ANIMALS OF CENTRAL ASIA by Edward Osmond

ANIMALS OF CENTRAL ASIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

High, dry and windblown, the plateaus and mountains of Central Asia offer little hospitality, some security, to a range of peculiarly adapted animals: the all-purpose yak, which carries people and packs, provides flesh for food, hair for wool, droppings and even bones for fuel; the timid, temperamental camel, sustained by salt pools and sparse, salty vegetation; the Pamir sheep marveled at by Marco Polo, and the ibex whose horns are longer than it is tall; a variety of monkeys, one of which may be the ""abominable snowman""; Mongolian ponies, the only remaining wild horse, and the wild ass, fast on its feet, too inquisitive to avoid capture. Also predators like Pallas' cat whose high eyes and flat ears compensate for the lack of foliage for concealment--it can lay low and advance without being seen. Among the tusked animals are the wild boar, once common throughout western Europe, and the musk deer; among the ""sole-walkers"" certain bears (the Himalayan, the much larger Manchurian) and the lesser and giant pandas; among the antelope the grotesque saiga and dainty gazelle; among the rodents the haymaking pika, the leaping jerboas. Most of the narrative is straight description (of appearance, habitat, characteristics); illustration is sparse. Not exactly a fascinator but usefully organized, usefully indexed.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1968
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman