Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle

The story behind the stunning, extreme weapons we see in the animal world teeth and horns and claws and what they can tell us about the way humans develop and use arms and other weaponsIn Animal Weapons, Doug Emlen takes us outside the lab and deep into the forests and jungles where he s been studying animal weapons in nature for years, to explain the processes behind thThe story behind the stunning, extreme weapons we see in the animal world teeth and horns and claws and what they can tell us about the way humans develop and use arms and other weaponsIn Animal Weapons, Doug Emlen takes us outside the lab and deep into the forests and jungles where he s been studying animal weapons in nature for years, to explain the processes behind the most intriguing and curious examples of extreme animal weapons fish with mouths larger than their bodies and bugs whose heads are so packed with muscle they don t have room for eyes As singular and strange as some of the weapons we encounter on these pages are, we learn that similar factors set their evolution in motion Emlen uses these patterns to draw parallels to the way we humans develop and employ our own weapons, and have since battle began He looks at everything from our armor and camouflage to the evolution of the rifle and the structures human populations have built across different regions and eras to protect their homes and communities With stunning black and white drawings and gorgeous color illustrations of these concepts at work, Animal Weapons brings us the complete story of how weapons reach their most outsized, dramatic potential, and what the results we witness in the animal world can tell us about our own relationship with weapons of all kinds.
Animal Weapons The Evolution of Battle The story behind the stunning extreme weapons we see in the animal world teeth and horns and claws and what they can tell us about the way humans develop and use arms and other weaponsIn Animal Weapo

  • Title: Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle
  • Author: Douglas J. Emlen
  • ISBN: 9780805094503
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Hardcover
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      194 Douglas J. Emlen
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      Posted by:Douglas J. Emlen
      Published :2018-05-16T04:26:05+00:00

    About the Author

    Douglas J. Emlen

    Douglas J Emlen is a professor at the University of Montana He is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, multiple research awards from the National Science Foundation, including their five year CAREER award, and a Young Investigator Prize and the E O Wilson Naturalist Award from the American Society of Naturalists His research has been featured in outlets including the New York Times and National Public Radio s Fresh Air.

    241 Comment

    • Hilary said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I received this book for free from the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review. Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle byDouglas J. Emlen is a delightful enlightening read.Douglas J. Emlen focuses on many unusual animals, rather than focusing upon the typical big cats, wild dogs, and dinosaurs. The main thrust of his book is the insects - beetles, flies, and other such forgotten creatures litter the pages with their bizarre adaptations and startlingly complex behavior. Th [...]

    • Jen said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Disclaimer I received this ARC from the Firstreads program. This in no way colors my thoughts, feeling and review. The following is all me and all honest. :)Ok, confession time. I'm a frustrated, thwarted biologist. I had to choose between English and biology in school, as the biology labs clashed with the English classes. I chose the easier A. (You mean I get to READ and write my thoughts about what I just read and I get GRADED on it? Where do I sign up?)So I LOOOOOOVE to read books about biol [...]

    • Krystal Hickam said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      What a compelling read on the behaviors and weapons of the the animal world as well as the worlds of humans. If delved farther than just repeating something you could pick up in any biology book by drawing that line directly to man as well. It read very well and was written with care on the subject. By comparing to humans it helped give the reader some perspective that otherwise you would miss. From the smallest beetle to the largest elephant it showed why they use their weapons, which not surpr [...]

    • Luke said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Some interesting points and examples of the circumstances favouring selection for weapons in different animal lineages, but overall fairly basic. And I found the constant comparisons with advances in human weaponry and warfare unnecessary.

    • Mark said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Why don't all animals evolve fearsome weapons like saber tooth tigers? Why do some beetles have horns at 30% of their body weight? Why do elk grow antlers so big each year that they have to leech calcium from their bones to do so, giving themselves "seasonal osteoporis?"This is a remarkably clear read about how much more we know that I learned in high school. It's primarily about evolution, and secondarily about the joys of biologist doing field work with dung beetles and howling monkey feces. ( [...]

    • Daniel said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      This is an engaging pop sci look at the evolution of morphologies and behaviors that influence conflict in animals. Why can animals display such starting traits of aggression? Why do some species have such stunning features like the teeth of sharks, the tusks of an elephant, or the elaborate, varied horns of beatles? These features seem to often defy logic. Sucking an exceptional amount of precious energy from the animal, conflict and the ornamentations associated with it (defensive and offensiv [...]

    • Charlene said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      It took half the book for this author to find his voice. His editor should have said, "You know half way through the book when you began talking about how Ted Turner could afford a boat and you could not? Go back to the beginning and write like that." There is some real value to reading this book because the author does an amazing job relating general arms races seen in the animal kingdom to the arms races we humans have been engaging in for centuries. However, he tries to be so careful about bu [...]

    • Emily said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      ***I got this book as a Firstreads giveaway***I loved not only the project of this book, but it's execution. The writing is vivid, lucid, and engaging. The examples are fantastic. I could go on, but I'll leave you with this analogy instead:This is the "make complex biology so palatable people don't realize they're learning" book form of the classic mom-trick of hiding kids' vegetables in other food. You will learn a lot about evolutionary biology, covergent evolution, and how plants and animals [...]

    • Daphne said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Hit lots of types of animal weaponry that I wasn't overly familiar with. I enjoyed that the author went back to beetles and insects so many times because most books and programs that focus on animal weaponry are only concerned with the massive mammals and reptiles.

    • Jim Roberts said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      An entertaining book. The work this guy did for nearly two years to get his Phd, has got to be one of the worst jobs in history. Scientists are a dedicated group. His parallels to the human world are thought provoking. Entertaining and thought provoking, what could be better than that?

    • Christopher said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I enjoyed much of the book as someone who wants to get into animal biology research. It is what the author said, a book on evolution, and he explained it in the context of 'weapons'. Emlen's writing was succinct in letting the readers understand why these weapons evolve as such and compared the reasons to human's weapons. However, I'm not a fan of such comparison as it takes a chunk of the text. After all, I expected a book wholly on biology. And it seemed to just give an excuse to the author to [...]

    • Bradley Nissen said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Insightful read for everyone - not just ecologists!Books written by scientists are not always page turners, but this book is an exception. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's mixture of stories and data to illustrate fascinating conclusions about why animals have weapons. The parallels drawn between the military history of humans and the animal kingdom are very enlightening. I highly recommend this book!

    • Trash Panzer said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I wanna give this 3.5 stars. I liked it, and a lot of it was very interesting, but I also felt like it was so conceptual that at some points it was ignoring or sloughing off useful stuff in pursuit of its concept, and then parts of it felt to me like they weren't fleshed out enough. If that makes any sense. Could (should?) have been longer, maybe.

    • Brandon said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      A pretty straight forward description of how weapons evolve in nature with some ties on how human weapons develop in similar ways. The most interesting part of the book are the animals used in the examples. Also a surprisingly quick read.

    • Mark Garn said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I thought the book was fascinating, it feeds my science geek. His comparisons to humans was spot on.

    • G A said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      The book shows many anecdotes that brought my interest back to the book, especially after the long drone of scientific essays. If I was a college student, this may have been more helpful, but as a younger lad, I found it merely awe-inspiring. However, the book was good enough for a 4-star because of its substantial evidence when the author claims an idea.

    • Cgulvin said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      A must read for lovers of science and society, and finding meaningful connections between them. Scary relevance to today

    • Joe said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      We humans fight and sometimes kill each other. While we sometimes kill other animals for food or for sport, we don't kill them with the same vengeance that we have for our fellow human beings. The same is true for other species - they fight and sometimes kill each other. Carnivores will kill other species for food, but sometimes they fight each other. Even herbivores often fight and sometimes kill each other. Why is that?Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, by Douglas J. Emlen, provides an e [...]

    • Soh Kam Yung said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      An interesting book that looks at the history of weapons evolved by animals and weapons developed by humans and shows just how evolution and economics determines not just what weapons are deployed but also their size and even why have some animals have weapons and others don't. The author includes his own entertaining research into beetles to put a personal perspective into why he is interested in weapons in animals.He starts by showing how animal weapons develop via evolution and sexual selecti [...]

    • G. Tyler said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      stirring, fascinating, and surprisingly chilling, Douglas Emlen manages to present a work that says much about the animal kingdom we live in as it does about ourselves. Guiding us through chapters of content about the armaments of the animal kingdom, Douglas effortlessly shows us not only the process by which these weapons evolve but the ingredients that need to come together to breath antlers, stag beetle horns, and crab claws to life in our world.Most surprising though is how he marries this t [...]

    • Doug Kirkland said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I won a copy of this book from the FirstReads program.I found this book to a be a very enjoyable, quick, and informative read.Odd and intriguing animal facts. Animals using their particular weapons in a constant struggle for survival. Intense battles between animals of the same species fighting for mating privileges. Devastating and revolutionary military innovations. What more could you possibly want from a book titled Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle!? As a biology enthusiast, I absolu [...]

    • Richard said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I listened to the audiobook. The narrator did a great job.I found the book interesting and enjoyable, but not quite what I was expecting. The title (or subtitle) should have mentioned something about sexual selection. I was hoping to read about the mechanics of crazy and amazing animal weapons, but instead learned about why some of them are so, so big.The last section took a surprising turn into the political. See, throughout the book the author uses examples from mankind's weapon building histo [...]

    • John said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      African army ants have a dark side. Occasionally, livestock get trapped &, when prevented from escaping, they too, are devoured. Coops full of chickens, tethered goats, & cows can be stripped to bones in just a few hours. Sometimes even elderly of drunk people fall victim. As many as 20 infants every year succumb to siafu.A crab facing a much larger for may opt out to walk away, but he doesn't just disappear into the sunset. He seeks out a better battle-one he is more likely to win. A me [...]

    • Ash said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      Postulates and defends three criteria for arms races to escalate towards (proportionately) massive/extreme weapons: 1) Competition: for breeding rights - the longer it takes a female, or a male in rare cases, to incubate and raise the next generation then recoup - the more badass one has to be to prevail; 2) Economic Defensibility: if prime food and nesting materials exist in a limited area as opposed to being spread out over a large territory, it is advantageous to be able to first take and the [...]

    • Judith said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      A very readable book and one that I received as a Giveaway. The text is illustrated not only by large, well-drawn and detailed B&W drawings, but also by a number of colored photographs. Though I have read a number of books on evolution, Emlen's approach is so far, in my experience, unique, in that he compares animal "weaponry" to the historical evolution of military weapons. While human cultures of the past have always engaged in arms races, so too, Emlen, argues pill bugs and pangolins hav [...]

    • Gina **the Snow Queen** said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I received a copy of this book through First Reads. I found this book highly readable and educational. I learned much about animals that wield(ed) extreme weapons (antlers, claws, horns, etc.) that I've only learned little tidbits about in the past (namely, in elementary and high school science and biology classes). Emlen goes a step further and draws parallels with human weapons and warfare, taking me on a little war/weapon history excursion. Very insightful. In spite of the fascinating inform [...]

    • Van Reese said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I would maybe go as high as 4.5 stars. I am sure there are some odd people who would be bored silly by this book (after all, there are people who thought Donald Trump would make a great president. Go figure), but I found this book quite fascinating. It was interesting to read about the factors influencing animal weapons. Why do some animals even in the same species have large weapons, and others have no weapons? Perhaps more interesting, or at least more applicable to us, how does this apply to [...]

    • Jennifer said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. Overall, I thought this book was excellent. Emlen had well thought-out points and was able to support all of the factors that precede and enable an arms race in the animal kingdom. It went a lot deeper into natural selection in regards to animal weapon development than I had considered before. It was fascinating to learn about some long extinct animals (hello saber-tooth tiger on the cover). I think some of the ties were a little stretche [...]

    • Bonnye Reed said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      I received my copy of Animal Weapons by Douglas J. Emlen as a Giveaway on August 11 from Henry Holt and Company. Thank you so much for sharing this book with me!Animal Weapons The Evolution of Battle is a very interesting and well researched look at the evolution of battle weapons of wildlife over the millions of years on earth from the racks that defended and then killed off Irish elk to tusks on elephants and the big heads and jaws on army ants. The facts and figures are presented in people s [...]

    • Derek said:
      Aug 19, 2018 - 04:26 AM

      In Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, Douglas Emlen explores the different weapons and competitions that exist in the animal kingdom. Emlen lays out the conditions that lead to the evolution of weapons and arms-races in a species, examines their effects and consequences on that populations, and then draws parallels to the evolution of weapons and warfare among humans.This book is good fun. It's a nice overview of evolutionary biology with a focus on physical competition and its costs and b [...]

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