Ten Million Aliens : A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdom
Overview - This fascinating scientific foray into the animal kingdom examines how the world's creatures--weird, wonderful, and everything in between--are inextricably linked. Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It's weirder than we are capable of imagining. Read more...
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More About Ten Million Aliens by Simon Barnes
This fascinating scientific foray into the animal kingdom examines how the world's creatures--weird, wonderful, and everything in between--are inextricably linked.
Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It's weirder than we are capable of imagining. And we're all in it together: humans, blue whales, rats, birds of paradise, beetles, mollusks the size of buses, gladiator slugs, bdelloid rotifers that haven't had sex for millions of years, and water bears--creatures that can be boiled, frozen, and fired off into space without dying.
We're all part of the animal kingdom, appearing in what Darwin called "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful." In this audacious book, Simon Barnes brings together all of the world's creatures, seeking not what sets them all apart but what unites all. He explores arcane knowledge from the works of Darwin to James Joyce and David Attenborough to Sherlock Holmes, in addition to telling his own wild, don't-try-this-at-home adventures in humorous and compulsively readable prose.
Fascinating, entertaining, and perfect for Discovery Channel enthusiasts, Ten Million Aliens
will open your eyes to the real marvels of the planet we live on.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Barnes (How to Be a Birdwatcher), an English sports writer, nature writer, and novelist, embarks on a vast survey of the animal kingdom. The 460 pages of descriptions of various phyla are a joy to read: funny, thoughtful, informative, and wise. Barnes divides the world’s creatures into vertebrates and invertebrates, alternating his 130 short chapters between the two. A superb writer, he packs an amazing amount of material into each brief chapter, and makes stories about tiny velvet worms, giant squid, peripatetic albatrosses, and sessile barnacles equally captivating. His scientific facts are well chosen and creatively mixed with firsthand descriptions of his travels across Africa, Great Britain, and beyond. Barnes is as comfortable discussing crickets as cricket and weaves literature with natural history. Without moralizing, Barnes also situates Homo sapiens as just one species within the animal kingdom, forcing readers to think about the damage we are doing to so many of our fellow species. The book is all but impossible to put down, and for good measure, Barnes explains the process of evolution as well as any popular science writer. (Feb.)