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A look inside the often hidden world of parasites turns the clock back to the beginning of life on Earth to answer key questions about these highly evolved and resilient life forms.
This “fact-filled and amusing trek through nature’s dark side” (Kirkus Reviews) reveals the fascinating, weird, and often perverted ways that Mother Nature fends only for herself. It may be a wonderful world, but as Dan Riskin (host of the Animal Planet’s TV show Monsters Inside Me) explains, it’s also a dangerous, disturbing, and disgusting one. At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs. In Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You, Riskin is our tour guide through the natural world at its most gloriously ruthless. Using the seven deadly sins as a road map, Riskin offers dozens of jaw-dropping examples that illuminate how brutal nature can truly be. From slothful worms that hide in your body for up to thirty years to wrathful snails with poisonous harpoons that can kill you in less than five minutes to lustful ducks that have orgasms faster than you can blink, these fascinating accounts reveal the candid truth about “gentle” Mother Nature’s true colors. Riskin’s passion for the strange and his enthusiastic expertise bring Earth’s most fascinating fauna and flora into vivid focus. Through his adventures—which include sliding on his back through a thick soup of bat guano just to get face-to-face with a vampire bat, befriending a parasitic maggot that has taken root in his head, and coming to grips with having offspring of his own—Riskin makes unexpected discoveries not just about the world all around us but also about the ways this brutal world has shaped us as humans and what our responsibilities are to this terrible, wonderful planet we call home.
Though not thought about as much as viruses or bacteria, parasites are behind much sickness and suffering in both animals and humans all over the world. Parasites range from microscopic protozoans to insects like ticks and lice and intestinal worms. What they all have in common is that their survival comes at the expense of other living things. This book gives readers a solid introduction to these unpleasant but fascinating organisms, describes how they lead to illness, and discusses preventative measures and cures.
With the emergence of the new field of evolutionary developmental biology we are witnessing a renaissance of Darwin's insights 150 years after his On the Origin of Species. Thus far, the exciting findings from 'evo-devo' have only been trickling into college courses and into the domain of non-specialists. With its focus on the human organism, Quirks of Human Anatomy opens the floodgates by stating the arguments of evo-devo in plain English, and by offering a cornucopia of interesting case studies and examples. Its didactic value is enhanced by 24 schematic diagrams that integrate a host of disparate observations, by its Socratic question-and-answer format, and by its unprecedented compilation of the literature. By framing the 'hows' of development in terms of the 'whys' of evolution, it lets readers probe the deepest questions of biology. Readers will find the book educational and enjoyable, as it revels in the fun of scientific exploration.
Each vol. is divided into 2 parts 1st-7th ed.: Dictionary catalog and Classified catalog; 8th-9th ed. have 3rd. part: Directory of publishers.

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