Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage

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9780300125399: Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage
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Nature has perfected the art of deception. Thousands of creatures all over the world - including butterflies, moths, fish, birds, insects and snakes - have honed and practised camouflage over hundreds of millions of years. Imitating other animals or their surroundings, nature's fakers use mimicry to protect themselves, to attract and repel, to bluff and warn, to forage and to hide. The advantages of mimicry are obvious - but how does 'blind' nature do it? And how has humanity learnt to profit from nature's ploys? "Dazzled and Deceived" tells the unique and fascinating story of mimicry and camouflage in science, art, warfare and the natural world. Discovered in the 1850s by the young English naturalists Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazonian rainforest, the phenomenon of mimicry was seized upon as the first independent validation of Darwin's theory of natural selection. But mimicry and camouflage also had a huge impact outside the laboratory walls. Peter Forbes' cultural history links mimicry and camouflage to art, literature, military tactics and medical cures across the twentieth century, and charts its intricate involvement with the dispute between evolution and creationism. As "Dazzled and Deceived" unravels the concept of mimicry, Forbes introduces colourful stories and a dazzling cast of characters - Roosevelt, Picasso, Nabokov, Churchill, and Darwin himself, to name a few - whom its mystery influenced and enthralled. Illuminating and lively, "Dazzled and Deceived" sheds new light on the greatest quest: to understand the processes of life at its deepest level.

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Review:

"[A] unique story of mimicry and camouflage in science, art, warfare and the natural world."
--Bookseller Preview, July 2009

`Forbes ... sees with lovely clarity that nature, like art, is a bricoleur, a tinkerer...' --Veronica Horwell, The Guardian, 31st October 2009

'An intriguing and fluent narrative.'
--Marek Kohn, The Independent, 30th October 2009 Marek Kohn, The Independent, 30th October 2009

`In this excellent and wide-ranging book, Forbes makes the hidden histories of science recognisable'
--Leena Lindstrom, Nature, January 2010

`Overall a wonderful topic that really hasn't been given enough coverage...and an excellent book. Highly recommended.'
--Brian Clegg, Popular Science, 28th January 2010

`Forbes tells brilliantly this exciting and colourful story with good anecdotes, bizarre characters and intriguing evidence.'
--Tim Newark, Military Illustrated, 1st March 2010

`Dazzled and Deceived is a fascinating account that provides a window into the biology of camouflage and mimicry.'
--Peter Smithers, Antenna, April 2010

`...a delight to read...should open the eyes of readers to things which have been too well camouflaged for years.'
--Hamish Kidd, Chemistry World, 1st June 2010

`An excellent book, scientifically precise in most cases, yet enjoyable for the broadest readership.'
--Michael Heethoff, BAAE, 1st June 2010

About the Author:

Peter Forbes, a writer, journalist, and editor with a longstanding interest in the relationship between art and science, is the author of The Gecko's Foot. Since 2004 he has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780300178968: Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage ** Winner of the Warwick Prize for Writing 2011 **

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ISBN 10:  0300178964 ISBN 13:  9780300178968
Publisher: Yale University Press, 2011
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