|Plot Summary of The Lost Camels of Tartary|
|"This is the fascinating account of the conservationist John Hare's personal adventures in the 1990s: four treks by vehicle and camel train into the arid and dangerous Mongolian Gobi desert and the Gashun Gobi desert of China. It is a quest of environmental science, to determine if the wild camel still exists in this remote and forbidding environment. Science had long thought the wild camel to be extinct, with any roaming free to be merely feral animals, escaped domestics that had returned to the wild.
The success is startling, adult and young camels are found and photographed. DNA samples prove that the two-humped Bactrian (Camelus bactrianus ferus) is indeed the living ancestor of both the one and two-humped domestic camel. The Bactrian camel is now thought to have been domesticated at least 5000 years ago. John Hare's wild camels exist in very small isolated breeding groups, and probably less than 1000 are left in total. The wild camel is even nearer to extinction than the giant panda, and is now also listed as 'critically endangered'. These camels are the only known mammals to have adapted to drinking salt-water alone. They are of great interest to biologists, also having unique immune systems which render them immune to certain viral infections common in large mammals and resistant certain bacterial diseases. Unlocking the knowledge of their uniquely small and mobile antibody protein molecules may prove applicable to creating new human vaccines.
A conservation project to breed these animals and protect the wild gene pool has been set up and a website to keep you up-to-date.
Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Lost Camels of Tartary|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Kind of animal:
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this person?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- average physique
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
- in awe
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Commentary on society?
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
- A lot in color 11-15
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 0-25% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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