Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How does a tiny box jellyfish, with no brain and little control over where it goes in the water, manage to kill a full-grown man? What harm have hippos been known to inflict on humans, and why? What makes our closest cousin, the chimpanzee, the most dangerous of all apes to encounter in the wild?
In this elegantly illustrated, often darkly funny compendium of animal predation, Gordon Grice, hailed by Michael Pollan as “a fresh, strange, and wonderful new voice in American nature writing,” presents findings that are by turns surprising, humorous, and horrifying. Personally obsessed by both the menace and beauty of animals since he was six years old and a deadly cougar wandered onto his family’s farm, Grice now reaps a lifetime of study in this unique survey—at once a reading book and a resource.
Categorized by kind and informed throughout by the author’s unsentimental view of the natural order and our place in it, here are the hard-to-stomach, hard-to-resist facts and legends of animal encounters. Whether it’s the elephant that collided with a fuel tanker and lived (the tanker exploded), the turn-of-the-century household cure for a copperhead bite (douse the infected area in kerosene), or the shark that terrorized the New Jersey coastline for a summer (later inspiring the film Jaws), everything you’ve ever wanted to know about animals but were afraid to ask is included in this hair-raising, heart-racing volume. By turns wondrous, mordant, and sobering, this book is ultimately a celebration of the animal world—in all its perilous glory—by a writer who’s been heralded by The New York Times for his ability to combine “the observations of a naturalist with a dry, homespun philosopher’s wit.”
“Did he say repugnatorial gland? What a wealth of information Gordon Grice is, and what a fine, beguiling writer. This book is a must for anyone even remotely thinking of getting a monkey, a sea lion, or, heaven forbid, a dog.”
~ David Sedaris
“A wonderful, slightly terrifying, utterly captivating encounter with the animal world—not quite like anything I’ve ever read before."
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
“Deadly Kingdom is an engagingly original field guide to the venomous, the sharp-clawed, the infectious, and the downright predatory. It’s a witty, fascinating, and playfully macabre read.”
~ David Baron, author of The Beast in the Garden
“Deadly Kingdom is sometimes gory, always gorgeous, and really great. Gordon Grice is a warm and funny guide, his fingers always on the facts. There are amazing stories here, fascinating people and places, but above all, there are the animals we thought we knew, and the ones we’ve never heard of: hagfish, guinea worms, eyelash vipers, blister beetles. You’ll never go barefoot in the barnyard again.”
~ Bill Roorbach, author of Temple Stream: A Rural Odyssey
“Deadly Kingdom makes it clear that you are not on top of the food chain.”
~ Pamela Nagami, M.D., author of Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings
About the Author
Gordon Grice has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, Discover, Granta, and other magazines. His first book, The Red Hourglass, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the New York Public Library. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Essays. He lives with his family in Wisconsin.
Note: retail EPUB, includes TOC/chapters.
Human-eaters of various kinds, including tigers and brown bears, in Monster of God (W. W. Norton, 2003). AQUATIC DANGERS Edward R. Ricciuti’s Killers of the Seas (Lyons Press, 2003) and Peter Benchley’s Shark Trouble (Random House, 2002) survey the dangers of the deep. Richard G. Fernicola’s Twelve Days of Terror (Lyons Press, 2002) and Michael Capuzzo’s Close to Shore (Broadway Books, 2001) recount the famous Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. The Indianapolis disaster is the subject of.
Future need. This instinct is untrammeled by the mathematical skills that might otherwise tell an animal when he’s overdone it. That behavior may explain the behavior of the Ruponda River leopard. But, like a housecat toying with insects or mice, the leopard may simply have been practicing its hunting skills. We do not know what animals think or feel, but it takes no great leap to suspect that cats enjoy using their skills without practical purpose. Certainly mere enjoyment accounts for much of.
The notion that it, too, was “based on a true story.” The true story began on July 1, 1916, near Beach Haven, New Jersey. Charles Vansant, a twenty-two-year-old textile salesman, was swimming in the ocean late in the afternoon. Witnesses shouted warnings when they saw a dark fin approach him. As he tried to come ashore, he was seen to struggle in the shallows. Blood colored the water. Vansant had been bitten in the leg, but now he was free. A lifeguard grabbed him under the arms and pulled him.
Temple and made a desperate surge for the surface. The sharks attacked again, wrestling Temple away from him. The water darkened with blood and specks of flesh. Gilliam’s air supply was exhausted. The sharks had dragged him more than 125 feet deeper during the course of the attack. He saw them still at work on Temple’s body. He kicked for safety alone. He arrived at the surface on the verge of oxygen starvation and suffering from decompression sickness. Strangers found him and saved his life.
In danger, its neighbors join it in harassing the attacker. I observed an instance of mobbing in my own yard recently. The snow came late this year, announced by a late flight of Canada geese calling in the night. In the November morning the snow was too warm to hold its shape until it hit the ground. The light seemed at once golden and soaked. As I passed by my kitchen window, an interesting movement snagged my eye. It was a great horned owl, a species I’ve continued to take a special interest.