A Cactus Odyssey: Journeys in the Wilds of Bolivia, Peru, by James D. Mauseth

By James D. Mauseth

This publication offers the tales of 3 avid box biologists who over the process 15 years usually traveled jointly looking for cacti in Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. The conversational kind of this travelogue permits us to proportion within the authors' pleasure as they come across vegetation that experience infrequently, if ever, been written approximately. approximately 195 amazing colour photos accompany the shiny descriptions of bizarre cacti transforming into along non-succulent vegetation, at altitudes of 8000 toes or more-and even in rainforests! A Cactus Odyssey will curiosity gardeners, tourists, and conservationists from around the globe who desire to examine extra approximately those impossible to resist vegetation, and it's the wish of the authors that this e-book will motivate others to adopt their very own cactus odyssey.

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Extra info for A Cactus Odyssey: Journeys in the Wilds of Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina

Example text

But how would those ranges have affected the survival and spread of cacti and the animals they depend on to pollinate their flowers and disperse their seeds? There are still many research opportunities. CLASSIFICATION OF THE CACTUS FAMILY The processes of continental drift, natural selection, and evolution, together with the effects of plants, animals, climates, and geography interacting with one another, have combined to produce the cacti alive today. Between one thousand and two thousand types of cacti now exist.

If cacti had originated earlier while South America and Africa were still attached, we would expect to find cacti in Africa as well as South America. Cacti likely did not arise until after the south Atlantic was so wide that birds could not fly back and forth between South America and Africa (otherwise they would have carried cactus seeds to Africa). At this time, North America was farther to the north and separated from South America and her primitive cacti by thousands of miles of open ocean; there was no Central America at that time.

Before the formation of Central America there was no cold Humboldt Current, so the Peruvian and Chilean coasts must have been moist and covered with vegetation. The drift of South America and North America toward each other had another major consequence besides their eventual connection and the formation of Central America. It brought both continents into the desert-creating influence of the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. The sun’s heating of Earth’s surface is most intense at the equator, creating an equatorial zone of rising hot air.

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