This book, by Elizabeth Royte, is about a cluster of scientists at a research station on an island in the middle of Gatun Lake, an area flooded during the creation of the Panama Canal. The scientists study animals and plants. Royte wrote about them, volunteering her services as an unpaid research assistant. The book was interesting, though I suspect that these scientists are not much fun at parties. Royte stayed with them for a year, on and off, and manages to pull out some great anecdotes from her time there. Bert kept mostly to himself but followed the gossip. Chrissy chases spider monkeys and collects their poop so that she can measure hormone levels. Bret (not to be confused with Bert) observed bats and decided that we can grow old or dodge cancer, but not both.
I don't try to figure out my annual "fave reads" anymore. And it's only march. But I bet that if I tried to figure out my fave reads for 2007, this book would be on it.
Labels: book, monkeyscat, phylogeny