The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Quammen
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is a trophic cascade?

2. Who does Quammen say typically collected insects?

3. What does Quammen say makes his field important?

4. When did Krakatau erupt?

5. How does Quammen say islands are sometimes formed?

Short Essay Questions

1. What examples does Quammen use of dispersal ability?

2. What does Quammen say about the overall pattern of the Persian rug?

3. Describe the process by which scientists generate policies for managing ecosystems.

4. List the attributes that govern the survivability of individual species in island ecosystems.

5. What is the difference between an isolate and a sample, according to Quammen?

6. What examples does Quammen cite of species changing size on islands?

7. Describe Quammen's tone in the first chapter.

8. How did David Wallace make his start as a biologist, in Quammen's narrative?

9. What was MacArthur and Wilson's contribution to island biogeography?

10. What is the governing metaphor in the opening chapter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is Quammen consistent from the beginning of 'The Song of the Dodo' to the end? What expectations does he establish in the beginning? Does he fulfill them, over the course of the book? Does he abandon or sidestep the question of conservation in his discussion of methods of analysis and study?

Essay Topic 2

Write a character sketch of the author based on his style and content. What values does he hold dear? What are his hopes and fears? What kind of person do you think he is? Anchor your sketch in passages in the book.

Essay Topic 3

Evaluate your own reading of 'The Song of the Dodo'--did you resist it, or were you compelled by the story? What does your reading tell you about yourself and your interests? Use specific examples from the book to describe yourself as a reader.

(see the answer keys)

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