Scared of certain spooky creatures? Should you be? Read some of these curated nonfiction selections and find out!
As humans encroach on wild places, encounters with animals have become increasingly commonplace. But, wait, what are the rules for facing a moose up close? Do you run from a coyote or stand your ground? How deadly, really, are black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and sharks? Packed with expert tips, fascinating animal facts, and harrowing true tales, Look Big is a must-have survival guide for outdoor, urban, and suburban adventurers alike.
100 Animals that Can F*cking End You / Mamadou Ndiaye
Ever wonder how to tell if a moose is about to subtract you? Curious why you should be terrified of cassowaries, the “velociraptor that time forgot?” Questioning whether that cute baby hippo is actually a homicidal maniac in the making? Yea, so was Mamadou Ndiaye . . . and now he’s got your answers. 100 Animals That Can F*cking End You is the ultimate countdown to merk by animal, featuring everything from tiny bugs that can turn you into a hashtag to animals so massive they can murder you by accident.
The ocean is the last remaining source of profound mystery and discovery on Earth with 80 percent of it still largely unexplored; thus, it is of perennial fascination. In Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid, journalist Wendy Williams introduces one of the ocean’s most charismatic, monstrous, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants: the squid. More than just calamari, squid species are fascinatingly odd creatures, with much to teach us about our own species, not to mention the obsessive interest so many of us can’t help but have for the enormous beast that is the giant squid, which is quick to attack sperm whales, and even submarines and boats.
Spider Silk : Evolution and 400 million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating / Leslie Brunetta, Catherine L. Craig
Spiders, objects of eternal human fascination, are found in many places: on the ground, in the air, and even under water. Leslie Brunetta and Catherine Craig have teamed up to produce a substantive yet entertaining book for anyone who has ever wondered, as a spider rappelled out of reach on a line of silk, “How do they do that?” The authors tell the intriguing story of how spiders evolved over 400 million years to add new silks and new uses for silk to their survival “toolkit” and, in the telling, take readers far beyond the orb.
Spiders: The Ultimate Predators / Stephen Dalton
Spiders: The Ultimate Predators provides information on habitat, hunting techniques, anatomy, general characteristics and location of spiders, the most successful of all terrestrial predators in the world. Stephen Dalton has chosen to focus on spiders’ hunting methods and provides fascinating information on the astonishing array of techniques spiders use for catching their prey: trapping in webs, lassoing, jumping, stealing, chasing, ambushing, spitting, fishing, masquerading as other animals and even attracting prey by mimicking the prey’s pheromones.
Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them / David MacNeal; illustrations by Michael Kennedy
Insects have been shaping our ecological world and plant life for over 400 million years. In fact, our world is essentially run by bugs—there are 1.4 billion for every human on the planet. In Bugged, journalist David MacNeal takes us on an off-beat scientific journey that weaves together history, travel, and culture in order to define our relationship with these mini-monsters.
Of Cockroaches and Crickets : Learning to Love Creatures That Skitter and Jump / Frank Nischk; translated by Jane Billinghurst
For many people, cockroaches are the most pesky of pests. Not so for entomologist Frank Nischk. In this funny and fascinating book, Frank reveals his love and admiration for so-called “nasty” creatures like cockroaches, crickets, and more. He shows us that even seemingly terrifying insects are beautiful in their own way—and essential to all life on Earth.
Bugs Up Close / photography by John Hallmén; text by Lars-Åke Janzon; translation by Joy Hill
Bugs are usually so small that we hardly notice them, let alone think of them as living beings. But call upon the magnifying glass, and a shapeless jumble of legs, wings, and antennae suddenly starts staring back at us. Thanks to the photography of John Hallmén, who took a camera and magnified these magnificent creatures one hundred times, we can see what we’ve never been able to see before.
Endless Forms : The Secret World of Wasps / Seirian Sumner
Everyone worries about the collapse of bee populations. But what about wasps? Deemed the gangsters of the insect world, wasps are winged assassins with formidable stings. Conduits of Biblical punishment, provokers of fear and loathing, inspiration for horror movies: wasps are perhaps the most maligned insect on our planet. But do wasps deserve this reputation?
Snake / Chris Mattison
Describes more than 3,000 snakes from around the world, covering their behavior, anatomy, feeding habits, and evolution.
Crows : Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World / Candace Savage
A funny, fascinating homage to one of nature’s most intelligent and adaptable creatures combs the woodlands of North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia in search of more than forty species of ravens and crows, covering a wide range of topics from social behavior to diet. Based on two decades of audacious research by scientists around the world, the book also provides an unprecedented, evidence-based glimpse into corvids’ intellectual, social, and emotional lives. But whether viewed through the lens of science, myth, or everyday experience, the result is always the same. These birds are so smart—and so mysterious—they take your breath away.
Plague carrier, city vermin, and an out-and-out menace to modern man, the rat, like death and taxes, is a certain fixture in humankind’s history. Rats are found in virtually every nook and cranny of the globe and their numbers are ever increasing. Rats are always adapting and they seem to outwit any attempts by humans to wipe them out. What makes the rat such a worthy adversary and how has it risen to the top of the animal kingdom?
Few people realize how sophisticated and intelligent bats are. Merlin Tuttle knows, and he has stopped at nothing to find and protect them on every continent they inhabit. Sharing highlights from a lifetime of adventure and discovery, Tuttle takes us to the frontiers of bat research with an account that forever changes the way we see these poorly understood yet fascinating creatures.
How to Hold Animals / Toshimitsu Matsuhashi
Learn from the experts – a pet shop owner, a veterinarian, a wildlife photographer, and a reptile handler – how to pick up and hold dozens of species of animals, great and small, furry, scaly, and feathery, including snails, chipmunks, chickens, chinchillas, stag beetles, lizards, hamsters, owls, grasshoppers, mice, and more. Chock-full of fascinating facts, interviews with experts, and full-color photos on every page, How to Hold Animals will delight and inform animal lovers of all stripes.