venomous how earths deadliest creatures mastered biochemistry

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Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374712211
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 90 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.

Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374283377
Genre : Science
File Size : 59. 82 MB
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"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"--Dust jacket flap.

The Sting Of The Wild

Author : Justin O. Schmidt
ISBN : 9781421419299
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 89 MB
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Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt is on a mission. Some say it’s a brave exploration, others shake their heads in disbelief. His goal? To compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge. In The Sting of the Wild, the colorful Dr. Schmidt takes us on a journey inside the lives of stinging insects, seeing the world through their eyes as well as his own. He explains how and why they attack and reveals the powerful punch they can deliver with a small venom gland and a "sting," the name for the apparatus that delivers the venom. We learn which insects are the worst to encounter and why some are barely worth considering. The Sting of the Wild includes the complete Schmidt Sting Pain Index, published here for the first time. In addition to a numerical ranking of the agony of each of the eighty-three stings he’s sampled so far (from below 1 to an excruciatingly painful 4), Schmidt describes them in prose worthy of a professional wine critic: "Looks deceive. Rich and full-bodied in appearance, but flavorless" and "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel." Schmidt explains that, for some insects, stinging is used for hunting: small wasps, for example, can paralyze huge caterpillars and then lay their eggs inside so that their larvae can feast within. Others are used to kill competing insects, even members of their own species. Humans usually experience stings as defensive maneuvers used by insects to protect their nest mates. With colorful descriptions of each venom’s sensation and a story that leaves you tingling with awe, The Sting of the Wild’s one-of-a-kind style will fire your imagination.

The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author : Matt Simon
ISBN : 9780143128687
Genre : Nature
File Size : 39. 84 MB
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"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."--Publisher marketing.

Venomous

Author : Christopher Krovatin
ISBN : 9781416964933
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 56. 87 MB
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Locke Vinetti is a high school junior, disenchanted and more than a little hostile. In fact, for years he's had a lousy social life because of a problem he has with his anger--a force he calls "the venom." Ever since he was eight years old and bit off a piece of a classmate's nose, he's been something of a loner. But all that is about to change when he goes out with his one friend, Randall, to meet some of Randall's crew hanging out at Riverside Park. Because in addition to meeting his kindred spirit, Casey--who has his own problems with his own kind of venom--Locke meets the spikey blue fairy-haircut Goth girl of his dreams. And if their relationship is going to work, he knows he has to rid himself of the venom once and for all. Interspersed with comic book adventures of the fantasy anti-hero alter-ego Locke has invented for himself, VENOMOUS is a fast-paced, funny, and ferocious read about one teenage boy's struggle with his inner demons.

Venom Doc

Author : Bryan Grieg Fry
ISBN : 9780733634239
Genre : Science
File Size : 87. 67 MB
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Meet venomologist Bryan Grieg Fry, the man with one of the most dangerous job in Australia - working with the world's most deadly creatures. Welcome to the strange and dangerous world of Doctor Venom. Imagine a first date involving three weeks in Siberia catching venomous water shrews, and later a wedding attended by Eastern European prime ministers and their bodyguards wielding machine guns. Then a life of living and working with snakes. Lots of very, very poisonous snakes and other venomous creatures ... everything from the Malaysian king cobra to deadly scorpions. In this action-packed ride through Bryan Grieg Fry's life you'll meet the man who's worked with the world's most venomous creatures in over 50 countries. He's been bitten by 26 poisonous snakes and three stingrays - and, while deep in the Amazon jungle, survived a near-fatal scorpion sting. He's also broken 23 bones, including breaking his back in three places, and had to learn how to walk again. He only works on venom that he has collected himself - so the adventures, and danger, will just keep coming... Bryan now divides his time between scientific research and teaching at the University of Queensland, and TV filming and collecting expeditions around the world.

America S Snake

Author : Ted Levin
ISBN : 9780226040783
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 43 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.

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