Divided into chapters that concentrate on particular aspects of the deserts, their geology, life forms, history and future, this book describes the hostile and extreme environments that cover more than a seventh of the world's surface. Lavish photographs capture the stark beauty of each desert's colours and light; maps show the varying topography of different regions, and the enthralling text describes some of nature's most remarkable adaptations and humanity's most resourceful communities. The chapters are divided by spectacular picture essays that feature a detailed view of a particular region, such as California's Death Valley, portraying its landscape, natural life and human residents. Throughout the book, boxes highlight fascinating aspects of the story of the deserts, from how sand dunes are formed to how the sidewinder moves, from how the Bedouin cope with the desert to the cave-dwelling quartz miners of central Australia.
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