Madagascar is a land where lizards scream and monkey-like lemurs sing songs of inexpressible beauty. It is a place where creatures you may never have heard of—fossa and tenrecs, vangas and aye ayes—thrive in a true 'Lost World' along with bizarre plants like the octopus tree and the three-cornered palm. And where the ancestors of the Malagasy, as the island's people are known, come alive in rollicking ceremonies known as "turning the bones." Join Peter Tyson on a diverting odyssey with four scientists ...
Madagascar is a land where lizards scream and monkey-like lemurs sing songs of inexpressible beauty. It is a place where creatures you may never have heard of—fossa and tenrecs, vangas and aye ayes—thrive in a true 'Lost World' along with bizarre plants like the octopus tree and the three-cornered palm. And where the ancestors of the Malagasy, as the island's people are known, come alive in rollicking ceremonies known as "turning the bones." Join Peter Tyson on a diverting odyssey with four scientists investigating the fascinating natural and cultural mysteries of this extraordinary land.
Whether meeting a leaf-tailed gecko eye to eye... or describing conservation issues and local customs, Peter Tyson provides the most enjoyable book on the natural and cultural history of Madagascar I have ever read.'— George B. Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society 'This is an absolutely absorbing book. Peter Tyson takes us with him on a journey of discovery, describing Madagascar with a rare depth of understanding, a fine eye for detail, and a sense of wonder that is most refreshing. There is humour, sadness, puzzlement, hope for the future. When you put the book down, you truly feel as if you have been there.' — Jane Goodall "Part field report, part travelogue, part ecological history, Tyson's book is an engrossing testament to one of the planet's most astonishing places." — Discover "Tyson's book makes a strong case that our planet would be a poorer place if [Madagascar] were to continue to wash into the sea." —The Sciences "A sharp picture of an intriguing place." —Scientific American "In this impressive volume, [Tyson] writes about what he learned on [his] visits, successfully conveying both the flavor of field research and the biological mysteries of the island nation."—Publishers Weekly "For readers who have not experienced Madagascar, The Eighth Continent will provide a quantum leap in their understanding of the Malagasy culture and the island's diverse landscape and wildlife." —Wildlife Conservation "A thorough researcher, Tyson packs this book with solid information . . . And he covers an amazing amount of terrain with a scholar's love of detail."—Boston Globe "Science writer Tyson gives us a feel for the breadth and complexity of the world's fourth-largest island and tells us just why it is worth saving." —Natural History "Tyson accompanied four scientists … on separate field expeditions to the island…In The Eighth Continent, readers relive these marvelous journeys." —Science News
Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)
Meet the Author
Peter Tyson is a science and travel writer with over 25 years' experience writing about science, natural history, and conservation. He is the former editor-in-chief of NOVA Online, the website of the PBS science documentary series in the U.S. and has visited Madagascar on numerous occasions.
Author's NoteAcknowledgmentsForeword by Russell A. MittermeierPrefaceMapIntroduction. Puts Madagascar in context, both geographically and historically. Part I: Deep into a Primordial Land: The Perfumed Isle. Part II: Deep into a Primordial Land: The Spiny DesertHerpetologist Chris Raxworthy's studies of reptiles and amphibians in Madagascar. Part III: Search for the Pygmy Hippo. Paleoecologist Dave Burney's groundbreaking studies of past environments in Madagascar. The setting is Anjohibe. Part IV: The Most Beautiful Enigma in the World. Archeologist Bob Dewar is trying to find out who the first Malagasy were, including when, how, and why they arrived. Peter Tyson tries to find out who the Malagasy are today. Set in the vanilla-growing country of northeast Madagascar near Sambava. Part V: Island of Dreams. Can Madagascar be saved? Primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright attacks the problem at a rainforest national park known as Ranomafana, where she is perfecting a model for conservation. Set in the mountain jungle in the southeast of Madagascar, just off the High Plateau. EpilogueChronicles a single day in Madagascar, with personal experiences and anecdotes. Glossary. Source Notes. Bibliography. Index