14 November 2010

Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant (Lyall Watson)

Available at all good bookstores, courtesy of Penguin Books South Africa.

Lyall Watson is a well-known naturalist who lives in Ireland, but his youth was spent in South Africa, and this is where his lifelong fascination with elephants began. Elephantoms wanders across diverse terrain, drawing on history, anthropology, evolutionary theory and the author's experiences to illuminate the elephant world. Colourful anecdotes from animal trackers and wildlife researchers alternate with tidbits on elephant biology (the trunk can lift more than 450 kilograms) and behaviour (elephants mourn their dead: burying and revisiting the bones of family members). And above all, you close this book with a strong sense of having evolved as a human being. I absolutely loved it. And it's in my top 10. For life.


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