Out on 05 September 2024

Lost Wonders

Tom Lathan

Illustrated by Claire Kohda

05 September 2024
320 pages


Many scientists believe that we are currently living through the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, with species disappearing at a rate not seen for tens of millions of years – a trend that will only accelerate as climate change and other pressures intensify. What does it mean to live in such a time? And what exactly do we lose when a species goes extinct?

In Lost Wonders author and journalist Tom Lathan tells the stories of ten species that have lived, died out and been declared extinct since the turn of the twenty-first century. In a series of fascinating encounters with subjects that are now nowhere to be found on Earth – from giant tortoises to minuscule snails the size of sesame seeds, from ocean-hopping trees to fish that wag their tails like puppies – Lathan brings these lost wonders briefly back to life and gives us a tantalising glimpse of what we have lost within our own lifetime.

Drawing on the personal recollections of the people who studied these species, as well as those who tried but ultimately failed to save them, Lost Wonders is an intimate portrait of the species that have only recently vanished from our world and an urgent warning to hold on all the more tightly to those now slipping from our grasp.