Book Review: Strange Survivors

strange survivorsTitle: Strange Survivors: How Organisms Attack and Defend in the Game of Life
Author: Oné R. Pagán
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Pages: 280
Publisher: Benbella Books
Date Started: April 7, 2018
Date Finished: April 16, 2018
Format: Kindle


*I would like to thank the publisher, author, and NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The world is tough, and you have to be tough to survive. How animals survive is as diverse as the animals themselves. The prime goals of any organism are to live and reproduce. While my research has focused on the latter function, it was refreshing and exhilarating to read about the former.

Strange Survivors takes us on a journey through the unique ways animals defend themselves using weapons, defense mechanisms, behaviors, and so much more. In particular, Pagán focuses on electrical signals animals can produce, venom and poison, the use of time by animals, and how cooperation between animals can lead to higher survival.

There are several particular facets of this book as a whole that I really appreciated, both as an avid reader and as a scientist myself. First off, Pagán’s introduction to evolution was one of the best I have read in a popular science book, especially for one of its scale. He did a marvelous job of tying it into the bigger picture and connecting it to each chapter. Second, Pagán’s use of examples must be applauded. While I had heard of some of the systems he described, many of them were new to me, which made the content even more precious to me. This isn’t a book that just rehashes everything that has already been said, it brings many new things to the table! A surely enjoyable read for anyone who is fascinated by the world around us.

Overall, 3.5/5 moose

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