As everyone knows, sex sells�and the author of this new compilation of interesting/bizarre animal behavior exploits this maxim to the max. Senson, producer of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation�s radio science show �Quirks & Quarks,� has turned roughly 100 radio interviews into lively, short essays about some of the astonishing ways animals raise their young, find food, or, yes, have sex. Senson covers a lot of ground in this survey of the weird. In the first section, the battle of the sexes is discussed, with examples such as water-strider females evolving armament to keep males from riding on their backs, or male fish that sometimes eat the eggs they�ve just finished fertilizing. Impressing the other sex can lead to such oddities as home wrecking in bowerbirds or the use of citronella �cologne� in crested auklets. Parenting often creates dilemmas, such as the scarcity of nest burrows that causes band-rumped storm petrels to �time share.� Finding food can inspire creativity, such as the use of cow dung by burrowing owls to attract one of their favorite foods, dung beetles, or squirrels eating rattlesnake skins so they�ll smell like the snakes and be left alone. Based on interviews with scientists studying all walks of natural selection, this lively book is perfect for sampling during a spare moment. --Nancy Bent
Praise for The Quirks & Quarks Guide to Space:
"The perfect present for the mad scientist in your life."
— St. John's Telegram
"Great beach reading."
— Toronto Star