Lizards dashing rapidly between plants. Songbirds and woodpeckers flying to and from their nests. Hawks perched on saguaros. What kinds of journeys have these and many other animals and plants and their ancestors taken in space and time to arrive in the Sonoran Desert? How long have these species been living together here?
In Sonoran Desert Journeys ecologist Theodore H. Fleming discusses two remarkable journeys. First, Fleming offers a brief history of our intellectual and technical journey over the past three centuries to understand the evolution of life on Earth. Next, he applies those techniques on a journey of discovery about the evolution and natural history of some of the Sonoran Desert's most iconic animals and plants. Fleming details the daily lives of a variety of reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants, describing their basic natural and evolutionary histories and addressing intriguing issues associated with their lifestyles and how they cope with a changing climate. Finally, Fleming discusses the complexity of Sonoran Desert conservation.
This book explores the evolution and natural history of iconic animals and plants of the northern Sonoran Desert through the eyes of a curious naturalist and provides a model of how we can coexist with the unique species that call this area home.
Theodore H. Fleming is a professor emeritus of biology at the University of Miami. He has spent over five decades studying mammals and their food plants in Panama, Costa Rica, Australia, Mexico, and Arizona. He lives in Tucson.