How the zebra got its stripes - Lo Grasset



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How the zebra got its stripes - tales from the weird and wonderful world of evolution
Lo Grasset
Paperback / softback
Profile Books
UK Publication Date

Why do giraffes have such long necks? Why are zebras striped? Why are buffalo herds broadly democratic while elephants prefer dictatorships? What explains the architectural brilliance of the termite mound or the complications of the hyena's sex life? And why have honey-badgers evolved to be one of nature's most efficient agents of mass destruction?Deploying the latest scientific research and his own extensive observations on the African savannah, Lo Grasset offers some answers to these and many other intriguing questions. Having shown that natural phenomena are rarely simple and that often they get more complex the more you look at them, he brings to bear a mix of evolutionary biology and lateral thinking to explain the mysteries of animal behaviour in terms that are simple but never simplifying. He ends by considering how our origins in the savannah and evolution as the hybrid of several species can shapes our habits.Lo Grasset is one of France's brightest young natural scientists. Prepare to be fascinated, delighted, surprised, shocked and, above all, entertained by his brilliantly original Darwinian Just So stories.

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Lo Grasset is the French punk scientist par excellence, founder of Dirty Biology and author of the blog 'Dans les testicules de Darwin' devoted to biology, testosterone and rock'n'roll ( He is also one of France's leading up-and-coming evolutionary biologists: see him in action on YouTube giving a paper at
cole normale suprieure conference in Lyon in April 2015 on 'Les hommes hybrides - des chimphumains

Charming 'just so' stories. Now and again Grasset finds order and coherence in the natural world. But Grasset is also sharply aware of those points where the cause-and-effect logic of scientific description cannot show the whole picture. He has even more fun describing the occasions when, frankly, nature goes nuts.
New Scientist

Grasset adopts a breezily entertaining approach that avoids flippancy, aiming to popularize evolutionary biology.
Publishers Weekly

The individual chapters offer tantalizing tidbits of often heady information, which should pique the interest of readers looking for something meatier than typical pop science.

Popular science fans will find this a breezy, enjoyable read.
Library Journal

Informed and engaging.
The Economic Times (India)

Accessible and entertaining.
The Lady

Keyword Index
Savanna animals - Africa.|Savanna animals - Behavior - Africa.|Savanna ecology - Africa.|Evolution (Biology)
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
154 , 8 unnumbered of plates

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