176 pages, colour illustrations
Best buds, frenemies, freeloaders, bullies, copycats, hangers-on. We're accustomed to all types of people and human interactions. But animal relationships can be just as weird and complex. For anyone who's ever felt a bit awkward in their relationships, wait until you hear about how complicated things get in the animal world. This funny and enlightening gift book depicts charming and unusual symbiotic animal relationships in all their awkward glory.
Through delightful watercolour illustrations and funny yet scientifically accurate text, Iris Gottlieb explores the symbiotic relationships of 35 odd, cute, and unpredictable animal pairs. Here are stories of vampires, cannibalism, mimicry, parasites, and more. You'll learn a lot about nature – and human nature – as you recognize traits of your own friends, frenemies, and enemies in this insightful, amusing look into the secret lives of animals.
"If you thought you knew something about relationships, think again. Iris Gottlieb has created a curiosity cabinet full of surprising partnerships in the natural world. I learned something on every page – and laughed at the witty takeaways. Anyone who loves nature will love this charming, illuminating book."
– Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds
"An appealing and quirky exploration of who does what to whom in nature. Iris Gottlieb's whimsical art and prose complement one another as neatly as the relationships she describes. Delightful!"
– Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds
"A beautifully illustrated, humorous, and enlightening reminder that no living being on this earth is (for better or for worse) truly alone. I finished this book with a renewed sense of wonder at the interconnectedness of everything."
– Yumi Sakugawa, author of There Is No Right Way to Meditate: And Other Lessons
"Full of hard-to-believe facts about the symbiotic nature of animals and their intertwinings. The mongoose and the warthog, ants and aphids, vampire bats and livestock: Your last relationship was not this weird, promise."
– Oakland Magazine
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Iris Gottlieb is an illustrator and layman scientist. She grew up collecting dead and living things and has continued to do so, documenting and researching them along the way. When not exploring, Iris works with museums, publications, groups, and individuals as a freelance illustrator, tattooer, and graphic recorder. She is the on-hand illustrator for the San Francisco Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio as well as an illustrator at the Oakland Museum of California.