BRIDGE TO THE PAST by David Attenborough


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This expedition was to the African splinter island of Madagascar...""one of Nature's lumber rooms"", marvels naturalist Attenborough, ""a place where antique, outmoded forms of life that have long since disappeared from the rest of the world survive in isolation"". Supported by the Television Service of the British Corporation, the author, a companion, and a young Malagasy guide set out in a fumbling Land Rover to film and observe lemurs. The lemurian species -- more than twenty of them -- are one of man's earliest ancestors. Through the blessed separation of Mozambique Channel, they have been allowed to proliferais in Madagascar, indeed to evolve a sut generis animal kingdom within their own ranks. Hunting or catching the animals was forbidden. But Attenborough and friends filmed and observed some types of lemur which had been seen by only very few naturalists before. In Periact the elusive and apocryphal Indis was caught with a camera. The tailless lomurine equivalent of an ape is ""the rarest, the least known scientifically, the most endearing of all lemurs"". The expedition was a success; the anecdotal recounting follows suit.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1962
Publisher: Harper