National Geographic : 2003 Aug
SForum April 2003 The cover story on mammals in spired the most letters this month- about a quarter of them devoted to Robert Clark's cover shot of new mother Julie Marques and her daughter, Amelia. "It beautifully captures the bond between mother and child," wrote one mother. But critics of evolution took strong exception to the article. Wrote one: "Forthe record, my ancestral mother was named Eve." The Rise of Mammals The mother-and-child picture on the cover is a masterpiece. How anyone can look at that darling child that only nine months before was a pinhead size egg and think this magical development was only a blind accident of chance is beyond me. RALPH SICKLES Tempe, Arizona When I open up most maga zines, I expect to see nothing but photos of perfectly sculpted models with flawless complex ions. From NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC, however, I expect something a little closer to real ity. The woman pictured on the opening pages of this article looks like a supermodel who just happens to be pregnant. If you are going to have a picture of a nude pregnant woman, why don't you show one who looks like the other 99 percent of us stretch marks, cellulite, water retention, and all. Don't women MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800 -548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm AOL Keyword: NatGeoMag have enough perfection to com pare themselves to already? ELISABETH D. BEUTLER Phoenix,Arizona The caption on page 21 states that Asian mammals crossed the Bering Strait land bridge to North America during a period of intense global warming. But I thought the land bridge formed during periods of global cooling, which allowed for the formation of glaciers that locked up water, lowered ocean levels, and ex posed the bridge. It's counterin tuitive that a land bridge would form with higher ocean levels. BRUCE KLEIN Redmond, Washington What you describe is correctfor recent times, but 50 million years ago conditions were different. Sea level was not affected by melting ice but by continental drift and mountain building. The land bridge was exposed despite the warmth of the early Eocene. What's New at Gombe I have just left Gombe National Park to write my Ph.D. disser tation after six and a half years studying the chimpanzees there. It is my opinion that the immediate threat to the chimps NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * AUGUST 2003 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increaseand diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. 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Bonsignore, Howard G. Buffett, Craig D. Campbell, Juliet C. Folger, Robert A. Hefner III, Samuel C. Johnson, Bruce L. Ludwig, Sally Engelhard Pingree. W . Russell Ramsey,Edward P.Roski, Jr.. Alice Rogoff Rubenstein, B. Francis Saul II. Garry A. Weber RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman; JohnM. Francis, Vice Chairman and Executive Director: Richard S. Williams. Jr., Vice Chairman: Martha E. Church, Scott V. Edwards, William L. Graf,Nancy Knowlton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller, Jan Nijman, Stuart L. Pimm, Elsa M. Redmond, William H. Schlesinger, Bruce D. Smith. Hans-Dieter Sues, Henry T. Wright. Patricia C. Wright EXPLORERS-IN -RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Zahi Hawass, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Doubilet. Karen Kasmauski, Emory Kristof, Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Education Foundation:Barbara A. Chow. Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. ExpeditionsCouncil: RebeccaMartin. Geography Bee: Mary LeeElden. Lectures: P.Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School Publishing: Ericka Markman, Sr. Vice President. International: Robert W. Hernandez, Sr. Vice President. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6, Sr. Vice President. Communications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President. Treasurer: H. Gregory Platts, Sr. Vice President NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, Presidentand CEO Television:Timothy T. Kelly. President. National Geographic Channel: David Haslingden. President. International: Laureen Ong, President U.S . Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. Copyright © 2003 National GeographicSociety. Allrights reserved. National Geographicand Yellow Border:Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. National Geographicassumes no responsibilityfor unsolicited materials. Printed in U.S .A .