The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

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From medieval bestiaries to Borgesa€™s Book of Imaginary Beings, wea€™ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmera€™s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoologya€”they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we dona€™t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Hendersona€™s booka€”from the axolotl to the zebrafisha€”are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made upa€”that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among naturea€™s a€œextreme survivors, a€ able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we valuea€”or fail to valuea€”and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.... divergence in size between the two sexes in a single species of any animal: females weigh 10, 000 times as much as males. ... The Vampire squid * which is actually an octopodiform and not a squid, and looks like an apparition from ananbsp;...

Title:The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
Author:Caspar Henderson
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2013-04-10


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