Eric R. Pianka is the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. The world's leading authority on the ecology of desert lizards, he is also the author of the classic textbook Evolutionary Ecology.
This is a strange and interesting book by the well-known ecologist, Eric Pianka. As an episodic treatment of Pianka's early life and extensive fieldwork in Australia and Africa, it combines childhood experiences, travelogue, lizard biology, field anecdote, social commentary and the occasional rant... As it turns out, Eric Pianka is the interesting story here, not the lizards he studies... We are given tantalizing glimpses into what makes this field ecologist tick, and it is this that keeps us reading.This book, with its mix of adventure, natural history, human interest, and social commentary, is likely to be enjoyed by a wide audience. Pianka's talents as a scientist and writer are so evident that I can only hope that in the near future he extends his interests to the eastern tropical rain forest regions of the fascinating Australian continent, perhaps providing a sequel to The Lizard Man Speaks.