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Books  >   Literature and Fiction : Books and Reading : Antiquarian and Rare Books : 

The Rarest of the Rare : Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds


Published:January 14, 1997

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How do bombardier beetles choose their mates? Why does a firefly's tail light up at night? What does a monk seal talk about, barking out there on the offshore reef? These questions all have some bearing on the way we humans live our lives, strange though they may seem. Diane Ackerman, a tireless explorer of the natural world, looks for answers among animals that are fast disappearing as their native habitats are destroyed--creatures such as the monarch butterfly, the short-tailed albatross, and the wonderfully named golden lion tamarin. She writes with grace and compassion, but also with a considerable command of science, which makes her work essential for students of nature writing.

Product Description:
Ackerman journeys in search of monarch butterflies and short-tailed albatrosses, monk seals and golden lion tamarin monkeys: the world's rarest creatures and their vanishing habitats. She delivers a rapturous celebration of other species that is also a warning to our own. Traveling from the Amazon rain forest to a forbidding island off the coast of Japan, enduring everything from broken ribs to a beating by an irate seal, Ackerman reveals her subjects in all their splendid particularity. She shows us how they feed, mate, and migrate. She eavesdrops on their class and courtship dances. She pays tribute to the men and women hwo have deoted their lives to saving them.

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