’s Most Dominant Species
Today, an ancient world is vanishing right before our eyes: the age of giant animals. Over 40,000 years ago, the earth was ruled by megafauna: mammoths and mastodons, saber-toothed tigers and giant sloths. Of course, those creatures no longer exist, and there is only one likely reason for that: the evolution and arrival of the earth’s only tool-wielding hunter, the wildly adaptive, comparatively pint-sized human species. Many more of the world’s biggest and baddest creatures—including the black rhino, the dodo, giant tortoises, and the great auk—have vanished since our world became truly global.
Last of the Giants chronicles those giant animals and apex predators who were pushed to extinction in the modern era.At the same time, the book also highlights those giant species that remain—even though many barely survive, living in such low numbers that they are on the brink of leaving this world within the next few decades. The continuing loss of these spectacular animals is troubling and tragic, for it leaves us inhabiting a smaller, much more impoverished world. However, the book also includes a hopeful note throughout, for many endangered species can still be saved. As it profiles each extinct and endangered animal, Last of the Giants also focuses on the conservation efforts that are trying to preserve the world’s remaining charismatic species before they are lost forever.
“These timely, important, and fascinating stories will encourage readers to save all life, no matter its size.”—Booklist, starred review
“[Campbell’s] explorations of these annihilated species are complex and perceptive and go beyond the usual worn conclusion of human-wrought woe. . . Required reading for the budding naturalist and a good pairing for a STEM or history curriculum too.”—School Library Journal, starred Review