A wonderfully informative and impartial study of wild communities: the ways of zebras and lions and cheetahs (to say nothing...

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THE LONG AFRICAN DAY

A wonderfully informative and impartial study of wild communities: the ways of zebras and lions and cheetahs (to say nothing of the dikdik, the eland or the Masai tribesman). Myers follows the biomass of East Africa through a 24-hour day of hunting, feeding, nesting and nurturing of the young, supplementing his observations with the findings of about 100 ethnologists, ecologists and zoologists in the field some of whom are operating out of national park research centers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. (""Ten years ago this book could not have been written -- there weren't any researchers."") He traces habitats, density, reproduction rates and territoriality through the deceptive calm of that sun drenched African day looking especially at the dangers threatening species equilibrium -- including the diets of native tribes in a ""protein-hungry land."" Indeed the Masai of Kenya turn out to be among the most menaced species in this gathering of African denizens which conveys an indelible sense of the great number of permutations and combinations -- who eats what and whom -- which is the ecosystem's strength. Myers is a most genial as well as knowledgeable guide on this ecological safari moving surefootedly through the savannah and taking Disneyesque peeks at a zebra foal, an elephant ingesting its 700 + pounds of foliage a day, a giraffe not quite evading a pride of lions. He even finds time for metaphysical reflections: ""So what is an impala? Impala in the Serengeti do one thing, those in Rhodesia do something else, and those in Nairobi Park do as impala in Nairobi Park do."" Encyclopedic in scope, Myers' affectionate bestiary will include color photos.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1972