Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle

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9780805094503: Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle
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From the horns of dung beetles or the enormous claws of male fiddler crabs to the elaborate antlers of elk, some animals have developed extravagant weapons that seem out of proportion with their size. Evolutionary biologist Douglas Emlen has made a study of the factors that drive the evolution of these extreme specializations and, in this study, draws parallels with the development of military technology in human history, concluding that the governing factors are the same.

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A skilled storyteller, Emlen takes the reader to Panama to observe dueling Harlequin beetles; to Tanzania to collect elephant excrement--and other dung beetles that live on it; and to tropical forests, where stalk-eyes flies defend their harems of females. The weapons discussed in these stories are illustrated in stunning color plates. Science

Animal Weapons is a fascinating look at the extremes of animal appendages and behaviors. Shelf Awareness

Outstanding . . . Emlen's book on animal warfare reveals a world far more fascinating and intriguing than one we could summon with our imagination. The Seattle Times

Through personal stories, historical narrative and detailed sketches, biologist Emlen charts the evolution of animal weapons so bizarre and gargantuan, it's amazing they even exist. Discover

In this original study, Emlen tours offensive and defensive anatomy and behaviors across aeons and taxa, from Tyrannosaurus rex's fearsome teeth to ibex horns and amphibian poisons. He sharpens the discussion by interweaving parallels with humanities own evolving arsenal. Nature

Emlen's excellent writing will draw in readers intrigued by astonishingly powerful weapons, both in the wild and in the military, and how they have evolved owing to selective pressures. Library Journal (starred)

Absorbing . . . Throughout the book, Emlen's demonstrations of the many parallels between human and animal weapons are fascinating, even when the possibilities are frightening . . . Emlen is not a hurried or simplistic storyteller. He is a writer of nuance, and he traveled to many different environments to get the story. Kirkus

Emlen infuses scientific explanations with entertaining anecdotes from his field research at the University of Montana. Each step of the way, he provides parallels with human weapon development and design, from ancient civilizations to weapons of mass destruction, and the evolutionary process of animals. While his conclusions about the human arms race are dire, it is his description of animal weaponry in action and in evolution that will captivate. Publishers Weekly

A great deal of the living world really is red in tooth and claw. That important principle has needed a real biologist to illustrate and explain it, now accomplished dramatically by Emlen's Animal Weapons The Evolution of Battle. Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, Harvard University

One of our leading evolutionary biologists, Doug Emlen, delves into the deep meaning of entities as different as beetle horns and medieval castles, to take the reader on a joyous ride of discovery about nature and the human experience. Animal Weapons is an authoritative, knowledgeable, and epic narrative of one of the dominant themes of life on earth, including our own. Emlen's curiosity, passion, and storytelling prowess make this magisterial little volume leap from the page. Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

This is a great read not only for the stories of conflicts and weaponry in a diversity of animals, but also for the history of human weaponry, and the highly relevant message about arms races the author reads from both. Bernd Heinrich, author of Winter World and Why We Run

Animal Weapons is must read, especially those of us who are interested and concerned about human weapons development. As Douglas Emlen shows definitively, arms races are not something we as a species invented, but instead the most natural thing in the world. Robert L. O'Connell, author of The Ghosts of Cannae and Fierce Patriot

Doug Emlen has done a superb job of bringing together the stories of animal and human weapons. He makes the biology behind the evolution of weapons understandable for this soldier and engineer, and convincingly illustrates the human animal's problems in controlling or avoiding catastrophe in the age of weapons of mass destruction. Lieutenant General John Myers

"

"A skilled storyteller, Emlen takes the reader to Panama to observe dueling Harlequin beetles; to Tanzania to collect elephant excrement--and other dung beetles that live on it; and to tropical forests, where stalk-eyes flies defend their harems of females. The weapons discussed in these stories are illustrated in stunning color plates." --Science

"Animal Weapons is a fascinating look at the extremes of animal appendages and behaviors." --Shelf Awareness

"Outstanding . . . Emlen's book on animal warfare reveals a world far more fascinating and intriguing than one we could summon with our imagination." --The Seattle Times

"Through personal stories, historical narrative and detailed sketches, biologist Emlen charts the evolution of animal weapons so bizarre and gargantuan, it's amazing they even exist." --Discover

"In this original study, Emlen tours offensive and defensive anatomy and behaviors across aeons and taxa, from Tyrannosaurus rex's fearsome teeth to ibex horns and amphibian poisons. He sharpens the discussion by interweaving parallels with humanities own evolving arsenal." --Nature

"Emlen's excellent writing will draw in readers intrigued by astonishingly powerful weapons, both in the wild and in the military, and how they have evolved owing to selective pressures." --Library Journal (starred)

"Absorbing . . . Throughout the book, Emlen's demonstrations of the many parallels between human and animal weapons are fascinating, even when the possibilities are frightening . . . Emlen is not a hurried or simplistic storyteller. He is a writer of nuance, and he traveled to many different environments to get the story." --Kirkus

"Emlen infuses scientific explanations with entertaining anecdotes from his field research at the University of Montana. Each step of the way, he provides parallels with human weapon development and design, from ancient civilizations to weapons of mass destruction, and the evolutionary process of animals. While his conclusions about the human arms race are dire, it is his description of animal weaponry in action and in evolution that will captivate." --Publishers Weekly

"A great deal of the living world really is red in tooth and claw. That important principle has needed a real biologist to illustrate and explain it, now accomplished dramatically by Emlen's Animal Weapons The Evolution of Battle." --Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, Harvard University

"One of our leading evolutionary biologists, Doug Emlen, delves into the deep meaning of entities as different as beetle horns and medieval castles, to take the reader on a joyous ride of discovery about nature and the human experience. Animal Weapons is an authoritative, knowledgeable, and epic narrative of one of the dominant themes of life on earth, including our own. Emlen's curiosity, passion, and storytelling prowess make this magisterial little volume leap from the page." --Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish

"This is a great read not only for the stories of conflicts and weaponry in a diversity of animals, but also for the history of human weaponry, and the highly relevant message about arms races the author reads from both." --Bernd Heinrich, author of Winter World and Why We Run

"Animal Weapons is must read, especially those of us who are interested and concerned about human weapons development. As Douglas Emlen shows definitively, arms races are not something we as a species invented, but instead the most natural thing in the world." --Robert L. O'Connell, author of The Ghosts of Cannae and Fierce Patriot

"Doug Emlen has done a superb job of bringing together the stories of animal and human weapons. He makes the biology behind the evolution of weapons understandable for this soldier and engineer, and convincingly illustrates the human animal's problems in controlling or avoiding catastrophe in the age of weapons of mass destruction." --Lieutenant General John Myers

About the Author:

Douglas J. Emlen is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, multiple research awards from the National Science Foundation, including their five-year CAREER award, and a Young Investigator Prize and the E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award from the American Society of Naturalists. His research has been featured in outlets including the New York Times and National Public Radio's Fresh Air. He is a professor at the University of Montana.

David J. Tuss is a graphic artist who specializes in blending technical accuracy with vivid, lifelike compositions. His work is also featured in textbooks, scientific articles, and technical biology papers. He lives in Helena, Montana, where he works as a wilderness ranger, natural science illustrator, and public school science and art teacher.

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9781250075314: Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle

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