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Good Reads  Reference  Physical Sciences  Popular Science

30 Animals That Made Us Smarter Stories of the Natural World that Inspired Human Ingenuity

Popular Science
By: Patrick Aryee(Author), Michael Bright(Co-Author), Lizzie Harper(Illustrator)
377 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: BBC Books
30 Animals That Made Us Smarter
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  • 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter ISBN: 9781785947506 Hardback Sep 2021 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
Price: £16.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Accompanying a new series of the hit BBC podcast, a fascinating exploration of how the animal world has inspired human progress via new inventions and solutions that impact our daily lives.

Did you know that mosquitoes' mouthparts are helping to develop pain-free surgical needles? Who'd have thought that the humble mussel could inspire so many useful things, from plywood production to a 'glue' that cements the crowns on teeth and saves unborn babies in the womb? How about the fact that studying the tiny kingfisher solved engineering problems with Japan's ultra-high-speed bullet train, or that the humpback whale's flipper helped design the most efficient blades for wind power turbines?

For many years, humans have been using the natural world as inspiration for everything from fashion to architecture, and medicine to transport, and it may come as a surprise to learn how many inventions have been motivated by animal design and behaviour. Dive into the depths with us as author Patrick Aryee reveals even more astonishing stories about animals' exceptional powers and the unique contributions they've made to the quality of our everyday lives. Beautiful hand-drawn illustrations accompany his revelations and bring the natural world to life.

Customer Reviews


As a biologist and self-confessed thrill seeker, Patrick Aryee has always had a fascination with how things work. Since 2012, Patrick has been a documentary filmmaker and wildlife TV presenter across a number of programmes for major broadcasters, including the BBC and Sky. His ambition is to inspire and surprise us, his audience, as he takes us on a journey around the globe from the very comfort of our homes. Through his stories and animal encounters many of us have witnessed the raw power of fearsome predators like big cats, uncovered reality-defying super senses of night-time hunters, and plunged the deep blue to swim alongside the mysterious creatures that call our oceans home. As the presenter of the hugely successful podcast, 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter, Patrick now brings his words as a compelling orator, to the written form, in this his first book.

Popular Science
By: Patrick Aryee(Author), Michael Bright(Co-Author), Lizzie Harper(Illustrator)
377 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: BBC Books
Media reviews

"Fascinating [...] Aryee's seamless balancing of animal facts and accessible technology writing makes for a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable read."
Booklist, starred review

"Birds and bugs take up nearly a third of this fun, wide-ranging book that reveals dozens of ways humans have developed new techniques and technologies – many of them lifesaving – by observing and mimicking the animal kingdom. That's hardly the only reason to stop the extinction crisis, but it's a pretty good one."
The Revelator

"From well-insulated polar bears to tough-headed woodpeckers and tiny tardigrades, animals have lessons to impart, and 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter shares them with a perfect balance of conviviality and scientific research [...] . The result is a fun book that conveys the wonder of the natural world and explains science in an accessible, creative way."
Foreword Reviews

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