Fascinating reading and well worth the purchase if you're interested in the area or thinking of going.Don't try reading it all at once, it's good for dipping in and out.Nice escape.
A Vanishing World
Climbing palms. Seven-inch monkeys.Twenty-foot anacondas.Bats with two-foot wingspans. Five-inch spiders.Bloodthirsty insects.Methods of river travel.Torrential downpours.Indigenous peoples.
Henry Walter Bates' personal narrative of exploring and naturalizing in the Amazon Basin is both an enjoyable read and one of immense importance to natural history.
From 1848-1859 Bates traveled throughout the Amazon and its many tributaries taking notes on everything from the natural world to the cultures and customs of the many native and non-native peoples he encountered.
His observations of animal mimicry (now known as Batesian Mimicry) further glued Darwin's theory of evolution, natural selection and adaptation.
The reader is easily lured into Bates' descriptive writing style.Energetic, expressive and vigilant, we are right there alongside him traveling through the murky dark waters of the upper Amazon or up close with a scrutinizing eye to observe the ants, monkeys and butterflies.He was a keen and enthusiastic witness to a world slowly disappearing.
The only shortcoming to the book is that it is extremely lengthy. Maps and diagrams would have been helpful.
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