No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis

4 stars

Genres: non-fiction, science

Format: ebook

448 pages

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Published in August 10th 2004 more details…

ISBN: 1453271155

ISBN13: 9781453271155

Where to Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

View on Goodreads


Note: I received this copy via Netgalley



A noted naturalist’s fascinating inquiry into the life and death of animal species Just about every species that has ever lived on earth is extinct. The trilobites, which dominated the ocean floors for 300 million years, are gone. The last of the dinosaurs was wiped out by a Mount Everest-sized meteorite that slammed into the earth 65 million years ago. The great flying reptiles are gone, and so are the marine reptiles, some of them larger than a humpback whale. Before humans crossed the Bering land bridge some 15,000 years ago, North America was populated by mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and cave bears. They too are MIA. Passenger pigeons once flew over North America in flocks that numbered in the billions; the last one died in 1914.

In this book you will meet creatures that were driven to extinction even more recently, as well as some that were brought back from the brink. You will even encounter animals not known to exist until recently — an antidote to extinction.


My Review:

Ellis looks at the various factors that have contributed and still are to the extinction or the species being threatened.  The majority of this book deals with extinction that has occurred in the past and what might transpire (or inevitably will at the rate we are going) in the future.  Ellis is able to masterfully bring science to the everyday individual.  While some parts are still dry Ellis mixes in a variety of interesting anecdotes and facts from modern things.


One of the key points people should take from this book is just how much of an impact humans have had on bringing forth the extinction of species and moving the process along.


About the Author:

Richard Ellis is one of America’s leading marine conservationists, and is generally recognized as the foremost painter of marine natural history subjects in the world. His paintings of whales have appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife, Australian Geographic, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and numerous other national and interna­tional publications.


Video featuring the author:




~ by wolfangel87 on October 24, 2012.

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