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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Good Reads  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Bitch A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal

Popular Science
By: Lucy Cooke(Author)
371 pages, 1 b/w illustration
Publisher: Doubleday
Bitch
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  • Bitch ISBN: 9780857524133 Hardback Mar 2022 In stock
    £19.99
    #255308
Price: £19.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

What does it mean to be female? Mother, carer, the weaker sex? Think again. In the last few decades a revolution has been brewing in zoology and evolutionary biology. Lucy Cooke introduces us to a riotous cast of animals, and the scientists studying them, that are redefining the female of the species.

Meet the female lemurs of Madagascar, our ancient primate cousins that dominate the males of their species physically and politically. Or female albatross couples, hooking up together to raise their chicks in Hawaii. Or the meerkat mothers of the Kalahari Desert – the most murderous mammals on the planet. The bitches in Bitch overturn outdated binary expectations of bodies, brains, biology and behaviour. Lucy Cooke's brilliant new book will change how you think – about sex, sexual identity and sexuality in animals and also the very forces that shape evolution.

Customer Reviews

Biography

Lucy Cooke is an award-winning broadcaster and documentary filmmaker with a Masters in Zoology from the University of Oxford, where she was tutored by Richard Dawkins. She has presented primetime series for BBC, ITV and National Geographic and is a regular on Radio 4 where she hosts her own "Power of..." series and frequently guests on Infinite Monkey Cage and Sue Perkin's Nature Table. Lucy has written for the Sunday Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She is the author of two previous books, A Little Book of Sloth, which was a New York Times bestseller and The Unexpected Truth about Animals, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize and has been translated into 17 languages.

Popular Science
By: Lucy Cooke(Author)
371 pages, 1 b/w illustration
Publisher: Doubleday
Media reviews

"Lucy Cooke's marvellous Bitch blasts the dust off stuffy old ideas to celebrate the true and wildly diverse influence of femal creatures throughout the animal kingdom, revealing them to be every bit as promiscuous, competitive, aggressive and dynamic as males [...] In chapters fizzing with X-rated factoids, Cooke merrily demolishes myth after myth about our wild sisters [...] Never mean or boring. It's exhilarating to zip through the world with her as she points out what has been missed or misinterpreted."
– Helen Brown, Telegraph

"Mr Darwin, your time is up [...] This is the evolutionary reboot us bitches have been waiting for."
– Sue Perkins

"Beautifully written, very funny and deeply important – Lucy Cooke blows two centuries of sexist myths right out of biology."
– Professor Alice Roberts

"A complete and precise exploration of sex , what a joy!"
– Chris Packham

"Fun, informative and revolutionary all at once, Bitch should be required reading in school. This is a joyous, and often hilarious, romp in which Cooke simultaneously does justice to the actual data, gives voice to the substantive contributions of women scientists, and demolishes bias, blindness and ignorance about sex in the academy and in the public. After reading this book one will never look at a clownfish, a barnacle, an orca, an albatross or a human the same way again. And the world will be better for it."
– Augustin Fuentes, professor of anthropology at Princeton University and author of The Creative Spark

"A colourful, committed and deeply informed book."
– James McConnachie, Sunday Times

"This is a vital book that blew me away; kick-ass, informative and astonishing . Discovering how Darwin ingrained and entrenched the patriarchy is hugely illuminating to our present culture. Give her a series immediately!"
– Doon McKinnon

"Lucy Cooke's scientific and brilliant takedown of stereotypes of female submissiveness in the animal kingdom: 'Male animals led swashbuckling lives of thrusting agency [...] while females meekly followed'. So went the received wisdom when broadcaster and author Cooke first studied zoology. This revelatory, fabulously entertaining book shows how deluded that thinking is. From the dominant female lemurs of Madagascar, and the murderous meekat mothers of the Kalahari, to female fruit flies that play the field, Cooke introduces dozens of animals whose natural behaviour preferences dismantle the hoary old stereotypes."
– Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller: Editor's Choice

"It's humorous, absorbing, sometimes shocking (for a variety of reasons), and bound to be a conversation starter. It certainly prompted some raised eyebrows and discussions when I shared tidbits of information from it with friends and family."
BBC Wildlife

"'With charismatic charm and plenty of rigour, Cooke brings together a host of the finest zoological minds to shatter decades of outdated scientific ideas about what it is to be female of the species. If I could print out every page and put it on a t-shirt, I would."
– Jules Howard

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