The Camel's Nose: Memoirs Of A Curious Scientist
by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen
Island Press, 1998
Cloth: 978-1-55963-512-7 | eISBN: 978-1-59726-326-9
Library of Congress Classification QP26.S33A3 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 571.1092

"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Those with whom the schools do not succeed become scientists." So begins Knut Schmidt-Nielsen in his autobiography The Camel's Nose, a fascinating reflection on his life and more than forty years of studies and adventures in locations ranging from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle.One of the world's most prominent animal physiologists, Schmidt-Nielsen has throughout his career sought answers to seemingly simple questions: How can camels go for days without drinking? Do marine birds drink seawater? Why don't penguins' feet freeze? How do animals find food and water in the desert? By asking questions about the animals around us, we learn more about who we are, and the answers Schmidt-Nielsen discovered have not only helped us understand animals, but have provided us with insight into fundamental principles of life and survival.In The Camel's Nose, Schmidt-Nielsen relates the story of his life and work, interweaving tales of his childhood in Scandinavia and his personal and professional struggles in the United States with first-hand accounts of field work in Africa, Australia, and around the globe. He recounts how he sought out peculiar problems of animal form and function and details his remarkable discoveries. He also provides a glimpse into the personal life of a world-renowned scientist, from the rewards and difficulties of growing up in a family of scientists to the challenges of his early career to the redeeming power of love later in life.The Camel's Nose reveals a passionate curiosity for seeking out and finding answers. The reader is fortunate to share in Schmidt-Nielsen's lifelong quest and to be given an inside look into the life of a scientist who has witnessed the better part of a century of breathtaking discovery and change.

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