Ancient and strange, beetles call to mind a lost world of Egyptian magic and belief – a reminder of the fascination they've long held for human culture. In Beetle, Adam Dodd offers a richly illustrated, engaging account of the natural and cultural history of the beetle, from its origins more than two hundred and fifty million years ago to the present, when its anatomy is inspiring cutting-edge developments in cybernetics. Along the way, Dodd explores the incredible variety of beetles on earth – there are more than 350 000 species – and their amazing ability to exploit nature's niches. He also takes readers on a wide-ranging tour of the countless ways that beetles have infiltrated our art, folklore, literature, and religious beliefs. Stolid, secretive, and still-mysterious, beetles continue to exert a powerful pull on naturalists and collectors today, and no beetle fanatic will want to miss Dodd's winning appreciation of their history.
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Adam Dodd is coeditor of Animals on Display: The Creaturely in Museums, Zoos, and Natural History and teaches media, communication and cultural studies at the University of Queensland, Australia.