Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality (Hardback)
  • Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality (Hardback)
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Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 10/03/2016
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There is nothing more life-affirming than understanding death in all its forms. Natural selection depends on death; little would evolve without it. Every animal on Earth is shaped by its presence and fashioned by its spectre. We are all survivors of starvation, drought, volcanic eruptions, meteorites, plagues, parasites, predators, freak weather events, tussles and scraps, and our bodies are shaped by these ancient events. Some animals live for just a few hours as adults, others prefer to kill themselves rather than live unnecessarily for longer than they are needed, and there are a number of animals that can live for centuries. There are parasites that drive their hosts to die awful deaths, and parasites that manipulate their hosts to live longer, healthier lives. There is death in life. Amongst all of this, there is us, the upright ape; perhaps the first animal in the history of the universe fully conscious that death really is going to happen to us all in the end. With a narrative featuring a fish with a fake eye, the oldest animal in the world, the immortal jellyfish and some of the world's top death-investigating biologists, Death on Earth explores the never-ending cycle of death and the impact death has on the living, and muses on how evolution and death affect us every single day. Why are we so weird about death? Where does this fear come from? Why are we so afraid of ageing? And how might knowledge of ageing in other animals help us live better lives, free of the diseases of old age?

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472915078
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An altogether eye-opening, engaging, and enjoyably humorous (but never distasteful) guided tour through the world of death. * Science *
What becomes clear in this impossibly bouncy, Tiggerish work is that living things have more ways of dying than we could ever imagine. * Daily Mail *
... funny, clever, but also chock full of science ... a book that's a genuine pleasure to read. * Discover Magazine *
A fascinating read that offers incredible snippets about how life is never wasted, and provides a fresh, less gloomy outlook on our ultimate fate. * BBC Wildlife *
Death on Earth fizzes with with life. Howard, whether dressed in waterproof trousers to protect him from rotting pig flesh, or clutching a dead magpie to his chest while looking for a suitable place to watch it decay, makes for the most extraordinary psychopomp. I cried with laughter as he tackled this most persistent of taboos, and yet at the same time was strangely moved by the intensity of his care. It has been oddly reassuring to walk alongside Jules on his exploration of the last great frontier. -- Katharine Norbury, author of The Fish Ladder
Jules Howard celebrates wonderful, vibrant life in the face of death. Drawing on what we can learn from the living, from the cells in your body to geriatric clams and naked mole rats, he allows us to approach and even appreciate why lives, like all good stories, have endings. -- Brian Switek, author of My Beloved Brontosaurus
Hidden in a breezy overview of death in the animal kingdom rages a life-and-death war that puts into perspective our human struggles with mortality. Death on Earth gives us insight into who we are and why we are special - and not so special - when compared to our animal brethren. -- Megan Rosenbloom, director of Death Salon

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