ISBN is

978-0-226-12202-1 / 0226122026

Headless Males Make Great Lovers: And Other Unusual Natural Histories

by Crump, Marty

Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

The natural world is filled with diversenot to mention quirky and oddanimal behaviors. Consider the male praying mantis that continues to mate after being beheaded; the spiders, insects, and birds that offer gifts of food in return for sex; the male hip-pocket frog that carries his own tadpoles; the baby spiders that dine on their mother; the beetle that craves excrement; or the starfish that sheds an arm or two to escape a predator's grasp.

Headless Males Make Great Lovers and Other Unusual Natural Histories celebrates this extraordinary world of animals with essays on curious creatures and their amazing behaviors. In five thematic chapters, Marty Crumpa tropical field biologist well known for her work with the reproductive behavior of amphibiansexamines the bizarre conduct of animals as they mate, parent, feed, defend themselves, and communicate. Crump's enthusiasm for the unusual behaviors she describesfrom sex change and free love in sponges to aphrodisiac concoctions in batsis visible on every page, thanks to her skilled storytelling, which makes even sea slugs, dung beetles, ticks, and tapeworms fascinating and appealing. Steeped in biology, Headless Males Make Great Lovers points out that diverse and unrelated animals often share seemingly bizarre behaviorsevidence, Crump argues, that these natural histories, though outwardly weird, are successful ways of living.

Illustrated throughout, and filled with vignettes of personal and scientific interest, Headless Males Make Great Lovers will enchant the general reader with its tales of blood-squirting horned lizards and intestine-ejecting sea cucumbersall in the service of a greater appreciation of the diversity of the natural histories of animals.

 

"A marvelous introduction to the whys and wherefores of animal behavior . . ."Booklist

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