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Scenic Science of the National Parks

by Emily Hoff and Maygen Keller
# US1932 Paperback, 345 pages; 2020
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We know this looks like a book, but our collection of pages is actually more like a secret decoder ring or a pair of X-ray glasses because it will help you see some of the most iconic landscapes in the United States in a whole new way.

You had us at "secret decoder ring!" This supercool guide to America's national parks is a science-minded traveler's dream, a fascinating exploration of these spectacular landscapes as seen through their geology, botany, and wildlife. Why do the rock walls of Arches National Park look streaked with paint? Because of a colorful "desert varnish" created by clay, microbes, and minerals. Where can you still find old-growth forests undisturbed by Euro-American loggers and developers? Deep inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Which national park is home to "ancient masters of evolutionary origami?" Congaree, where turtles—whose ribs evolved to form shells—abound! Each entry begins with a quick list of notable animals, common plants, and crowd-pleasing hikes, before digging deeper into the park's unusual natural wonders. Amazing! (KG)
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