Pick up virtually any textbook on vertebrate evolution and you will find mention of the curious reptile known as tuatara (Sphenodon). The special evolutionary status of tuatara as the last of the rhynchocephalians - one of the four orders of living reptiles - is unquestioned. Wild members of the sole living species are now restricted to a few dozen remote islands around the New Zealand coast, where for several centuries they have been observed and studied by humans. But are tuatara really unchanged 'living fossils', or close relatives of dinosaurs, as sometimes portrayed?

This is the first detailed monograph for decades about this enigmatic reptile, and the first to be illustrated in colour throughout. The evolution, natural history and conservation of tuatara are covered in comprehensive detail, providing a valuable resource for the specialist yet in a style accessible to a wide readership. The special place of tuatara in Maori and popular culture is also considered. Tuatara have survived alongside humans for more than 700 years, though with their numbers much reduced; what are their future prospects in a globally changing world?
$89.99
Explorer Jules-Sebastien-Cesar Dumont d'Urville (1790-1842) is sometimes called France's Captain Cook. Born less than a year after the beginning of the French Revolution, he lived through turbulent times. He was an erudite polymath: a maritime explorer fascinated by botany, entomology, ethnography and the diverse languages of the world. As a young ensign he was decorated for his pivotal part in France's acquisition of the famous Venus de Milo.

D'Urville's voyages and writings meshed with an emergent French colonial impulse in the Pacific. In this magnificent biography Edward Duyker reveals that d'Urville had secret orders to search for the site for a potential French penal colony in Australia. He also effectively helped to precipitate pre-emptive British settlement on several parts of the Australian coast. D'Urville visited New Zealand in 1824, 1827 and 1840. This wide-ranging survey examines his scientific contribution, including the plants and animals he collected, and his conceptualisation of the peoples of the Pacific: it was he who first coined the terms Melanesia and Micronesia.

D'Urville helped to confirm the fate of the missing French explorer Laperouse, took Charles X into exile after the Revolution of 1830, and crowned his navigational achievements with two pioneering Antarctic descents.

Edward Duyker has used primary documents that have long been overlooked by other historians. He dispels many myths and errors about this daring explorer of the age of sail and offers his readers grand adventure and surprising drama and pathos.
$70.00
White Ghosts, Yellow Peril is the first book ever to explore all sides of the relationship between China and New Zealand, and the peoples of China and New Zealand, during the whole of the seven or so generations after they initially came into contact.

The Qing Empire and its successor states from 1790 to 1950 were vast, complex and torn by conflict. New Zealand, meanwhile, grew into a small, prosperous, orderly province of Europe. Not until now has anyone told the story of the links and tensions between the two countries during those years so broadly and so thoroughly.

The reader keen to know about this relationship will find in this book a highly readable portrait of the lives, thoughts and feelings of Chinese who came to New Zealand and New Zealanders who went to China, along with a scholarly but stimulating discussion of race relations, government, diplomacy, war, literature and the arts.

White Ghosts, Yellow Peril for some years to come will be the key general text in the field of the early history of New Zealand and China.
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