The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author: Matt Simon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698411250
Size: 34.74 MB
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“A bizarre collection of evolution tales . . . the weirder, the better.” —Entertainment Weekly A fascinating exploration of the awe-inspiring, unsettling ingenuity of evolution On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators. These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love. Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award

The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author: Matt Simon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 014312868X
Size: 59.27 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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"On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators. These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food."--Publisher marketing.

The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author: Matt Simon
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1472242025
Size: 20.11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For fans of WHAT IF? and NEW SCIENTIST comes Matt Simon's THE WASP THAT BRAINWASHED THE CATERPILLAR, a brilliantly funny and informative look at the stranger side of evolution. Featuring: The Zombie ants mind-controlled by a fungus Beautiful salamanders that can regenerate any part of their bodies, including their brains The mantis shrimp, which fires its club-like appendage so fast that the surrounding water becomes as hot as the surface of the sun The Antechinus, whose runaway testosterone levels cause them to have so much sex during their three-week mating season that they bleed internally, go blind, and drop dead... Featuring quirky illustrations and the signature blend of science smarts and humour that make Matt Simon's Wired column so entertaining, this is an ideal stocking-filler for every popular science aficionado...

What Bugged The Dinosaurs

Author: George Poinar Jr.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400835690
Size: 24.14 MB
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Millions of years ago in the Cretaceous period, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex--with its dagger-like teeth for tearing its prey to ribbons--was undoubtedly the fiercest carnivore to roam the Earth. Yet as What Bugged the Dinosaurs? reveals, T. rex was not the only killer. George and Roberta Poinar show how insects--from biting sand flies to disease-causing parasites--dominated life on the planet and played a significant role in the life and death of the dinosaurs. The Poinars bring the age of the dinosaurs marvelously to life. Analyzing exotic insects fossilized in Cretaceous amber at three major deposits in Lebanon, Burma, and Canada, they reconstruct the complex ecology of a hostile prehistoric world inhabited by voracious swarms of insects. The Poinars draw upon tantalizing new evidence from their amazing discoveries of disease-producing vertebrate pathogens in Cretaceous blood-sucking flies, as well as intestinal worms and protozoa found in fossilized dinosaur excrement, to provide a unique view of how insects infected with malaria, leishmania, and other pathogens, together with intestinal parasites, could have devastated dinosaur populations. A scientific adventure story from the authors whose research inspired Jurassic Park, What Bugged the Dinosaurs?? offers compelling evidence of how insects directly and indirectly contributed to the dinosaurs' demise.

The Sting Of The Wild

Author: Justin O. Schmidt
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421419297
Size: 65.24 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt is on a mission. Some say it’s a brave exploration, others shake their heads in disbelief. His goal? To compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge. In The Sting of the Wild, the colorful Dr. Schmidt takes us on a journey inside the lives of stinging insects, seeing the world through their eyes as well as his own. He explains how and why they attack and reveals the powerful punch they can deliver with a small venom gland and a "sting," the name for the apparatus that delivers the venom. We learn which insects are the worst to encounter and why some are barely worth considering. The Sting of the Wild includes the complete Schmidt Sting Pain Index, published here for the first time. In addition to a numerical ranking of the agony of each of the eighty-three stings he’s sampled so far (from below 1 to an excruciatingly painful 4), Schmidt describes them in prose worthy of a professional wine critic: "Looks deceive. Rich and full-bodied in appearance, but flavorless" and "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel." Schmidt explains that, for some insects, stinging is used for hunting: small wasps, for example, can paralyze huge caterpillars and then lay their eggs inside so that their larvae can feast within. Others are used to kill competing insects, even members of their own species. Humans usually experience stings as defensive maneuvers used by insects to protect their nest mates. With colorful descriptions of each venom’s sensation and a story that leaves you tingling with awe, The Sting of the Wild’s one-of-a-kind style will fire your imagination.

Venomous

Author: Christie Wilcox
Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374712212
Size: 23.94 MB
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A thrilling tale of encounters with nature’s masters of biochemistry From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere—and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world. Now, in Venomous, the biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis. How do these animals go about their deadly work? How did they develop such intricate, potent toxins? Wilcox takes us around the world and down to the cellular level to find out. Throughout her journey, Wilcox meets the intrepid scientists who risk their lives studying these lethal beasts, as well as “self-immunizers” who deliberately expose themselves to snakebites. Along the way, she puts her own life on the line, narrowly avoiding being envenomated herself. Drawing on her own research, Wilcox explains how venom scientists are untangling the mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases, and reports on pharmacologists who are already exploiting venoms to produce lifesaving drugs. We discover that venomous creatures are in fact keystone species that play crucial roles in their ecosystems and ours—and for this alone, they ought to be protected and appreciated. Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change everything you thought you knew about the planet’s most dangerous animals.

Every Patient Tells A Story

Author: Lisa Sanders
Publisher: Harmony Books
ISBN: 0767922476
Size: 50.98 MB
Format: PDF
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A Yale School of Medicine physician, columnist for "Diagnosis," and technical advisor for the television show House shares the experiences of doctors facing complex medical mysteries in order to illustrate the art and science of diagnosis. Reprint. A New York Times extended-list bestseller.

Planet Of The Bugs

Author: Scott Richard Shaw
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616361X
Size: 23.63 MB
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Chronicles the evolution of insects and explains how evolutionary innovations have enabled them to disperse widely, occupy narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes.

Die Young With Me

Author: Rob Rufus
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501142631
Size: 49.11 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, this incredibly moving and harrowing true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer is “a resounding affirmation of how music can lift one’s spirits beyond gray skies and bad news (Kirkus Reviews).” Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town? When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town. But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won. While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young with Me is a “raw, honest picture of the weirdness of growing up” (Marky Ramone) and the story of a brave teen’s battle with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.

The Life Project

Author: Helen Pearson
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
ISBN: 1619028107
Size: 34.26 MB
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On March 3, 1946, a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass six generations of children, 150,000 people, and some of the best-studied people on the planed. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, irrevocably altering our understanding of inequality and health. This is the tale of these studies, the scientists who created them, sustained them, and perhaps most importantly, the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, The Life Project is one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.