Travel writer and field naturalist Conniff (Rats) shares such outrageous vignettes from his career as feasting on warthog sausage with an occasional side of beetle larvae, having insects copulate on his forehead and communing with packs of African wild dogs. His acute descriptions and self-deprecating humor keep such sections riveting, but the chapters profiling other experts' research and involvement with various species read a bit laboriously. Particularly tedious is his investigation into Madagascar's lemurs with Patricia Wright, a housewife-turned-primatologist, who names the lemurs and spends nights in the forests observing them. Conniff's perspective is nowhere to be found in this chapter, only a historical and contemporary account of Wright's experiences and her effort to preserve the lemur colonies. Readers will likely crave more chapters spotlighting Conniff's personal experiences of the animals and his keen wit and insights. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animalsby Richard Conniff
“Hilariously informative. . . . This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.”—OutsideIn this thrilling foray into the animal kingdom, Richard Conniff takes readers on an adventure-packed journey as he courts the most dangerous animals and lives to tell the tale. He lets African wild dogs sniff his neck to test the idea/p>
“Hilariously informative. . . . This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.”—OutsideIn this thrilling foray into the animal kingdom, Richard Conniff takes readers on an adventure-packed journey as he courts the most dangerous animals and lives to tell the tale. He lets African wild dogs sniff his neck to test the idea that they are vicious man-eaters, sticks his hand in a fire ant mound and does multiple takes for a pretty camerawoman on a television shoot, and flings chicken carcasses into piranha-infested waters to clock how quickly they disappear—before diving in himself. This collection offers a rare chance to go along on these death-defying treks and see life through the eyes of a bona-fide field naturalist.
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Meet the Author
Richard Coniff, a Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the National Magazine Award, writes for Smithsonian and National Geographic and is a frequent commentator on NPR's All Things Considered and a guest columnist for the New York Times. His books include The Natural History of the Rich, Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time, and The Species Seekers. He lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
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Wonderful book. Well written, interesting, humorous, the whole package. Would reccomend to anyone.