As both a naturalist as well as someone for whom the substance looms unusually large in daily life, the recent publication by Oxford University Press of Blood; A Very Short Introduction is an occasion that was awaited with particularly high interest. Now that a copy has reached my desk, no time has been wasted in exploring what its author Christopher Cooper has written about his subject.
Very Short introductions
With the recent publication of Tim Lenton’s “Earth System Science; A Very Short Introduction,” I was made aware that there was a field of study that sought to explain the proverbial big picture in a perspective so large and all-encompassing that even ecology is only a part.
The fact that Oxford University Press seeks out world-renowned experts in their fields to write the volumes of the press’ Very Short Introductions series is not surprising. However what really makes the extra bit of difference is that the authors also have to be an exceptionally skilled writers, capable of explaining often complex subjects clearly and succinctly to a general but admittedly curious readership, in order to make the grade.
Savannas are far more common that you may realize. For instance, did you know that they make up roughly half of the surface area in the tropics and sub-tropics? That they cover approximately 45% of South America and nearly 50% of Africa?