Sonoran Desert Summer

John Alcock, Author University of Arizona Press $33.95 (187p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1150-1
Daytime desert temperatures soar above 100F for months on end, and rainfall may be no more than may be no more than ? six inches a year. How do plants and animals survive in such a hostile climate? When he isn't teaching zoology at Arizona State, Alcock investigates desert life from his study site on Usery Mountain in Tonto National Forest, east of Phoenix. Although his specialty is insect reproductive behavior, he is keenly interested in other life forms and their adaptation to the environment. Alcock shows us a giant saguaro cactus, toppled by wind and slowly devoured by bacteria, insects and their predators; male empress butterflies and digger bees lying in wait for virgin females of each species to emerge from the pupal stage; Harris hawks on cooperative hunts. Among the mammals discussed are the woodrat, peccary, rock squirrel and coyote; Alcock notes that in 1987, the government spent $300,000 to destroy coyotes that had killed $54,000 worth of ok? domestic animals. This sequel to Sonoran Spring is a superb piece of natural history writing. Illustrated . First serial to Wilderness magazine. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Paperback - 187 pages - 978-0-8165-1438-0
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