A Natural History of the Mojave Desert

November 1, 2020
A Natural History of the Mojave Desert

The Mojave Desert has a rich natural history. Despite beingsandwiched between the larger Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts, ithas enough mountains, valleys, canyons, and playas for any eagerexplorer. Ancient and current waterways carve the bajadas andvalley bottoms. This diverse topography gives rise to a multitudeof habitats for plants and animals, many of which are found nowhereelse in the world.A Natural History of the Mojave Desert explores how acombination of complex geology, varied geography, and changingclimate has given rise to intriguing flora and fauna—includingalmost 3,000 plant species and about 380 terrestrial vertebrateanimal species. Of these, one quarter of the plants and one sixthof the animals are endemic.The authors, who, combined, have spent more than six decadesliving in and observing the Mojave Desert, offer a scientificallyinsightful and personally observed understanding of the desert.They invite readers to understand how the Mojave Desert looks,sounds, feels, tastes, and smells. They prompt us to understand howhumans have lived in this desert where scant vegetation and waterhave challenged humans, past and present.A Natural History of the Mojave Desert provides alively and informed guide to understanding how life has adapted tothe hidden riverbeds, huge salt flats, tiny wetlands, and windswepthills that characterize this iconic desert.