cover of book

The Lizard Man Speaks
by Eric R. Pianka
University of Texas Press, 1994
Paper: 978-0-292-73567-5 | Cloth: 978-0-292-76552-8
Library of Congress Classification QL31.P57A3 1994
Dewey Decimal Classification 597.95092


Alone on the endless red-sand desert in the Australian outback, tracking Varanus giganteus, the perentie lizard that grows to be more than six feet long...for desert rat Eric Pianka, such adventures have led to a satisfying, if unusual, way of life, as well as a distinguished career as a field biologist.

In The Lizard Man Speaks, Pianka recounts more than thirty years of adventures in reptile studies. He tells of "lizarding" in the North American deserts, the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa, and the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia. His vivid imagery draws the reader into a world where lions lurk in the darkness beyond a gecko hunter's lights, where being stranded by car trouble miles from the last outpost is a constant danger, and where the wilderness still deserves to be called wild.

Along the way, Pianka provides much general information about lizard ecology, the fire succession cycle, and the interaction of humans with the landscape. And he reveals the springs of his own determined spirit and love of solitude, describing a near-fatal boyhood accident and its shaping and character-building effect on the life that followed.

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