Table of contents
About this book
What little we know of the biology of desert invertebrates stems largely from inferences based on intensive and repeated observations. Such informa tion is not gained easily, since despite the actual abundance of these animals, relatively few of them are ever seen. In fact, except for species impacting on the well-being of human populations, historically most have been ignored by scholars in the western world. Indeed, it was ancient Egypt, with its reverence for the symbolism of the scarab, that probably provided us with the clearest early record of prominent desert types. A more modest resurgence of the story had to wait until the arrival of the present century. To be sure, some of the more obvious species had by then been elevated by European collectors to the level of drawing-room curios ities, and expeditions had returned large numbers to museums. But by 1900 the task of describing desert species and relationships among them was still in its infancy; and as for careful natural history studies, they too were just coming into their own.
Seen Wirbellose Wüstentiere animals biology desert invertebrates