Jungle: How Tropical Forests Shaped the World―and Us
Tropical forests are home to half the plants and animals in the world, yet they are disparaged and maligned, accused of taking up valuable agricultural space. In Jungle, Patrick Roberts follows the passage of time from a world bare of vegetation to the diversity and losses of the present day. News media homes in on the destruction of Amazonian forests. Roberts steps beyond, addressing equally significant challenges of global hot, humid tropical forests and dry montane ones. Chapters discuss the arrival then the departure of dinosaurs and a broadening spectrum of mammals and the continuing threat of displacement by human activity.
The pages are closely packed and organized to embrace several disciplines, reaching out with seemingly countless unexpected facts like the significant hands-on research of prehistory in northeast China, bats accounting for a fifth of the world’s living animal species, and four hundred shackled and shipwrecked men, women, and children discovered on a ship carrying slaves.
Nature is still interrupted by the path colonialism has trodden with vast lands cleared for monocultures, cotton, sugar, and rice among them. In truth, this is a book and a half. It is too much to take in unless approached, deliberated, and enjoyed a chapter at a time.
|Page Count||368 pages|
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|Category||Science & Nature|