Flaws of Nature: The Limits and Liabilities of Natural Selection


Available for Pre-order. Due April 2023.
Flaws of Nature: The Limits and Liabilities of Natural Selection Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: The History Press Ltd
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Pages: 272 Illustrations and other contents: 12 Illustrations, black and white; 12 Illustrations, black and white Language: English ISBN: 9781803990170 Categories: , , , ,

This book is about evolution, but not its greatest hits. Consider that an elephant will not grow a seventh set of teeth, even though wearing down the sixth will condemn it to starvation; that male mandarin ducks sport bright-orange feathers that attract not just females but also predators; and as for whales Whales are fully aquatic mammals who, millions of years after first abandoning the land, still cannot breathe underwater. Packed with anecdotes and curious facts, Why Cant Whales Breathe Underwater? explores everything in the animal kingdom that is self-defeating, ill-made, uneconomical or downright weird and explains how natural selection has favoured it. In the grand struggle for survival, some surprising patterns emerge: animals are always slightly out-of-date; inefficiency tends to increase over time; predators usually lose and parasites usually win. With equal parts humour and scientific insight, Andy Dobson is here to explain the how and why of evolutions greatest mistakes.

Weight0.4232736 kg


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Author Biography

After a first-class degree in Ecology from Durham, Andy Dobson completed a PhD at Nottingham, before joining the University of Oxford's Zoology Department. Most recently, he took up a research post at Edinburgh University to apply data-science techniques to anti-poaching efforts. He is currently a freelance scientific copy-editor, and remains a Visiting Academic at Edinburgh.