The Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes examines how the world of animal senses can help us understand and transform the way we perceive our world. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)
"The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every animal is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of an immense world.This book welcomes us into a previously unfathomable dimension--the world as it is truly perceived by other animals. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires (and fireworks), songbirds that can see the Earth's magnetic fields, and brainless jellyfish that nonetheless have complex eyes. We discover that a crocodile's scaly face is as sensitive as a lover's fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, and that even fingernail-sized spiders can make out the craters of the moon. We meet people with unusual senses, from women who can make out extra colors to blind individuals who can navigate using reflected echoes like bats. Yong tells the stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, and also looks ahead at the many mysteries which lie unsolved"-- - (Baker & Taylor)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “thrilling” (The New York Times), “dazzling” (The Wall Street Journal) tour of the radically different ways that animals perceive the world that will fill you with wonder and forever alter your perspective, by Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist Ed Yong
“One of this year’s finest works of narrative nonfiction.”—Oprah Daily
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, People, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Slate, Reader’s Digest, Chicago Public Library, Outside, Publishers Weekly, BookPage
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Oprah Daily, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Economist, Smithsonian Magazine, Prospect (UK), Globe & Mail, Esquire, Mental Floss, Marginalian, She Reads, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal
The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world.
In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.
Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called “the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.”
WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/E.O. WILSON AWARD - (Random House, Inc.)
*Starred Review* In I Contain Multitudes (2016), science writer Yong exquisitely explored the teeniest domains of life, microbiomes. Now he sets his sights on sensory biology and animal behavior. Umwelt is the term used to describe the distinctive sensory experience of any particular creature. The "sensecapes" of different animals can be dominated not just by vision, smell, taste, touch, or sound but also heat, flow, and even magnetoreception. The menagerie of critters and their unique perceptual abilities Yong examines here include the platypus with a bill that detects electric fields, sand scorpions that rely on surface vibrations to hunt prey, the echolocation prowess of bats and dolphins, the ultrafast vision of killer flies, and the outstanding olfaction of elephants. The facts are frequently astonishing. For example, the majority of insects appear to be deaf. Pain is referred to as the "unwanted sense," and naked mole-rats are relatively impervious to some types of it. Yong's writing is empathetic, impeccably researched, imaginative, and entertaining. The tongue of a slithering rattlesnake "turns the world into both map and menu" whereas catfish are depicted as Daliesque "swimming tongues." Yong worries about humanity's "ecological sins," as sensory pollution—noise, night lighting, chemicals—is ubiquitous. Yong's scientific curiosity and concern for the natural world are contagious. This is "sense"-ational reading. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.