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Gobi Tracking the Desert cover
  • ISBN: 9780300076097
  • ISBN10: 0300076096

Gobi Tracking the Desert

by John Man

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1999
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Description
The Gobi desert in Mongolia has long been considered a wasteland of searing heat, polar cold, and brutal sandstorms. For seventy years, it was all but barred to outsiders by Mongolia's position as a Soviet-dominated buffer state between Russia and China. The collapse of communism gave John Man a long-awaited chance to travel through the Gobi. Retracing the steps of early explorers, living with herdsmen, and drawing on the most recent scientific work, he has now created the first accessible portrait of this little-known wilderness.

Man describes the Gobi's national parks (one of which is the second largest in the world), its snowcapped mountains, sandstone canyons, towering dunes, and "singing sands." He tells us about its ephemeral snow leopards, its desert bears (only some of which survive), and the world's only species of wild horse. He relates exciting stories of earlier expeditions, many of them American-led. In the 1920s, American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first known dinosaur eggs in the legendary Flaming Cliffs. And in the 1990s Michael Novacek, of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, led teams that discovered a treasure-trove of dinosaur fossils far exceeding Andrews' finds. In concluding chapters Man captures the ancient land of the Gobi on the brink of change, as research intensifies, the population increases, the herdsmen become owners of motorbikes -- and the pressure on wildlife grows.

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