This superbly written book, The Road To Gondwana seamlessly covers areas of Science, Ecology and Geography. Bill Morris has a fascination for Gondwana Land and explains the latest scientist research about this super continent. He discusses geology, fossils and plant life in a way that makes sense. He uses human interest stories to make a point and explains why the outcome of that story is so significant to us.
The Road To Gondwana begins by recounting some of the journey of Scott to the Antarctic. Sadly, this brave explorer died on that continent. When he was found, he was clutching some rocks of immense importance. These were a key for scientists to connect the link between these rocks and the same outcrops found elsewhere. The author has studied Gondwana Land that, “No longer exists, and a yet which still connects half the world.” It is the quest to understand the lost supercontinent that has driven scientists to explore far and wide.
Scientific stories are matched with fascinating insights into history. The seekers of knowledge in the 1700’s, were mostly religious men who sought to compare the world around them with the texts from the Bible. The problem they couldn’t explain was the age of fossils. Eventually it was thought that sedimentary rock was laid down in horizontal beds. Sometimes, these fossil-bearing beds were deformed and the conclusion was that movement in the earth had tilted them.
In the author’s homeland of New Zealand, there are many plants and animals which are easily identified as having “Gondwanan Origins.” These are found in Australia, New Guinea and South America.
Morris then refers to the state of the earth as we struggle to support increasing populations. He mentions the uses of coal as a huge polluter of our world but has a positive view of the future.
The Road To Gondwana should be in every home. It is written for all to understand, and with so many descriptive stories, from the girls picking out coal with their fingers in India to geologists exploring the sea beds. Immensely relevant today!