By Michael A. Mares
For many people the be aware "desert" inspires photographs of barren desert, immense, dry stretches inimical to lifestyles. yet for a very good array of creatures, maybe even extra ample than those that inhabit tropical rainforests, the barren region is a haven and a house. commute with Michael Mares into the deserts of Argentina, Iran, Egypt, and the yankee Southwest and you'll come across a wealthy and noteworthy number of those small, tenacious animals, a lot of them first stumbled on through Mares in components by no means earlier than studied. Accompanying Mares on his forays into those adversarial habitats, we detect the notable 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 watch for biologists who enterprise into the sphere to enquire new habitats, become aware of new species, and upload to our wisdom of the range of lifestyles. jam-packed with the seductions and trials that such adventures entail, A wilderness Calling presents an intimate figuring out of the biologist's vocation. As he astonishes us with the variety and diversity of data to be bought in the course of the decided 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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Additional info for A Desert Calling: Life in a Forbidding Landscape
All of the tissues, organs, and skeletal material will always be associated with the scientiﬁcally prepared specimen, so that the correct identiﬁcation of the species will be able to be veriﬁed. This will help scientists avoid publishing erroneous results. Geneticists, virologists, molecular biologists, wildlife biologists, and other scientists who require living tissues and genetic material will use these tissues in their research. All the data are entered into a computer database. We remove marrow from the long bones and treat it in a series of complicated chemical procedures that cause the cells to divide, inﬂate, and stop dividing at the point where the chromosomes are most visible.
I spoke with local people and one of them showed us which small rocky hill in the distance contained Cueva del Tigre. He also pointed to a nearby hill and said that it held a cave that was much larger than Cueva del Tigre and had “muchos ratones voladores”— many bats, which are called ﬂying rats in Mexico. I began honking the truck’s horn to gather the crew and let them know that we had found a cave. D A R K N E S S A N D T H E C AV E O F T H E J A G U A R 45 As we approached the entrance, the smell of guano and ammonia was overpowering.
A part of our research involves sacriﬁcing a few animals, just as the laboratory scientist sacriﬁces mice used in medical research. These very few animals, which would have died in any case in the wild, will have their skins, organs, skeletons, and living tissues studied far into the future. They will become immortal animals. 3 Elfin Farmers and Cactophylic Carpenters When I get up in the morning at my desert camps, usually one of the ﬁrst things I do is to look around the dead campﬁre to examine the myriads of tracks in the ﬁne dust and see what rodents have been nocturnal visitors.