Dreams of Dragons: An Exploration and Celebration of the Mysteries of Nature Paperback – 1 Jul 1996
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A natural-history classic. In 12 delightful essays, the author, who holds advanced degrees in marine biology, anthropology and ethology, peels away layers of stale truths about nature and the natural sciences, exploring new trains of thought. Watson's realm is "the soft edges of science," where Western empiricism meets the kind of ancient convictions found in virtually every culture, which he suspects reflect an older, more natural way of knowing. Watson works both kinds of perception into the fabric of natural history. He ponders the Strandloopers (Afrikaans for "the beach walkers"), an extinct people with huge heads and tiny bodies who lived on the Skeleton Coast of West Africa. No traces of material culture have ever been found, and Watson suggests the Strandloopers found satisfaction in making ideas, rather than machines. Most anthropologists would consider the vanished Strandloopers an evolutionary failure; Watson concludes we have a lot to learn from them. He compares the Strandloopers favorably to modern man, so obsessed with reason and technology that we have invented implements that threaten our survival. Watson also contemplates the unique capabilities of crowds, from human crowds to flocks of birds and schools of fish, and gives credence to unorthodox theories that humans descended from an aquatic ape. In addition, he explores Komodo, the Indonesian island where dragons - monitor lizards more than 3 meters in length - still swallow men whole, and New Guinea, home of the Asmat, the headhunting tribe in whose midst Michael Rockefeller disappeared while collecting primitive art. Some useful insight emerges from each composition. Nature writing at its best. (Kirkus Reviews) --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
With doctorates in anthropology and ethology (animal behavior) and additional degrees in botany, chemistry, geology, geography, marine biology, and ecology, Watson logically investigates illogical events. He speaks nine languages and has worked as the Seychelles commissioner for the International Whaling Commission and as assistant to Raymond Dart, the distinguished South African paleontologist.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
and interests are easily on display in this and all his other books. Watson has an eye for whimsical and unusual events, for beautiful images whether natural
or manufactured, and a keen intution for the magic in the ordinary image, thought, and objects.
This book specifically addresses all those strange and unexplained events which our orthodox scientists (isn't that an oxymoron) reject as unproven,
untested, and unscientific. Watson who holds a PhD in some branch of the natural sciences sees the inifinite humor, compassion, and joy inherent in being
alive on this earth, and the strange inhabitants of it, whether it be Komodo dragons, human beings, or rivers. In his stories and anecdotes inanimate objects
come to life, water can be happy or sad, mammals can re-grow severed limbs, and teh existance of shells (with their forms often representing mathematical perfection)
can have hidden lives....
If for no other reason than to have whimsical, unusual, and interesting trivia to talk about at a dry and dull dinner table, this book is to be read and marvelled at...
I can't really add much to the above, except to say that the book is well worth ordering even just for the opening sentences of each article! They sum up both his humour and the breadth of his enthusiasm for nature.
Another great legacy that Lyall has left to the living.
Subjects to entertain and make you think a little while reading.