To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
United States
All Shops

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

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.

Subscriptions from £33 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £26 per year
Good Reads  Organismal to Molecular Biology  Ethology

The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars Cheating and Deception in the Living World

Popular Science
By: Lixing Sun(Author)
296 pages, 8 plates with 12 colour photos an colour illustrations; 34 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars
Click to have a closer look
  • The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars ISBN: 9780691198606 Hardback May 2023 In stock
Price: £24.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles Recommended titles

About this book

Nature is rife with cheating. Possums play possum, feigning death to cheat predators. Crows cry wolf to scare off rivals. Amphibians and reptiles are inveterate imposters. Even genes and cells cheat. The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars explores the evolution of cheating in the natural world, revealing how dishonesty has given rise to wondrous diversity.

Blending cutting-edge science with a wealth of illuminating examples – from microscopic organisms to highly intelligent birds and mammals – Lixing Sun shows how cheating in nature relies on two basic rules. One is lying, by which cheaters exploit honest messages in communication signals and use them to serve their own interests. The other is deceiving, by which cheaters exploit the biases and loopholes in the sensory systems of other creatures. Sun demonstrates that cheating serves as a potent catalyst in the evolutionary arms race between the cheating and the cheated, resulting in a biological world teeming with complexity and beauty.

Brimming with insight and humour, The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars also looks at the prevalence of cheating in human society, identifying the kinds of cheating that spur innovation and cultural vitality, and laying down a blueprint for combatting malicious cheating such as fake news and disinformation.

Customer Reviews


Lixing Sun is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Central Washington University. He is the author of The Fairness Instinct: The Robin Hood Mentality and Our Biological Nature and the co-author of The Beaver: Natural History of a Wetlands Engineer.

Popular Science
By: Lixing Sun(Author)
296 pages, 8 plates with 12 colour photos an colour illustrations; 34 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"The world is full of liars, a fact brilliantly depicted in Lixing Sun's slender but important book about cheating and deception among animals and plants, as well as that hairless bipedal species that is the biggest deceiver of them all [...] A tour de force of evolutionary biology [...] Fascinating."
– David P. Barash, Wall Street Journal

"The accessible prose offers an eye-opening take on lying in the natural world and how evolutionary pressures to deceive impact human behavior. The smart parallels between humans and animals make for an insightful outing."
Publishers Weekly

"[An] intriguing introduction to the domain of dishonesty."
– Tony Miksanek, Booklist

"Buckle up for a riveting journey into the wide world of deception."
– Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today

"Lixing Sun treats this topic with both a serious scientific demeanour and a welcome injection of wry humour."
– David Gascoigne, Travels with Birds

"While our species has no lack of dishonesty and self-deception, we are not as exceptional as we think. This eye-opening book by Lixing Sun expertly explains how the natural world is filled to the brim with misleading signals and subterfuge."
– Frans de Waal, author of Different: Gender through the Eyes of a Primatologist

"With clarity, authority, and humor, Lixing Sun's The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars presents the natural world as a source of insights for human interaction. Through superb scientific storytelling and compelling animal examples, Sun provides readers with a framework for detecting and decoding dishonesty in the human world. The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars is an engaging, fascinating, and important contribution."
– Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, coauthor of Wildhood and Zoobiquity

"In this wide-ranging book, Lixing Sun argues that lying and deceiving can be found in all domains of life ranging from bacteria, fungi, and genes to more complex plants and animals. Buckle up for a thrilling journey into the wide world of cheating. Sun's book opened my eyes to ideas I had never before entertained."
– Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado Boulder, coauthor of Wild Justice and A Dog's World

"A refreshingly fun take on cheating and free riding in the natural world. From cuckoos and crabs to cheating bureaucrats, Sun paints a brightly colored world filled with innovative impostors, creative liars, and brilliant nervous-system hackers."
– Athena Aktipis, author of The Cheating Cell: How Evolution Helps Us Understand and Treat Cancer and host of the Zombified podcast

Current promotions
New and Forthcoming BooksNHBS Moth TrapBritish Wildlife MagazineBuyers Guides