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How the zebra got its stripes Darwinian stories told through evolutionary biology

Grasset, Léo (author.). Mellor, Barbara, (translator.). Grasset, Léo Translation of: Coup de la girafe. (Added Author).


"A bright young scientist explains the intricacies of the animal kingdom through the lens of evolutionary biology. Why do giraffes have such long necks? Why are zebras striped? Why does a gazelle evade a hungry cheetah by leaping and bounding along a random path? Deploying the latest scientific research and his own extensive observations in Africa, Léo Grasset offers answers to these questions and many more in a book of post-Darwinian Just So Stories (the classic tales by Rudyard Kipling that offered fanciful accounts of how the features of assorted fauna came to be). Complex natural phenomena are explained in simple and at times comic terms, as Grasset turns evolutionary biology to the burning questions of the animal kingdom, from why elephants prefer dictators and buffaloes democracies, to whether the lion really is king. The human is, of course, just another animal, and the author's exploration of two million years of human evolution illustrates how it not only informs our current habits and behavior, but also reveals that we are hybrids of several different species. Prepare to be fascinated, shocked, and delighted--as well as reliably advised. By the end, you will know, for example, to never hug the beautiful, cuddly honey badger, and what explains its almost psychotic nastiness. This is serious science at its entertaining best"--Jacket.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781681774145
  • ISBN: 1681774143
  • Physical Description: 154 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First Pegasus Books hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York ; Pegasus Books, May 2017.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Translation of: Le coup de la girafe : des savants dans la savane.
Originally published in French: Paris : Éd. du Seuil, 2015.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-143) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Part I: Evolution in its guises. The female hyena's penis ; The giraffe's long neck ; The random flight of the gazelle ; How the zebra got its stripes -- Part II: The mysteries of animal behaviour. The air-conditioning of the termite mound ; The impala's Mexican waves ; Elephant dictatorship vs buffalo democracy ; The antelope art of sexual manipulation -- Part III: Extraordinary creatures. Dung beetle navigation ; Seismic signalling in the elephants' sound-world ; Honey badger--weapon of mass destruction ; The truth about The lion king -- Part IV: The human factor. How to turn a lion into a cub-killer ; Catastrophic change ; Human evolution and its impact -- Epilogue: The zebras and me.
Subject: f------
Savanna animals Africa Miscellanea
Savanna animals Evolution Africa Popular works
Evolution (Biology) Popular works
Adaptation (Biology) Popular works
Behavior evolution Popular works
Human evolution Popular works
Human-animal relationships Popular works
Nature Effect of human beings on Popular works
Animals Africa Miscellanea
Nature Effect of human beings on
SCIENCE Life Sciences Biology
SCIENCE Life Sciences Evolution
SCIENCE Life Sciences Zoology
Adaptation (Biology)
Behavior evolution
Evolution (Biology)
Human-animal relationships
Human evolution
Nature Effect of human beings on
Savanna animals
Genre: Miscellanea.
Trivia and miscellanea.
Trivia and miscellanea.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 591.748 GRA (Text) 000145159 Nonfiction Available -

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