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Why do giraffes have such long necks? Why are zebras striped? Why are buffalo herds broadly democratic while elephants prefer dictatorships? What explains the architectural brilliance of the termite mound or the complications of the hyena's sex life? And why have honey-badgers evolved to be one of nature's most efficient agents of mass destruction?
Deploying the latest scientific research and his own extensive observations on the African savannah, Leo Grasset offers some answers to these and many other intriguing questions. Having shown that natural phenomena are rarely simple and that often they get more complex the more you look at them, he brings to bear a mix of evolutionary biology and lateral thinking to explain the mysteries of animal behaviour in terms that are simple but never simplifying. He ends by considering how our origins in the savannah and evolution as the hybrid of several species can shapes our habits.
Léo Grasset is one of France's brightest young natural scientists. Prepare to be fascinated, delighted, surprised, shocked and, above all, entertained by his brilliantly original Darwinian Just So stories.
Léo Grasset is the French punk scientist par excellence, founder of Dirty Biology and author of the blog 'Dans les testicules de Darwin' devoted to biology, testosterone and rock'n'roll. He is also one of France's leading up-and-coming evolutionary biologists: see him in action on YouTube giving a paper at the École normale superieure conference in Lyon in April 2015 on 'Les hommes hybrides – des chimphumains a Denisova'.