Download A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape by Michael A. Mares PDF

By Michael A. Mares

For many folks the note "desert" inspires photos of barren desert, sizeable, dry stretches inimical to lifestyles. yet for an excellent array of creatures, even perhaps extra abundant than those that inhabit tropical rainforests, the barren region is a haven and a house. go back and forth with Michael Mares into the deserts of Argentina, Iran, Egypt, and the yank Southwest and you'll stumble upon a wealthy and remarkable number of those small, tenacious animals, lots of them first found via Mares in components by no means ahead of studied. Accompanying Mares on his forays into those opposed habitats, we notice the amazing behavioral, physiological, and ecological diversifications that experience allowed such little-known species of rodents, bats, and different small mammals to persist in an arid international. whilst, we see firsthand the perils and pitfalls that wait for biologists who enterprise into the sector to enquire new habitats, notice new species, and upload to our wisdom of the range of existence. jam-packed with the seductions and trials that such adventures entail, A desolate tract Calling presents an intimate figuring out of the biologist's vocation. As he astonishes us with the diversity and diversity of data to be bought throughout the made up our minds research of little-known habitats, Mares opens a window on his personal unusual existence, in addition to at the unusual lifetime of the distant and mysterious corners of our planet. (20020401)

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Extra info for A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape

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In fact, this species, an inhabitant of the Great Basin Desert, is known as the chisel-toothed kangaroo rat. Its lower incisors, when viewed from the E L F I N FA R M E R S A N D C A C T O P H Y L I C C A R P E N T E R S 31 front, have very flat, broad tips, and when viewed from the side, taper to a thin blade exactly like a wood chisel. The shape of the teeth is related to the unusual diet of this species. The chisel-toothed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys microps) lives in areas that support saltbush plants.

A. ) The Mojave, in the popular mind at least, is an arid, almost lifeless desert with multicolored, starkly eroded mountains. Each year some Mojave Desert town records the highest temperature of the summer. Indeed, the highest temperature ever recorded in the United States, and the second highest ever recorded in the world, 134°F, was measured in the Mojave Desert. Ground temperatures of 190°F have been measured, only 12° below the temperature of boiling water. Because of its aridity, the Mojave supports only sparse, low shrubs, such as E L F I N FA R M E R S A N D C A C T O P H Y L I C C A R P E N T E R S 37 creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), and the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), a yucca that may grow more than 15 feet high.

Each has a beautiful white or yellow bloom supported at the end of a single stalk and grows from a dense cluster of leaves at its base. When these plants are in bloom the desert is dotted with thousands of large, pale bouquets held aloft on narrow stalks and starkly profiled against the azure sky. The Chihuahuan Desert is rich in both fauna and flora, but only the northern portions of this desert have received significant attention from researchers over an extended period of time. Among its small mammals is a most unusual species.

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