Antipode

Seasons with the Extraordinary Wildlife and Culture of Madagascar

Heather E. Heying

St. Martin's Press

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By definition, "antipode" is a point on the earth diametrically opposite from another. As a field biologist specializing in reptiles and amphibians, Heather Heying has been to some of the most remote places on the globe. Her career consists of trekking through dense rainforests, sitting for hours at a time observing elusive creatures, and spending weeks on end in remote, sometimes inhospitable locales. But nothing she previously experienced quite prepared her for the three seasons she spent studying the tiny, bright, poisonous frogs found only at what is the antipode of her world, both geographically and figuratively - the island-nation of Madagascar.

The majority of Madagascar's wildlife is endemic -- found nowhere else. Lemurs rule the forest canopy, while on the ground, snakes and lizards search for evening meals of frogs and bugs, all against a gorgeous backdrop of rainforest. It's a biologist's paradise - but at times can also be a foreigner's worst nightmare. Madagascar in no way resembles what most Westerners know as normal existence. Technologically, it is laps behind the first world. Time shuffles by at a slow gait. Poverty is rampant - people pride themselves on how many pots of rice a day they eat. Language and culture barriers, combined with bureaucratic red tape, can make travel virtually impossible.

In stories that are in turns moving, insightful, hilarious, and beautiful, Heather recounts her experiences -- from run-ins with naked sailors and unusually hostile lemurs to tropical hurricanes and greedy tourist entrepreneurs. As she carefully navigates an obstacle-strewn path, she gradually uncovers the hidden lives of the beautiful yellow and blue poison frogs she studies. And all the while, she is coming to understand her role as a female Westerner in a foreign society, and her intense love for and fascination with the stunning cultures and wildlife of Madagascar.

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  Antipode
PART I1You Are HereMadagascar is an immense island. It is the fourth-largest in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. All told, it is slightly smaller than Texas. This great red island lies off the east coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, not two hundred miles from Mozambique, but has less in common with Africa than one might expect, given its close proximity. Madagascar has been separated from all other landmasses for at least 80 million years, and in that time, the biota has become extraordinary and unique. Ninety percent of its plant and animal species are

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Praise for Antipode

"An honest, brave, and compassionate portrayal...A sharply observed portrait of an extraordinary land." --Peter Tyson, author of The Eighth Continent: Life, Death, and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar

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About the Author

Heather E. Heying

Heather E. Heying was born in Santa Monica, California, and received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Michigan. She currently resides in Olympia, Washington, where she is on the faculty at Evergreen State College.

Heather E. Heying

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Available Formats and Book Details

Antipode
Seasons with the Extraordinary Wildlife and Culture of Madagascar
Heather E. Heying

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
July 2002
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312281526
ISBN10: 0312281528
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages, Includes one map plus one 8-page color photo insert
$25.95

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
July 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429975414
ISBN10: 1429975415
288 pages
$7.99
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