Madagascar – The Eighth Continent by Peter Tyson is the latest addition to Bradt’s growing library of travel narratives. This natural and cultural history of Madagascar is an exploration of what makes the island so extraordinary.
Madagascar is a land where lizards scream and monkey-like lemurs sing songs of inexpressible beauty. Known as the Great Red Island, it is a place where fosse and tenures, van gas and aye ayes thrive in a true ‘Lost World’ alongside bizarre plants like the octopus tree and the three-cornered palm. And where the ancestors of the Malagasy come alive in rollicking ceremonies known as “turning the bones.”
This is the only book that combines cutting-edge science and conservation with adventure travel and historical narrative.
Peter Tyson is a science and travel writer with over 25 years’ experience writing about science, natural history, and conservation.
Extracts from the book..
From the Preface
This book is based on four trips I took to Madagascar between 1993 and 1997. These journeys took me right around the country, from the rainforest of Nosy Be in the northwest, to the mountainous peninsula at Fort Dauphin in the southeast; from the heart of vanilla country on the northeast coast, to the scorching spiny desert of the southwest. Along the way I joined four scientists—a herpetologist, a paleoecologist, an archeologist, and a primatologist—as they sought to solve some of the foremost mysteries on an island rife with them.
From Chapter 1: Deep into a Lost World: The Perfumed Isle
One of Madagascar’s most bizarre and wonderful experiments in evolution has landed at my feet…Before I can even open my mouth, one of the Earthwatch volunteers, a Briton named Garfield Dean, reaches over and carefully pries the gecko from Raxworthy’s arm. As if affronted, the animal cranes its alien-looking head towards him, opens its mouth, sticks out a crimson, grub-like tongue, and screeches in his face. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!
The sound sends chills down my spine, but Raxworthy reacts without missing a beat. He starts screaming back at the lizard, trying to imitate its cat-loses-battle-with-a-screen-door screech. The volunteers look at Raxworthy with a mixture of amusement and apprehension.
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Title: Madagascar – The Eighth Continent: Life, Death & Discovery in a Lost World Author: Peter Tyson
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides Publication: 10 January 2013
Price: £11.99 ISBN: 9781841624419