By Michael A. Mares
For many folks the notice "desert" evokes photos of barren barren region, giant, dry stretches inimical to lifestyles. yet for an exceptional array of creatures, maybe even extra ample than those that inhabit tropical rainforests, the wilderness is a haven and a house. shuttle with Michael Mares into the deserts of Argentina, Iran, Egypt, and the yankee Southwest and you'll stumble upon a wealthy and remarkable number of those small, tenacious animals, lots of them first stumbled on by way of Mares in components by no means sooner than studied. Accompanying Mares on his forays into those adversarial habitats, we notice the extraordinary behavioral, physiological, and ecological diversifications that experience allowed such little-known species of rodents, bats, and different small mammals to persist in an arid global. even as, we see firsthand the perils and pitfalls that look forward to biologists who enterprise into the sector to enquire new habitats, detect new species, and upload to our wisdom of the variety of lifestyles. choked with the seductions and trials that such adventures entail, A wasteland Calling presents an intimate realizing of the biologist's vocation. As he astonishes us with the variety and diversity of information to be received in the course of the made up our minds research of little-known habitats, Mares opens a window on his personal unusual lifestyles, in addition to at the unusual lifetime of the distant and mysterious corners of our planet. (20020401)
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Extra resources for A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape
Oration occurs, leaving the salts deposited on the soil surface. In some areas salt ﬂats may develop into white, plant-free deposits of pure salt that cover hundreds of square miles. The challenge to plants inhabiting salty soils is that water moves from low to high salt concentrations. In salty areas most plants will lose water from their tissues to the soil, but saltbush has found a way to concentrate salts in its tissues to levels that are so high that they permit the plant to draw moisture from the saltiest substrate.
Three species of mice: Pearson’s desert mouse, Andalgalomys pearsoni (top); Roig’s desert mouse, Andalgalomys roigi (middle), and Olrog’s desert mouse, Andalgalomys olrogi (bottom). The species at the top was originally placed in a different genus, Graomys, until the species at the bottom was discovered and placed in the proper genus, Andalgalomys. Now there are three species in the new genus. (Photo by M. A. ) We subject the chromosome collection on the microscope slides to an extensive series of chemical stains that differentially make the chromosomes visible against the background of the rest of the cell.
J. ) Ground squirrels are active during the day, although they mostly avoid excessive temperatures. They can survive for more than a month without access to free water, which is not as impressive as the record of the kangaroo rats, perhaps, but shows an ability to withstand desiccation that exceeds that of almost all other small mammals that inhabit the deserts of the United States. The ground squirrel’s kidneys are specialized to produce highly concentrated urine, a water-saving adaptation. Although the urine is not as concentrated as that of kangaroo rats, it is far more concentrated than that of woodrats.
A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape by Michael A. Mares