Most accounts of Antarctica focus on the ice-cap that covers two thirds of the continent, the setting for the many heroic expeditions to the South Pole. This book is about the other Antarctica - the peninsula where for three months of the year the sun never sets, and where during the summer there is life in profusion, including many billions of ...
Most accounts of Antarctica focus on the ice-cap that covers two thirds of the continent, the setting for the many heroic expeditions to the South Pole. This book is about the other Antarctica - the peninsula where for three months of the year the sun never sets, and where during the summer there is life in profusion, including many billions of tiny krill (of which there are more in one bay than there are stars in the known universe), penguins and other birds, seals, lichens and simple plants. David Campbell spent three summers in Antarctica, and his book is at once a celebration of the panoply of life during the Antarctic summer and a lament for a place that has already been despoiled by human intruders and is under threat of further depredations. Above all, it is a portrait of a land of extraordinary beauty, alienness and fecundity, and of its wildlife.
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Publishers Weekly, 1992-10-26 With a poet's ear and a scientist's eye, biologist Campbell brings the Antarctic to vivid, teeming life in this eloquent, comprehensive natural and social history of the ice-clad continent below the Southern Ocean. Over the course of three austral summers in the 1980s, Campell explored life ``beyond the edge of the habitable earth,'' spending the last visit, in 1987, at a Brazilian research station--nicknamed Little Copacabana--on Admiralty Bay studying parasites in seals, fish and crustaceans. Punctuated with his personal responses (in the clarity of light after a sleet storm, he notes, ``It is as if I have suddenly acquired the vision of an eagle''), early chapters detail local geology and botany, and chronicle the frenetic summer activity of penguins and seals; skuas, terns and albatrosses; plankton and krill. Accounts of the area's discovery and its exploitation in the seal- and whale-hunting expeditions that thrived 100 years ago are enlivened with reference to letters, diaries and other first-hand reports. Polished and passionate, with an immediate quality, this geographic portrait earned Campbell Houghton Mifflin's Literary Fellowship. Author tour. (Nov.)
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