A quirky collection of Earth’s most compelling animals who give mythical creatures a run for their money.
The Modern Bestiary: A Curated Collection of Wondrous Wildlife mirrors the medieval tradition of an encyclopedia of incredible beasts, only this charming book with ornamental illustrations features 100 real animals who are stranger than fiction. Organized by the elements Earth, Water, and Air, the book introduces both unfamiliar creatures, like deep-sea harp sponges who catch prey in their barbs and digest them whole, as well as ones that have made headlines, such as cicadas who emerge from the ground in noisy broods every thirteen or seventeen years. Step right up and meet these delightful, unbelievable, and deliciously horrific animals, including:
The endearing: same-sex albatross mothers who raise chicks together; tarantulas who keep frogs as pets; and zebra finches who sing to their eggs to warn them of hot weather. The ruthless: flukes who manipulate their host into getting eaten by a final host; horned lizards who squirt blood through their eyes to distract predators; and southern grasshopper mice who harness scorpion venom as a painkiller. And the just plain weird: antechinuses who mate themselves to death; pearlfish who live, fight, and mate in sea cucumber butts; immortal jellyfish who reverse their aging process when stressed.
Funny, entertaining, and illuminating, The Modern Bestiary is a book for anyone who wants to become more familiar with the natural world and all its astounding creatures.