Emerald Labyrinth

Emerald Labyrinth

A Scientist's Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo

Book - 2018
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Emerald Labyrinth is a scientist and adventurer's chronicle of years exploring the rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. The richly varied habitats of the Democratic Republic of the Congo offer a wealth of animal, plant, chemical, and medical discoveries. But the country also has a deeply troubled colonial past and a complicated political present. Author Eli Greenbaum is a leading expert in sub-Saharan herpetology--snakes, lizards, and frogs--who brings a sense of wonder to the question of how science works in the twenty-first century. Along the way he comes face to face with spitting cobras, silverback mountain gorillas, wild elephants, and the teenaged armies of AK-47-toting fighters engaged in the continent's longest-running war. As a bellwether of the climate and biodiversity crises now facing the planet, the Congo holds the key to our planet's future. Writing in the tradition of books like The Lost City of Z, Greenbaum seeks out the creatures struggling to survive in a war-torn, environmentally threatened country. Emerald Labyrinth is an extraordinary book about the enormous challenges and hard-won satisfactions of doing science in one of the least known, least hospitable places on earth.
Publisher: Lebanon, NH : ForeEdge, an imprint of University Press of New England [2018]
ISBN: 9781512600971
1512600970
Branch Call Number: 578.09672 G79e
Characteristics: xv, 329 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 23 cm

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jreard
Jun 23, 2018

This book is captivating. It discusses facts about the political a survival struggles in the Congo....both historically and contemporary. It's an enlightenment on biodiversity of small vertebrates and invertebrates and the dwindling of large animal species. Also, awareness of the ecosystem's demise in general and lives of the remaining people after genocide is painfully interesting. The dichotomy of people living without resources while depleting natural resources to survive a minimalist life is very clear, while compounded problems presented through well armed uneducated rebel forces tells the present day story. The author is an herpetologist with modern technology enabling him to classify animals using DNA(which is an ever changing subject if you are not up to date on the processes). The perils of disease, hunger and terrain are as daunting as the beauty found when daring to travel into what is left of the jungle. This is a must read if you are wondering what it's like to be in Central Africa right now. Although the author sets out to find frogs, lizards, etc. it is not a book about life in the pond. Many topics are brought to light.

r
rpavlacic
Feb 22, 2018

Detailed book about the extreme diversity of wildlife in DR Congo. Also interspersed with the history of the region and why nature is at risk not just due to irresponsible development but also at the hands of an ongoing civil war, one of the players of which is the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony who sees nothing wrong with employing child soldiers. The book is a warning not just to protect biodiversity in Africa but around the world.

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