venomous how earths deadliest creatures mastered biochemistry

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Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374712211
Genre : Science
File Size : 66. 15 MB
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A thrilling tale of encounters with nature’s masters of biochemistry From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere—and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world. Now, in Venomous, the biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis. How do these animals go about their deadly work? How did they develop such intricate, potent toxins? Wilcox takes us around the world and down to the cellular level to find out. Throughout her journey, Wilcox meets the intrepid scientists who risk their lives studying these lethal beasts, as well as “self-immunizers” who deliberately expose themselves to snakebites. Along the way, she puts her own life on the line, narrowly avoiding being envenomated herself. Drawing on her own research, Wilcox explains how venom scientists are untangling the mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases, and reports on pharmacologists who are already exploiting venoms to produce lifesaving drugs. We discover that venomous creatures are in fact keystone species that play crucial roles in their ecosystems and ours—and for this alone, they ought to be protected and appreciated. Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change everything you thought you knew about the planet’s most dangerous animals.

The Sting Of The Wild

Author : Justin O. Schmidt
ISBN : 9781421419282
Genre : Nature
File Size : 27. 42 MB
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"The story of the man who got stung for science"--Jacket.

Venomous Reptiles And Their Toxins

Author : Bryan Fry
ISBN : 0199309396
Genre : Poisonous animals
File Size : 71. 16 MB
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Venom research and technology has advanced greatly, rapidly transforming the area of reptile venom. Research developments-like the development of molecular systematics-provide the framework necessary to reconstruct the evolutionary history of glands and fangs. Such research developments result in a fundamental shift in scientists' understanding of venom's evolution and usefulness in therapeutic development. Startling evolutionary expansion, including the development of new protein functions, enable the development of novel drug therapies and impact the effectiveness of anti-venoms available for the treatment of humans. Venomous Reptiles And Their Toxins is a comprehensive study of the entire scope of reptile venom, from its evolution to drug design and development. This book devotes a chapter to each toxin class found in reptile venom, detailing the full trajectory of research on the toxin in question. The comprehensive synthesis of research deals with the impact that venom has had on biomedical applications and snake evolution and ecology.

Venom Doc

Author : Bryan Fry
ISBN : 9781628727067
Genre : Nature
File Size : 82. 51 MB
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Steve Irwin meets David Attenborough in this jaw-dropping account of studying the world’s most venomous creatures. Venomologist Bryan Grieg Fry has one of the most dangerous jobs on earth: he works with its deadliest creatures. He’s been bitten by twenty-six venomous snakes, been stung by three stingrays, and survived a near-fatal scorpion sting while deep in the Amazon jungle. He’s received more than four hundred stitches and broken twenty-three bones, including breaking his back in three places, and had to learn how to walk again. But when you research only the venom you yourself have collected, the adventures—and danger—never stop. Imagine a three-week-long first date in Siberia catching venomous water shrews with the daughter of a Russian war hero; a wedding attended by Eastern European prime ministers and their machine-gun-wielding bodyguards and snakes; or leading a team to Antarctica that results in the discovery of four new species of venomous octopi. Bryan’s discoveries have radically reshaped views on venom evolution and contributed to the creation of venom-based life-saving medications. In pursuit of venom, he has traveled the world collecting samples from Indonesia to Mexico, Germany, and Brazil. He’s encountered venomous creatures of all kinds, including the Malaysian king cobra, the Komodo dragon, and the funnel-web spider. Bryan recounts his lifelong passion for studying the world’s most venomous creatures in this outlandish, captivating memoir, where he and danger are never far apart.

America S Snake

Author : Ted Levin
ISBN : 9780226040783
Genre : Science
File Size : 63. 64 MB
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There’s no sound quite like it, or as viscerally terrifying: the ominous rattle of the timber rattlesnake. It’s a chilling shorthand for imminent danger, and a reminder of the countless ways that nature can suddenly snuff us out. Yet most of us have never seen a timber rattler. Though they’re found in thirty-one states, and near many major cities, in contemporary America timber rattlesnakes are creatures mostly of imagination and innate fear. Ted Levin aims to change that with America’s Snake, a portrait of the timber rattlesnake, its place in America’s pantheon of creatures and in our own frontier history—and of the heroic efforts to protect it against habitat loss, climate change, and the human tendency to kill what we fear. Taking us from labs where the secrets of the snake’s evolutionary history are being unlocked to far-flung habitats whose locations are fiercely protected by biologists and dedicated amateur herpetologists alike, Levin paints a picture of a fascinating creature: peaceable, social, long-lived, and, despite our phobias, not inclined to bite. The timber rattler emerges here as emblematic of America and also, unfortunately, of the complicated, painful struggles involved in protecting and preserving the natural world. A wonderful mix of natural history, travel writing, and exemplary journalism, America’s Snake is loaded with remarkable characters—none more so than the snake at its heart: frightening, perhaps; endangered, certainly; and unquestionably unforgettable.

The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author : Matt Simon
ISBN : 9780698411258
Genre : Science
File Size : 49. 13 MB
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“A bizarre collection of evolution tales . . . the weirder, the better.” —Entertainment Weekly A fascinating exploration of the awe-inspiring, unsettling ingenuity of evolution On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators. These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love. From the Hardcover edition.

What A Fish Knows

Author : Jonathan Balcombe
ISBN : 9780374288211
Genre : Nature
File Size : 45. 94 MB
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Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? In What a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish—more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined—we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, social, and even Machiavellian—in other words, much like us. What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Fishes conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoalmates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, curry favor, deceive one another, and punish wrongdoers. We may imagine that fishes lead simple, fleeting lives—a mode of existence that boils down to a place on the food chain, rote spawning, and lots of aimless swimming. But, as Balcombe demonstrates, the truth is far richer and more complex, worthy of the grandest social novel. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world and pondering his own encounters with fishes, Balcombe examines the fascinating means by which fishes gain knowledge of the places they inhabit, from shallow tide pools to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries, What a Fish Knows offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fishes and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet’s increasingly imperiled marine life. What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins—the pet goldfish included.

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