Exotic Aliens: The Lion and the Cheetah in India

by Romila Thapar

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Author: Romila Thapar

Languages: English

Number Of Pages: 304

Binding: Hardcover

Package Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches

Release Date: 01-04-2013

Details: About the Book: Exotic Aliens: The Lion and The Cheetah InIndia Exotic Aliens is a bold, original and compelling work aboutthe origins of lions and cheetahs in India that could turn fieldbiology on its head. In the sixteenth century, Dutch traveller Jan Linschoten notedthe absence of lions throughout the Indian subcontinent. Twohundred years later, echoing similar comments made by varioushunters and observers of Indian wildlife, the British shikari andwriter, Captain Thomas Williamson, emphatically declared: There areno lions in Hindustan. Much the same was said about the cheetahinthe region. These observations piqued the interest of well-knownnaturalist Valmik Thapar. After an enormous amount of research andstudy he now believes that, contrary to existing scientifictheory,neither of these animals were indigenous to the Indiansubcontinent. Remarking on the lack of accounts of encounters with theseanimals-as opposed to the tiger and the leopard which areextensively documented-as well as inconclusive genetic studies, heargues that, over the centuries, the lion and cheetah were broughtinto the country from Persia and Africa by royalty, either astributes or to populate their hunting parks and menageries. Enlisting the help of renowned historian, Romila Thapar-whoanalyzes historical accounts and representations of the lioninearly India-and scholar, Yusuf Ansari- who looks back at thelives of the Mughals and their famed hunts-to further validate histheory, Valmik Thapar concludes at the end of thisthought-provoking book that the Indian lion and the Indian cheetahwere, in fact, exotic imports, and not indigenous subspecies. Tracing the history of the lion and the cheetah for over 5,000years, and substantiated with pictorial evidence, Exotic Aliens isa pioneering work that could turn field biology on its head. About the Authors: Valmik Thapar, Romila Thapar, YusufAnsari Valmik Thapar is Indias foremost wildlife conservationist and aninternationally renowned natural histori