The Truth About Animals

The Truth About Animals

Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

Mary Roach meets Sam Kean and Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world

Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we’ve still got a long way to go. Whether we’re seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins “holding hands,” it’s hard for us not to project our own values–innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work–onto animals. So you’ve probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do–and that’s just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret–and often hilarious–habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Science / Life Sciences

On Sale: April 17th 2018

Price: $16.99

Page Count: 352

ISBN-13: 9780465094653

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Praise

"Endlessly fascinating."—Bill Bryson, author of A Walk in the Woods, A Short History of Nearly Everything, and In a Sunburned Country
"Lucy Cooke's modern bestiary is as well-informed as you'd expect from an Oxford zoologist. It's also downright funny."—Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, and The Ancestor's Tale, and emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford
"Best science pick: Sigmund Freud's first paper involved the dissection of eels in an attempt to locate their testes. To his frustration, Freud failed to find any. The eel's life cycle remains slippery, notes natural-history broadcaster Lucy Cooke in her deeply researched, sassily written history of 'the biggest misconceptions, mistakes and myths we've concocted about the animal kingdom,' spread by figures from Aristotle to Walt Disney. Other chapters spotlight the sloth, vulture, hippopotamus, panda, chimpanzee and others, and dismantle anthropocentric clichés with scientific, global evidence."
Nature
"Lucy Cooke's [The Truth About Animals] was a joy from beginning to end. Who could resist a writer who argues that penguins have been pulling the wool over our eyes for years, and that, far from being cute and gregarious, they are actually pathologically unpleasant necrophiliacs?"—The Guardian (UK)
"The eclectic stories come thick and fast, with an equally varied human cast dedicated to uncovering the truth, scientifically or otherwise. Cooke illuminates and mickey-takes in equal measure, and the truth as she tells it is not only unexpected but often bizarre, bawdy and very, very funny. "—BBC Wildlife (UK)
"As surprising as it is diverse. Consummate natural history writing: illuminating, remarkable - and very, very funny."
Alice Roberts, Author of The Complete Human Body and The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being
"The rising star of natural history ... is she the new David Attenborough?"—The Times (UK)
"TOP AUTUMN BOOK PICKS: Lucy Cooke's fascinating book is full of mind-boggling stuff. Cooke takes much pleasure in throwing in all manner of amazing facts."—Reader's Digest (UK)
"A riot of facts....Cooke scores a series of goals with style and panache."—The Times (UK)
"Beautifully written, meticulously researched, with the science often couched in outrageous asides, this is a splendid read. In fact, I cannot remember when I last enjoyed a non-fiction work so much."—Daily Express (UK)
"Lucy Cooke unravels myths that will make you laugh out loud. Her knowledge of all things, furry, slimy and scaly is jaw-dropping."—The Sun (UK)
"BOOK OF THE WEEK: Highly amusing and enlightening new book [from] brilliant zoologist Lucy Cooke."—The Idler