Read Built for Speed: A Year in the Life of Pronghorn by John A. Byers Online

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North America's fastest mammal, the pronghorn, can accelerate explosively from a standing start to a top speed of 60 miles per hour - but it can also cruise at 45 miles per hour for many miles. What accounts for the speed of this extraordinary animal, a denizen of the American outback, and what can be observed of this creature's way of life? And what is it like to be a fieNorth America's fastest mammal, the pronghorn, can accelerate explosively from a standing start to a top speed of 60 miles per hour - but it can also cruise at 45 miles per hour for many miles. What accounts for the speed of this extraordinary animal, a denizen of the American outback, and what can be observed of this creature's way of life? And what is it like to be a field biologist dedicating twenty years to studying this species? Here, John A. Byers answers these questions as he draws an intimate portrait of the most charismatic resident of the American Great Plains. bison from the brink of extinction, also inadvertently rescued the largest known remnant of Palouse Prairie. It is within this grassland habitat - home to meadowlarks, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, coyotes, elk, snipe and a panoply of wildflowers - that Byers observes the pronghorn's life from birth to death (a life often as brief as four days, sometimes as long as fifteen years) and from season to season. Readers will also experience the vicarious pleasures of a biologist who is eager to race a pronghorn in his truck, scrutinize bison dung through binoculars and peer through the gathering dusk of a rainy evening to count the display dives of snipe. animal, the story of the pronghorn is also a reminder of the crucial role we can play in preserving the fleeting live of the American grassland....

Title : Built for Speed: A Year in the Life of Pronghorn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780674011427
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 230 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Built for Speed: A Year in the Life of Pronghorn Reviews

  • Bob Newman
    2019-03-12 15:14

    Deer and antelope don't only playOn a thirty square mile reserve in western Montana, John A. Byers studied pronghorn antelope in their natural habitat over many years. He accumulated a lot of knowledge and in addition to publishing a scientific work, he also wrote this beautiful, almost lyrical `ode' to the life of antelope. In addition to antelope birth, fawn life, pecking order, survival rates, enemies, abilities, reproductive rituals, and diet, Byers writes very ably about the natural beauty of the area and many of the myriad other creatures that inhabit it along with the pronghorns, creatures such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, meadowlarks, snipe, and grasshoppers. His own experiences over the years, doing the study, also form an enjoyable part of text. Many black and white photos and a sense of humor grace the pages of this slim book. Readers with general interests can easily absorb the scientific explanations of plant/animal ratios or biomass. A theme that has not been emphasized, but is very interesting nonetheless, is that many inherited characteristics of pronghorn antelope stem from a not-so-distant (in evolutionary terms) era when speedy, large predators roamed the North American grasslands. After a mass extinction some 10,000 years ago, antelopes no longer needed the 60 mph speed, urge to be in groups, embryo disposability and aggressive `displacement behavior' they still exhibit. Modern coyotes cannot catch an antelope any more than Wyl E. Coyote can ever catch Road Runner. Antelope harems, hawk kettles, bison ruts, beautiful sunsets---BUILT FOR SPEED is one of those books of which you will be sorry to reach the end.

  • Ryan Mishap
    2019-03-11 17:29

    Every scientist doing field work like this should write a book, or, if said scientist lacks the artful writing ability of Byers, find someone to ghost write a book for a general readership. Twenty years of study in one place provides deep layers to the information shared in this volume. Not only do we learn about the extraordinary pronghorn, but we get a feel for the place and the other animals that coexist there. The reader will also get a good lesson in how science actually works. From formulating a question and a study to answer it, to doing the tedious watching and note-taking, real science takes time, patience, and a dedication to one's area of study.Fascinating.

  • Sacha
    2019-02-23 11:30

    The fastest land animal in North America comes to life in this humorous account. I appreciated that this was not dry Natural History, it is part memoir. As someone who lives in Montana I felt right at home as the story of the pronghorn was interwoven and compared and contrasted with all of the other seasonal happenings and more familiar animals.When I see these little speed demons now I am both awed and amused by their antics.

  • michaelben
    2019-03-15 15:29

    This is an excellent little book about the author's experience of the Montana prairie. His lyrical description of more than pronghorn -- birds (especially); bison; others -- helps bring the prairie alive in time and place far more than if he had focused only on the antelope. It is beautifully written for a nonscientist.

  • Erin
    2019-02-26 18:27

    Approachable natural history account about pronghorn. Not as splendid as Rick Bass makes it out to be in the introduction, but well done. Re-piqued my interest in the bison range as well. This book would have been made stronger through references and incorporation of other's pronghorn studies.

  • Emily
    2019-03-02 12:31

    Kind of a field memoir. The last paragraph or so was about bison... kind of weird for a book about pronghorn.

  • Avary
    2019-02-20 19:20

    Perhaps more than I wanted to know about pronghorn, but it's still interesting if you like this kind of popularly written wildlife reseach.