An island is a potential paradise for plants and animals, but first they must overcome the barrier of its isolation – the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean.
The setting for Islands is the world’s greatest ocean, the Pacific which covers almost half the earth’s surface. This vast expanse of salt water is a barrier that very few creatures can cross. If it was easy the plants and animals of islands would be like those of the continents and all continents would be the same. Thanks to the sea life on islands is very different: 60 percent of the world’s unique plant and animal species are found on these biological treasure troves.
Examines how plants and animals find themselves on island and looks at the forces that shape and change them. From the lava fields of Hawaii to the windswept rockstacks of the Antipodes Islands in the subantarctic, we see that only certain plants and animals have the ability to cross the Pacific. Islands are remarkable laboratories of life where the “rules” of evolution on continents are broken and new rules apply. Drab island colonisers can be transformed into spectacular new species, uniquely suited to life on their island home.