Read The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter by Richard Girling Online

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This story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded. The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964. It is mentioned in a number of textbooks, but the sole evidence for its existence is a tiny fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet. Intrigued by this elusive creature, and what it can tell us about extinction and survival, Richard GirThis story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded. The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964. It is mentioned in a number of textbooks, but the sole evidence for its existence is a tiny fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet. Intrigued by this elusive creature, and what it can tell us about extinction and survival, Richard Girling embarks on a hunt to find the animal and its discoverer - an Italian professor who he thinks might still be alive...Richard's journey comes at a time when one species - our own - is having to reconsider its relationship with every other. It is also a quest for knowledge. He delves into the history of exploration and the tall tales of the great hunters, explores the science of collecting and naming specimens, traces the development of the conservation movement and addresses the central issues of extinction and biodiversity. The Hunt for the Golden Mole is an engaging story which illustrates the importance of every living creature, no matter how small, strange or rare. It is a thoughtful, shocking, inspiring and important book....

Title : The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780701187156
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter Reviews

  • Penny
    2018-10-16 11:29

    4.5Imagine a work colleague asking you what you were going to do for your summer holidays and you replied that you were off to Africa to shoot a few elephants, tigers and possible even a rhino. Ridiculous and appalling of course – but it wasn’t long ago that holiday snaps would feature ‘hunters’ standing proudly next to their kill.And not long ago that giraffes were shot purely because their tails made good fly swishes.I wouldn’t classify myself as particularly animal loving but to read about the hundreds of species that are hurtling towards extinction is truly shocking. Of course the public get behind campaigns to save the iconic (and usually large) creatures such as elephants and whales. But Girling argues that everything, from the tiniest shrew or insect, is equally as important.His book starts off with a mission to find out more about the Somali Golden Mole. This creature’s very existence is to be found purely down to a fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet!Girling is a wonderful story teller, with a passionate belief in the importance of every living thing, however big or small. His voice remains steady until we reach the chapter on ivory, a chapter that made me want to weep. He apologises at the end – “I’m afraid that my voice in this chapter may have become somewhat shrill”. This book made a huge impact on me. I finish some books and instantly forget them as I move onto the next. But this one will stay with me.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2018-10-15 10:47

    From Victorian animal collecting to present-day poaching, Girling surveys the contradictory human instincts toward exploitation and preservation of mammals. The book is rather scattered, with too little about the actual quest for the mole, but the message about species extinction is powerful. (The Somali golden mole has never been seen in the wild, except as a few bones in an owl pellet found by an Italian zoologist in 1964. For some reason, it captured Girling’s imagination, becoming a symbol of rarity and fragility.)See my full review at The Bookbag.(I would recommend The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert and A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson over this one.)

  • A.C.
    2018-10-22 18:30

    Picked this up at the library without ever having heard of it. The novel concerns the author's search for the rare golden mole, which has never been observed, but parts of which had been previously found in an owl pellet. More than that however, the book concerns itself with the history of hunting, issues of biodiversity and humanity's challenging relationship with animals. I found the information interesting, and it did give me pause to think about the need to biodiversity in general. This book read very much like an extended magazine article, which makes sense because the author is a journalist.

  • jzthompson
    2018-11-07 13:42

    Like a lot of books hung on a 'hook' - in this case the author's 'search' for a species of mole only known from a couple of bits of bone in an owl pellet - there is a vague sense here that the thing isn't quite a cohesive whole, nor a collection of linked essays. There are some splendid gems, like the beeswax eating bird whose stomach enzymes break down tuberculosis, but sadly what will linger is the 'howl of despair' against a world in which species are being wiped out by mankind's seething stupidity.

  • Edward Sullivan
    2018-11-14 17:27

    Girling’s description of his search for bones of the Somali golden mole, bones that were found only once in an owl pellet in 1964, makes for a powerful metaphor but his frequent, lengthy digressions about extinct and endangered species are far more interesting and compelling. A thoughtful and provocative elegy to living things.

  • Walt
    2018-11-14 10:38

    While this book makes some very good points, I was really hoping for something that focused more on living golden moles and other animals, rather than the history of killing animals for science. However, books that bring awareness to little-known animals such as golden moles are generally helpful in their conservation, so I would still recommend this.

  • Jessica
    2018-10-29 12:48

    I really enjoyed the author's writing style, it felt like I was along for the ride down a rabbit hole. He provided a fascinating history of "collecting" specimens for research and taxonomy and managed to condense a pretty expansive way of thinking about endangered species (particularly mammals).

  • Jodi
    2018-10-15 18:30

    I really liked this book. I loved Richard's historical look at how "naturalists" perceived the natural world around them and how they interacted with it. Ack! If anyone acted that way today they would be denounced at the minimum. Didn't finish the book. Didn't seem like I needed to...

  • Ken
    2018-10-29 15:51

    Much more than just the search for an obscure species. The author covers natural history museum development, zoo and animal collecting history, conservation efforts/philosophy/examples, the desperate plight of elephants and rhinos, and a lot of his own personal experiences.

  • Robin Umbley
    2018-10-15 18:48

    There needs to be a sixth star option. Excellent on so many counts. Review to follow.

  • Sarah Sattin
    2018-11-09 16:37

    Excellent book, though at times I got bogged down in details and had to reread pages at a time. But this is a great book about knowing our world and saving it.

  • Mark Mulvey
    2018-10-15 18:47

    It's interesting in pockets, but not as a whole. And not very often.