Wild Down Under: The Natural History of Australia

Wild Down Under: The Natural History of Australia

by NeilNightingale (Author)


Australia is like no other place on earth. Isolated from the rest of world for a staggering 45 million years, this enormous island contains a breathtaking array of distinctive and bizarre species 90 per cent of its reptiles and 70 per cent of its birds are unique to Australia and where else can you find wombats and wallabies, kookaburras and koalas? There are mammals that can lay eggs, huge birds that cant fly, marsupials that can, and a greater concentration of deadly reptiles and venomous snakes than anywhere else. The landscape, too, looks remarkably different: this is the flattest and driest inhabited continent on earth, with some of the oldest rocks and dramatic, time-worn landscapes. The surrounding seas contain dazzlingly colourful reefs and are dotted with a fabulous string of islands, stretching from the equator to the sub-Antarctic to form the larger region known as Australasia. Wild Down Under reveals how this ancient land of contrasts was created and explores its unique landscapes and wildlife, and the impact of human settlement. Published to accompany a landmark six-part television programme, this lavishly illustrated book, with over 200 stunning full-colour photographs, celebrates the natural history of this spectacular continent.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: BBC Books
Published: 11 Sep 2003

ISBN 10: 0563488220
ISBN 13: 9780563488224

Author Bio
Neil Nightingale is Head of the BBC Natural History Unit and series producer of Wild Down Under. Since graduating in zoology from Oxford University he has made wildlife documentaries at the BBC for almost 20 years and has been executive producer of The Natural World, Wildlife Specials, Wild Africa and Wild New World. His interest in Australia began over 10 years ago when he produced two films and a book on the wildlife of New Guinea, and he has returned to the region ever since. Jeni Clevers is an Australian zoologist who studied at Melbourne University. The natural wonders of Australia are her passion and she joined the ABC Natural History Unit in 1993. She has produced several documentaries, including Survival on the Reef and Southern Exposure from the highly acclaimed series Australia: Eye of the Storm. Prior to working for the ABC she produced children's television, including the award-winning Search for the World's Most Secret Animals and Ocean Girl. Hugh Pearson completed degrees in both marine biology and science communication before joining the BBC Natural History Unit in 1994, where he has made documentaries for Wildlife On One, Big Cat Diary and Bill Oddie Goes Wild. Since learning to dive on the Great Barrier Reef almost 20 years ago Hugh has been an active scuba diver. He was a director on the highly acclaimed series The Blue Planet, before joining the Wild Down Under team to produce the Oceans programme. Mary Summerhill has worked in the BBC Natural History Unit for 15 years on a range of award-winning programmes, from the Really Wild Show and Natural Neighbours to Wildlife on One and The Natural World. Since making a film on fairy penguins, she has found that she enjoys filming in Australia and New Zealand more than anywhere else and is ever fascinated by the strange diversity of wildlife there.