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Amid the historical decimation of species around the globe, a new way into the language of loss
 

An endling is the last known individual of a species; when that individual dies, the species becomes extinct. These “last individuals” are poignant characters in the stories that humans tell themselves about today’s Anthropocene. In this evocative work, Lydia Pyne explores how discussion about endlings—how we tell their histories—draws on deep traditions of storytelling across a variety of narrative types that go well beyond the science of these species’ biology or their evolutionary history.

Endlings provides a useful and thoughtful discussion of species concepts: how species start and how (and why) they end, what it means to be a “charismatic” species, the effects of rewilding, and what makes species extinction different in this era. From Benjamin the thylacine to Celia the ibex to Lonesome George the Galápagos tortoise, endlings, Pyne shows, have the power to shape how we think about grief, mourning, and loss amid the world’s sixth mass extinction.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Half Title Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Series List
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  1. Introduction: We Humans Are a Storytelling Species
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Chapter 1. Species and Starts: Benjamin the Thylacine and Qi Qi the Baiji
  2. pp. 11-30
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  1. Copyright Page
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  1. Chapter 2. Extinctions and Endings: Celia the Ibex and Lonesome George the Tortoise
  2. pp. 31-52
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  1. Dedication
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  1. Chapter 3. Charisma and Character: Incas the Carolina Parakeet, Turgi the Tree Snail, and Wood's Cycad
  2. pp. 53-72
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  1. Contents
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  1. Conclusion: How Do You Say "Endling" In isiZulu?
  2. pp. 73-80
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  1. Introduction: We Humans Are a Storytelling Species
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 81-82
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  1. 1. Species and Starts: Benjamin the Thylacine and Qi Qi the Baiji
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  1. Further Reading
  2. pp. 83-84
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  1. 2. Extinctions and Endings: Celia the Ibex and Lonesome George the Tortoise
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 85-92
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  1. 3. Charisma and Character: Incas the Carolina Parakeet, Turgi the Tree Snail, and Wood’s Cycad
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 93
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  1. Conclusion: How Do You Say “Endling” in isiZulu?
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  1. Acknowledgments
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  1. Notes
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  1. Further Reading
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  1. Bibliography
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  1. About the Author
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