Today let’s take a look at Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle by Douglas J. Emlen and illustrated by David J. Tuss
As I clicked on the category “ant books” for this post I realized that is a bit of a stretch. Ants are mentioned on a few pages, but the author doesn’t talk about much more than worker ants with big jaws. He actually does most of his research on beetles. That said, he does cover the weapons of the entire animal kingdom. His editors even convinced him to tackle human weapons, although he admits being reluctant to do so.
You can see what the author has to say about his book in this video from American Scientist.
Emlen’s writing is clear and engaging. He has been able to make some conclusions based on patterns he has seen in the natural world. His observations about cheaters in the world of battle are particularly chilling.
Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle has elements that are likely to appeal to both those interested in natural history and those interested in weaponry and battle. Definitely recommended.
If you have time, you might want to watch the SciShow Talk Show: Animal Weapons with Doug Emlen & A Southern Three-Banded Armadillo,
plus SciShow Talk Show: More about Animal Weapons with Doug Emlen & Professor Claw the Emperor Scorpion.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (December 1, 2015)
Disclosures: This book is my personal copy. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.