By Dan Riskin Ph.D.
It can be an excellent global, yet as Dan Riskin (cohost of Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet) explains, it’s additionally a deadly, worrying, and disgusting one. At each flip, it sort of feels, dwelling issues try to devour us, poison us, use bodies as their houses, or have us unfold their eggs. In Mother Nature is attempting to Kill You, Riskin is our consultant in the course of the flora and fauna at its so much gloriously ruthless.
Using the seven lethal sins as a highway map, Riskin bargains dozens of jaw-dropping examples that light up how brutal nature can actually be. From slothful worms that disguise on your physique for as much as thirty years to wrathful snails with toxic harpoons that may kill you in under 5 mins to lustful geese that experience orgasms speedier than you could blink, those interesting money owed exhibit the candid fact approximately “gentle” mom Nature’s real colors.
Riskin’s ardour for the unusual and his enthusiastic services carry Earth’s so much interesting wildlife into bright concentration. via his adventures— which come with sliding on his again via a thick soup of bat guano simply to get face-to-face with a vampire bat, befriending a parasitic maggot that has taken root on his head, and coming to grips with having offspring of his own—Riskin makes unforeseen discoveries not only concerning the global throughout us but additionally in regards to the methods this brutal global has formed us as people and what our obligations are to this negative, superb planet we name domestic.
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Extra info for Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World
I remember thinking that people must have to pass on the secret of how babies are made from generation to generation so that we don’t go extinct. Otherwise, how on earth would anyone ever think to place a penis inside a vagina? Seriously? Who would ever think of that? I imagined scenarios where uneducated teenagers shipwrecked on islands would have no idea what to do. “Even if they did figure out to lie on top of each other,” I thought, “what if they didn’t know to take off their clothes? ” Once I hit puberty I realized my worry had been grossly misplaced.
Once a radio-tagged bat is released, you can only pick up its signal if you’re near the bat, or if you have a clear line of sight between the hidden bat and the antenna in your hand. So each day, we’d climb to the top of an ancient Mayan ruin and scan for bats above the forest canopy. Once we got a signal, a beeping from the north, for example, we went out with a machete and cut a trail northward until we picked up the signal again from within the forest. Then we hacked away through branches and vines, following the signal as it got stronger, until we could finally see our bat roosting on a branch, or at least figure out which tree hole our bat was hiding in.
All Scrooge cared about was himself. Period. That’s how animals make decisions—except while Scrooge was greedy about money, animals are greedy about passing on their genes. Animals will screw one another over without any hesitation, just so long as it helps get copies of their own DNA into the next generation. Some of the most aggressive actions animals take in the name of selfishness are carried out against members of their own species. They do this because often the most threatening animals in the world are those that are most like you.
Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World by Dan Riskin Ph.D.