Download e-book for kindle: Chuckwalla Land: The Riddle of California’s Desert by David Rains Wallace

By David Rains Wallace

ISBN-10: 0520256166

ISBN-13: 9780520256163

Described as “a author within the culture of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and different self-educated seers” through the San Francisco Chronicle, David Rains Wallace turns his realization during this new publication to a different distinct nook of California—its wilderness, the driest and preferred surroundings in North the USA. Drawing from his common forays to dying Valley, pink Rock Canyon, Kelso Dunes, and different locales, Wallace illuminates the desert’s interesting wildlife as he explores a arguable, unresolved clinical debate in regards to the beginning and evolution of its strange ecosystems. Eminent scientists and students look all through those pages, together with maverick paleobiologist Daniel Axelrod, botanist Ledyard Stebbins, and naturalists Edmund Jaeger and Joseph wooden Krutch. Weaving jointly ecology, geology, common historical past, and mythology in his generally eloquent voice, Wallace finds that there's extra to this starkly attractive panorama than meets the eye.

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Six Anti-Darwinian Lacertilians One reason why Darwin found the Galapagos Islands “very sterile” was that most of their terrain is recently erupted lava: “Nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance. ” He agreed with the Beagle’s captain, Robert FitzRoy, that the lava gave the islands an infernal aspect, making their swarms of blackish marine iguanas seem like imps of darkness on the shores of Pandemonium despite the big lizards’ inoffensive diet of seaweed. Lava flows are a feature of California’s deserts, and I can understand Darwin’s impression.

Is densely covered with impenetrable forests. On the eastern side of the cordillera, over the same extent of latitude, where blue sky and a fine climate prove that the atmosphere has been deprived of moisture by passing over the mountains, the arid plains of Patagonia support a most scanty vegetation. Darwin’s petrified stumps raised a basic problem of early nineteenthcentury science. Growing evidence, rock strata and fossils, showed that the earth had undergone vast changes. Rocks were not necessarily at odds with religious orthodoxy, which encompassed floods and earth movements.

Marsh’s sixteen new species manifested another reason beside back­ ward brains for the rivals’ lack of interest in lizard evolution. Whereas many of their early mammals could be traced through fossil links to familiar living beasts like horses, only one of the fossil lizards they found seemed to have a living relative in North America, the Gila monster of the genus Heloderma. The rest belonged to groups of uncer­ tain identity. ” The two paleontologists’ bad attitudes seem to have set the tone for early lizard evolution studies.

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Chuckwalla Land: The Riddle of California’s Desert by David Rains Wallace

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