To Know a Fly

Pickle Partners Publishing
2
Free sample

First published in 1962, this book by esteemed American physiologist and entomologist Vincent Dethier provides an array of helpful examples of how ingeniously controlled experiments are designed and used. Other processes of scientific inquiry are also explained, such as observation, correlation, cause and effect, gathering and interpreting data, hypothesizing, and theory building.

Recommended to scientists of all ages!

“...This is a superb natural history book and is highly recommended for anyone twelve or older.”—Scientific American

“The author never ‘talks down’ to his readers but preserves such delightful and sparkling informal style throughout that we tend to overlook the professional skill with which he attacks his problems, the beauty of the experiments he describes. The book is such pleasant reading that we may not realize that this all represents biological research of a very high order. Among the many excellent features we may note the author’s commentaries on scientific method, which are extremely acute, informative, and provocative.”—Journal of the American Medical Association

“Highly recommended enrichment reading for biology teachers and secondary students in general science or biology.—The Science Teacher
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About the author

Vincent Gaston Dethier (20 February 1915 - 8 September 1993) was an award-winning American physiologist and entomologist. Considered a leading expert in his field, he was a pioneer in the study of insect-plant interactions and wrote over 170 academic papers and 15 science books. He also wrote natural history books for non-specialists, as well as short stories, essays and children’s books.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, one of the four children of Jean Vincent and Marguerite (Lally) Dethier, he received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Harvard University. His first post-doctoral position was as a biology instructor at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio where he taught from 1939-1941.

He joined the Army Air Corps during WWII, serving part of his time in Africa and Middle East. He wrote his first book, Chemical Insect Attractants and Repellents, in the bomb bay of a B-25. He worked in the Army Chemical Corps as a research physiologist until 1946, and at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland in a long series of experiments analyzing the effects of chemicals on the chemosensors of flies.

At war end, he taught at Johns Hopkins University from 1947-1958. He was a professor of zoology and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1958-1967 and then held the Class of 1977 Chair as Professor of Biology at Princeton University.

From 1975 until his death in 1993, he was the Gilbert L. Woodside Professor of Zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he was the founding director of its Neuroscience and Behavior Program and chaired the Chancellor’s Commission on Civility.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and the recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s 1967 Founders’ Memorial Award, as well as the John Burroughs Medal in 1993 for distinguished nature writing.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pickle Partners Publishing
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Published on
Jun 28, 2017
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Pages
81
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ISBN
9781787205628
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Mammals
Nature / Animals / Wildlife
Nature / Endangered Species
Nature / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This “fact-filled and amusing trek through nature’s dark side” (Kirkus Reviews) reveals the fascinating, weird, and often perverted ways that Mother Nature fends only for herself.

It may be a wonderful world, but as Dan Riskin (host of the Animal Planet’s TV show Monsters Inside Me) explains, it’s also a dangerous, disturbing, and disgusting one. At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs. In Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You, Riskin is our tour guide through the natural world at its most gloriously ruthless.

Using the seven deadly sins as a road map, Riskin offers dozens of jaw-dropping examples that illuminate how brutal nature can truly be. From slothful worms that hide in your body for up to thirty years to wrathful snails with poisonous harpoons that can kill you in less than five minutes to lustful ducks that have orgasms faster than you can blink, these fascinating accounts reveal the candid truth about “gentle” Mother Nature’s true colors.

Riskin’s passion for the strange and his enthusiastic expertise bring Earth’s most fascinating fauna and flora into vivid focus. Through his adventures—which include sliding on his back through a thick soup of bat guano just to get face-to-face with a vampire bat, befriending a parasitic maggot that has taken root in his head, and coming to grips with having offspring of his own—Riskin makes unexpected discoveries not just about the world all around us but also about the ways this brutal world has shaped us as humans and what our responsibilities are to this terrible, wonderful planet we call home.
It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.

As he re-creates these extraordinary events, John Vaillant gives us an unforgettable portrait of this spectacularly beautiful and mysterious region. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers, even sharing their kills with them. We witness the arrival of Russian settlers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, soldiers and hunters who greatly diminished the tiger populations. And we come to know their descendants, who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching and further upset the natural balance of the region.

This ancient, tenuous relationship between man and predator is at the very heart of this remarkable book. Throughout we encounter surprising theories of how humans and tigers may have evolved to coexist, how we may have developed as scavengers rather than hunters, and how early Homo sapiens may have fit seamlessly into the tiger’s ecosystem. Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator that can grow to ten feet long, weigh more than six hundred pounds, and range daily over vast territories of forest and mountain.

Beautifully written and deeply informative, The Tiger circles around three main characters: Vladimir Markov, a poacher killed by the tiger; Yuri Trush, the lead tracker; and the tiger himself. It is an absolutely gripping tale of man and nature that leads inexorably to a final showdown in a clearing deep in the taiga.
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