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After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America
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After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  92 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today.

"One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal

"A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, t
Paperback, 376 pages
Published December 1st 1992 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1991)
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Last Ranger
Dec 26, 2012 Last Ranger rated it it was amazing
After the Ice Age
E. C. Pielou

There's a chill in the air!

For thousands of years huge glaciers covered a good portion of North America. What was the land like during that time? The climate? The life? What kinds of changes occurred when the ice sheets started to withdraw? Pielou's book covers it all in fine style, explaining the ecological alterations that would lead to today's world. Her writing is clear and it smoothly takes you through a number of different disciplines: geology, biology and cli
Nov 16, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, science
This is very interesting reading if you wonder what North America was like when the native Americans first arrived from Mongolia and Beringia. Available evidence is carefully discussed and well presented. It is well-written, well-organized, not very technical and thus accessible for the non-professional. It is not a book written for juveniles. 'The ice age' is the Wisconsin Glacial, excluding previous glaciation. The main subject of interest is the possible routes of the migration of mammals, in ...more
John Branney
Aug 17, 2013 John Branney rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book if a person is interested in the flora and fauna of ten to twenty thousand years ago in North America. It is not a book that most people can read from front cover to back cover, it is much too technical with no real plot. It is just an excellent research resource for archaeology, paleobotanists, and paleobiologists.

Two thumbs up.
James Warriner
Nov 25, 2013 James Warriner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: geology
This is an excellent summary of the final millenia and resulting changes caused by the latest (Wisconsinian) glaciation of North America. The author's primary expertise is in botany/ecology and the book reflects that. However, his descriptions of the physical and temporal and geomorphic occurrences are both continent-wide in scope and regional in detail. The ecological phenomena he describes are pertinent evidence for the post-glacial conditions. As a retired geologist who grew up a couple of mi ...more
Caw Miller
May 19, 2013 Caw Miller rated it it was amazing
This scientific book shows how life in North America appeared at the climax of the last ice advance, then how life returned as the glaciers retreated. Fascinating details of fossils, especially pollen, allows for the creation of prehistoric habitats. Information like the speed in which specific plant species moved north after the ice help show that there is no climax habitat in North America. Unlike most books about the ice age, this book deals in specifics, not generalizations. The maps and gra ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Christopher rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I may have humped ahead a bit in my layman's interest in topics like this for this is extremely technical. This does mean, however, that it is chock full of information, drawings, maps, and everything else as well though.
Feb 12, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: libraries, ecology students, science fiction writers
I fell in love with this book from the first page. Essentially, Pielou takes us through 20,000 years of ecological history, showing what the world would have looked like in the wake of the retreating ice sheets of the last great ice age. This was one of those books that I had to stop reading every few pages because Pielou's narrative would send my imagination spinning off on wild tangents. Highly recommended for public and college libraries, not to mention science fiction writers looking for wel ...more
John Senner
Nov 21, 2010 John Senner rated it liked it
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Deb Vanasse
Sep 04, 2013 Deb Vanasse rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at a bookstore in the Yukon. I don't read a lot of science/natural history, but I was fascinated by the idea of learning more about the ancient roots of the flora and fauna around me, here at the edge of Beringia. Though somewhat dated, Pielou's treatment makes the topic thoroughly approachable (though not dumbed down) for non-science people like me. It added a new layer of understanding to a setting that appears in a lot of my books.
Mar 03, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it
Shelves: ice-age
More of a textbook, very dry and clinical in parts, but containing a lot of very interesting information.
Aug 03, 2011 Michael marked it as to-read
Still reading it...find it thoughful and well written.
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