If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
In The Secret Language of Animals, biologist Janine Benyus takes us inside the animal kingdom and shows us the whys and the hows behind the distinctive behavior of creatures great and small in their natural environments.
Divided geographically into five sections?Africa, Asia, North America, the oceans, and the poles?the book examines and describes the behavior, body language, and patterns of communication of 20 different animals: the gorilla, lion, African elephant, plains zebra, black rhinoceros, giraffe, ostrich, greater flamingo, Nile crocodile, giant panda, peacock, Komodo monitor, bottlenose dolphin, California sea lion, gray wolf, bald eagle, sandhill crane, beluga whale, polar bear, and Adélie penguin.
For each animal, Benyus describes and explains basic behaviors (locomotion, feeding, drinking, bathing, grooming, sleeping), communication behavior (greeting, social play, group defense, conflict, aggression/submission, fighting, courtship, copulation), and parenting behavior (birth, care and feeding, teaching, communal care).
The book is illustrated throughout with tender yet precise line drawings that beckon us to the animals and vividly capture everything from changing facial expressions to nurturing postures to playful and aggressive interactions. The text, too, is both intimate and informative, allowing for a deep connection with, and a great admiration for, each one of the animals.