Books That Inspire 2002

Desert Animals
Knut Schmidt-Nielsen

Desert Animals describes the physiology of the desert mammals, including how they live without water, avoid extreme temperatures, and find food amidst scarcity. Schmidt-Nielsen made these ideas accessible to the non-specialist. I was a college sophomore when I learned how animals adapt to deserts. I later took a course in the study of mammals and eventually did desert physiology research. I became an authority on desert mammals of the world, publishing two books, The Encyclopedia of Deserts (OU Press) and A Desert Calling (Harvard Press), dealing with desert animals. Although I did not know it at the time, Desert Animals opened the path to my whole career.
Michael Mares