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Sierra East : Edge of the Great Basin

Sierra East : Edge of the Great Basin


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The Eastern Sierra is a dramatic, unusual, mountain-and-desert region in eastern
California and western Nevada that includes two famous resorts, Lake Tahoe
and Mammoth Lakes. It is a world apart from the lands west of the Sierra Nevada,
and the contributors to this lavishly illustrated natural history provide a
marvelous introduction to the wonderland that makes up the Eastern Sierra.

As the eastern slope of the 400-mile-long Sierra Nevada merges with the western
edge of the Great Basin, desert valleys of long summers and snow-spangled mountains
of long winters lie side by side. The region's unique features include altitudes
ranging from 2,800 feet at Redrock Canyon to 14,494 feet at the top of Mount
Whitney; the merging of three biogeographic regions: the Sierra Nevada, the
Great Basin Desert, and the Mojave Desert; and the resulting extraordinary
diversity of plant and animal life. The book contains chapters on the region's
geologic story, weather and climate, plant communities, arthropods, native
fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The authors emphasize relationships
and the ingenious ways that plant and animal life have evolved and adapted
to the Eastern Sierra's harsh environments. Maps, diagrams, photographs, and
exceptional drawings illustrate the text. Written with few technical terms, Sierra
is a fine source book for the layperson and students on university
field trips.

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