About this book
Madagascar is a land where lizards scream and monkey-like lemurs sing songs of inexpressible beauty. KKnown as the Great Red Island, it is a place where fossa and tenrecs, vangas and aye ayes thrive in a true 'Lost World' alongside bizarre plants like the octopus tree and the three-cornered palm. And where the ancestors of the Malagasy, as the island's 18 tribes are collectively known, come alive in rollicking ceremonies known as “turning the bones.”
This natural and cultural history of Madagascar is an exploration of what makes the island so extraordinary. It is the only book that combines cutting-edge science and conservation with adventure travel and historical narrative. Perfect for those about to travel to Madagascar for the first time or just want to learn more, much of the historical material will be new to those familiar with Madagascar, even researchers who have worked there for years.
About the author
Peter Tyson is a science and travel writer with over 25 years' experience writing about science, natural history, and conservation.
Author’s Note vi
Note to the 2013 Edition 1
I Deep into a Primordial Land: the Perfumed Isle 23
II Deep into a Primordial Land: the Spiny Desert 81
III Search for the Pygmy Hippo 151
IV The Most Beautiful Enigma in the World 218
V Island of Dreams 316
Selected Bibliography 411
'Whether meeting a leaf-tailed gecko eye to eye… or describing conservation issues and local customs, Peter Tyson provides the most enjoyable book on the natural and cultural history of Madagascar I have ever read.'
George B. Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society
'A sharp picture of an intriguing place.'
'Part field report, part travelogue, part ecological history, Tyson's book is an engrossing testament to one of the planet's most astonishing places.'
'This is an absolutely absorbing book. Peter Tyson takes us with him on a journey of discovery, describing Madagascar with a rare depth of understanding, a fine eye for detail, and a sense of wonder that is most refreshing. There is humour, sadness, puzzlement, hope for the future. When you put the book down, you truly feel as if you have been there.' Jane Goodall
'Tyson's book blends adventure,science and history into an elegant whole.'
Conde Nast Traveller