Living desert of Southern Africa
Struik Nature, September 2021
For generations, the deserts of southern Africa have intrigued scientists and travellers alike. Seemingly barren wastes, they in fact teem with life – from ants to elephants, stone plants to the curious welwitschia, dainty dik-diks to towering gemsbok, and cart-wheeling spiders to fog-basking beetles. How do they cope with scarce resources, unpredictable rainfall and extreme temperatures? How do they protect themselves against predators? And what is the impact of global heating on these creatures and their habitats?
Based on an earlier edition published in 1993, biologist Barry Lovegrove answers these questions and unravels many of the mysteries associated with life in the desert. He describes four arid biomes of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana: Desert, Arid Savanna, Succulent Karoo and Nama-Karoo, and explains how and why such a great diversity of plants, insects, mammals, reptiles and birds successfully survive here. The text is supported by the most recent research, spectacular photographs, and explanatory diagrams and maps.
Living Deserts is a compelling, in-depth read that is accessible to both the serious student and academic as well as the interested nature lover.