Of Silk and Sand: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard

Of Silk and Sand: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard is the end product of many years of studying lions and leopards in the Kalahari.
Bothma, J. du P.
12043
978-0-620-85232-6
ab 19.08.22 (Ende Betriebsurlaub)
neu
29,95 € *

Title: Of Silk and Sand
Subtitle: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard
Author: J. du P. Bothma
Independently published
Cape Town, South Africa 2019
ISBN 9780620852326 / ISBN 978-0-620-85232-6
Softcover, 15 x 22 cm, 234 pages, numerous photos and images

About: Of Silk and Sand: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard

Lions and leopards are fairly recent mammals but their evolution has followed a long path of development. The roaring cats were the first of the living cats to diverge from an ancestral cat in Asia some 10.8 million years ago but the lion and leopard only diverged from this ancestral lineage 2.8 million years ago in Africa to spread over much of the World. They shared much of their development with that of early humans upon whom they preyed and with which they competed for food and space. As a consequence humans developed an innate fear of lions and leopards and have persecuted them mercilessly.

Yet, lions and leopards are vital elements of terrestrial ecosystems and their mindless persecution can ultimately lead to the collapse of the very ecosystems on which humans depend to survive. The wildlife philosopher Aldo Leopold once said that humans abuse land because they see it as a commodity that belongs to them instead of seeing it as a community of which they are a part. This is a basic concept of ecology, but that land and all its inhabitants must be respected is an extension of the ethic that you cannot respect wild things and yet hate large carnivores.

'Of Silk and Sand: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard' is the end product of many years of studying lions and leopards in the Kalahari and it describes their journey through time. It attempts to open a window onto the role that lions and leopards play in the mysteries of the natural world of Africa and is based on the ultimate philosophy, that in our journey on the Earth, there are some people who can live without lions and leopards and some who cannot.

Content: Of Silk and Sand: The origin, life and times of the lion and leopard

PROLOGUE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CHAPTER 1: The Origin of Life on Earth
Early Earth
Early life
Land plants
Land animals
The pulse of diverging wildlife
CHAPTER 2: The Origin of Cats
The evolution of cats
Dirk and sabre-toothed cats
Modern cats
CHAPTER 3: The Essence of a Cat
Body shape and size
Body proportions
Teeth
Claws
Skin and coat
Metabolism and temperature regulation
Senses
Vision
Hearing
Smell and taste
Touch
Vocalization
Social system
CHAPTER 4: The Evolution of the Living African Cats
The lion
The leopard
The cheetah
The caracal, golden cat and serval
The small cats
CHAPTER 5: The Cat in Ancient Egypt
The wild cats
The domestic cat
CHAPTER 6: The Lion
The cave lion
The American lion
The Asiatic lion
The African lion
The Kalahari lion
CHAPTER 7: Field notes on Kalahari lions
Around camp
On foot
With students
Tracking lions
Darting lions
The habits of lions
CHAPTER 8: The Leopard
The cave leopard
The African leopard
The Kalahari leopard
Tracking leopards
Black leopards
Southeastern Asia
The African continent
Conservation
CHAPTER 9: Field Notes on Kalahari Leopards
Tracking leopards
The habits of leopards
Hunting and water use
Mating
Cubs
Interaction with other large carnivores
Conservation
CHAPTER 10: In Pursuit of the Shayamanzi Dream
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
BIBLIOGRAPHY

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