We are surrounded by an astounding variety of lifeforms. Over millennia, they have evolved to exploit unique niches, in the process developing features and skills that set them apart.Have you ever wondered what price the giraffe pays for its long neck? The neck increases its blood pressure to pump blood up to its brain, which endangers its life every time it bends down to drink. Or have you thought about how female nightingales decide which male will share the burdens of parenthood with them? They listen to prospective candidates' songs to gauge if they'd make good fathers. And did you know that glassfrogs pee on their eggs and the gender of bearded dragons is fixed by sex chromosomes or temperature?In Every Creature Has a Story, Janaki Lenin draws us towards the wonders of the natural world in evocative and witty words. She uncovers the surprising, sometimes bizarre but always amazing ways in which creatures breed and survive, from spiders salivating during sex and snails entombing their parasites into their shells to elephants developing immunity to cancer. After reading this book, you'll never look at nature in the same way again.
Janaki Lenin -- a free-lance journalist and producer of wildlife documentaries for National Geographic Television with Rom Whitaker -- was the coordinator of the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station from 2005 until 2009. She was the Regional Chair of IUCN's Crocodile Specialist Group for South Asia and Iran between 2008 and 2012.