09 October 2008

Tropical Nature review by Denis Minev

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America
by Adrian Forsyth
Edition: Paperback
Availability: In Stock

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars ENCHANTING DEPICTION OF THE RAIN FORESTApril 9, 2006
Among books that aim to express to readers the wonders of the rain forest, this one stands out. In 17 chapters that touch upon different aspects of the rain forest, the authors transmit their own passion for the rain forest and the unique intricacies that make rain forests some of the most precious places on earth. 

The book is not written as one coherent whole, but rather as 17 individual chapters or essays. Below is a brief sample of topics: 

- the strategy of dung scarabs to capture important proteins 
- the symbiotic relationship of sloths with the trees they prefer 
- the mimicry some insects have developed to elude their main predators, birds 
- the reason why some birds have developed migratory patterns to temperate climates 
- the reason why some frogs developed a parental care strategy and even marsupial pouches 
- the reason why some trees are hollow 
- how parasited species can benefit even in the most unlikely scenarios 
- why some plants developed hallucinogenic substances 

These are just a few of the topics covered in the book. It is written in a pop science format, so that an interested reader will easily understand and appreciate these and many more concepts. The authors carefully explain the relationships, often comparing the rain forest experience with those of temperate forests. The authors also focus on the possible evolutionary principles involved in adaptations presented. 

This is the very best introductory book on the subject. It is designed to excite the reader into learning more and even visiting the rain forest. In the mold of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins, Miyata and Forsyth write a masterpiece that will make the reader feel smarter after reading it.

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