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The beauty of the beastly : new views on the nature of life

Author: Natalie Angier
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
""The beauty of the natural world lies in the details, and most of those details are not the stuff of calendar art," Natalie Angier writes in the introduction to The Beauty of the Beastly. "I have made it a kind of hobby, almost a mission, to write about organisms that many people find repugnant: spiders, scorpions, parasites, worms, rattlesnakes, dung beetles, hyenas. I have done so out of a perverse preference for  Read more...
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Details

Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Angier, Natalie.
Beauty of the beastly.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1995
(OCoLC)645941804
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Natalie Angier
ISBN: 0395718163 9780395718162 0395791472 9780395791479
OCLC Number: 31865476
Notes: "A Peter Davison book."
Selection of revised pieces which originally appeared in the New York times.
Includes index.
Description: xxii, 278 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: [Pt.] I. Loving --
1. Mating for life? --
2. The urge to cuddle --
3. Tell a tale of in-laws --
4. Female choice : an Eve-olutionary force --
5. What makes a parent put up with it all? --
6. Dolphin courtship : brutal, cunning, and complex --
7. Skin deep? --
8. The grand strategy of orchids --
[Pt.] II. Dancing --
9. The very pulse of the machine --
10. The wrapping of DNA --
11. Chaperoning proteins --
12. A clue to longevity --
13. What happens when DNA is bent --
14. Blueprint for an embryo --
15. DNA's unbroken text --
[Pt.] III. Slithering --
16. Admirers of the scorpion --
17. Parasites and sex --
18. The scareb, peerless recycler --
19. There is nothing like a roach --
20. The pit viper : bizarre, gallant, venomous --
[Pt.] IV. Adapting --
21. The play's the thing --
22. Hormones and hyenas --
23. The world's most endangered primate --
24. Plenty of fish in the sea --
25. Chasing cheetahs --
26. Busy as a bee? --
27. It's only human --
[Pt.] V. Healing --
28. A new theory of menstruation --
29. Why vegetables are good for you --
30. Unsightly fat : the mammals' fate --
31. The anatomy of joy --
[Pt.] VI. Creating --
32. The artful doctor --
33. From madness to masterpiece --
34. Scientist at work : Victoria Elizabeth Foe --
35. Scientist at work : Mary-Claire King --
36. At the science museum with Stephen Jay Gould --
[Pt.] VII. Dying --
37. Cell death as the key to life --
38. Myc gene, arbiter of death or life --
39. The other side of suicide --
40. Another stitch in the quilt --
41. A granddaughter's fear.
Responsibility: Natalie Angier.

Abstract:

""The beauty of the natural world lies in the details, and most of those details are not the stuff of calendar art," Natalie Angier writes in the introduction to The Beauty of the Beastly. "I have made it a kind of hobby, almost a mission, to write about organisms that many people find repugnant: spiders, scorpions, parasites, worms, rattlesnakes, dung beetles, hyenas. I have done so out of a perverse preference for subjects that other writers generally have ignored, and because I hope to inspire in readers an appreciation for diversity, for imagination, for the twisted, webbed, infinite possibility of the natural world. Every single story that nature tells is gorgeous."" "She has taken pains to learn her science from the molecule up, finding "the very pulse of the machine" in everything from the supple structure of DNA to the erotic ways of barn swallows, queen bees, and the endangered, otherworldly primate called the aye-aye. Angier knows all that scientists know - and sometimes more - about the power of symmetry in sexual relations, about the brutal courting habits of dolphins, about the grand deceit of orchids, about the impact of female and male preference on evolution. She knows how scientists go about their work, and she describes their ways, their visions, and their arguments."--Jacket.
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