The Truth About Animals
This was the most delightful book I've read in a long time. And filled with fun facts!
Subtitled "Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales From the Wild Side of Wildlife," Lucy Cooke takes her readers on a fantastical journey unpacking myths about animals. Did you think sloths were lazy? Think again. The main thesis of her book is that as humans, we project too much onto them. ("We see our virtues and vices reflected in animals — hardworking beavers, indolent sloths, innocent lambs, greedy vultures — through a glass darkly. But these well-worn clichés blind us to a world far more dazzling and varied," the New York Times book review points out.)
There are 13 chapters, each focused on a different animal: Eels, Beavers, Sloths, Hyenas, Vultures, Bats, Frogs, Storks, Hippos, Moose, Pandas, Penguins, and Chimpanzees. (The Moose chapter — about how Moose maybe get drunk — was my favorite.) You will learn more than you ever wanted to know about these animals, but Cooke's writing is also focused on how humans have understood them over the centuries. On the bizarre experiments scientists have done on animals, and the mistakes made (by Aristotle, and others) over and over again. Cooke, a zoology by training, is an engaging and entertaining writer.
Cooke writes, "I've found that taking a dissecting knife to our greatest animal myths often exposes a charming logic, transporting us to times of wondrous naivety, when little was known and anything was possible. Why on earth wouldn't birds migrate to the moon, hyenas switch sex with the season and eels spontaneously generate out of mud? Especially when the truth is no less incredible."
The Truth About Animals is definitely incredible. Rating: ★★★★★
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2N0WNle