Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary.
by [paperboy press] Shawn Wilder Sheehy.
Chicago:: paperboy press,, 2007.. Edition of 15. 7.75 x 10.25 x 2.25"; 20 pages. Constructed of handmade cotton/abaca paper, book board, Arches watercolor board, and linen thread. Type set digitally in Joanna. Letterpress printed from polymer plates. Quarter leather paper-covered boards. Shawn Sheehy, colophon: "In his book The Sixth Extinction, Richard Leakey describes five major catastrophes in Earths history that led to significant extinctions—the last of which was the meteor impact that eliminated the dinosaurs. He theorizes that the sixth big extinction is close at hand, and that it will be authored by humans. Be it through global warming, habitat destruction, or environmental pollution, humans have the power to destroy species at alarming rates. "Evolutionary theorists like the late Stephen Jay Gould have taken great pleasure in studying the speciation that followed each of these five previous die-offs, like the mammalian bloom that followed the extinction of the dinosaurs. I too am fascinated by evolutionary theory and speciation. If humans (or something else) are successful in instigating a profound die-off, I wonder which species might survive and flourish in a new environment, and what new species might then branch off from those survivors. I wonder what anatomical adaptations they might acquire in their proliferation. "My pop-up book, entitled Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary, includes eight creatures featured in their post-apocalyptic environments. Thus they are armored for protection against extreme temperatures and toxic surroundings, or of extraordinary color due to lack of predators and high reproductive competition. Each animal is accompanied by supporting text. And because I am a cautious optimist, I have given each of these creatures a recycling job; for example, the rex roach (a massive edition of today's well-known pest) is fundamental in the clean up of radioactive waste, the petey bug (evolved from today's pill bug) digests plastics, and the dandy worm (the unintentional bioengineered cross between a cabbage grub and a dandelion) reduces concrete to its constituent parts. "Though the content of this book is bleak, the tone is cautiously optimistic. Some ecological theorists believe that humans—being the most adaptable species in the history of the planet—will be the very last species to be exterminated, but there is still hope that a sustainable balance can be found between human resource use and the resource use of everything else. "Perhaps this hope can be pinned on the emergence of species like those featured in this book; animals and plants who are able to treat human industrial waste as organic nutrient, or at least be able to separate out industrial waste from biological waste. As biologist David Wolfe states in Tales of the Underground, 'There are very few waste products, pollutants, or toxins that cannot serve as food to one ... species or another.' Creatures like these might provide the ultimate in urban renewal.
(Inventory #: 17101)
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