Why the Cheetah Cheats

and other Mysteries of the Natural World

Lewis Smith

A fascinating overview of recent research on the animal world by an award-winning author who is fascinated by his subject and knows how to bring it to life.

260 x 210 mm

240 pages


ISBN: 978-1-906506-03-2


IPPY Silver Medal 2010 – Animals

Subjects: Nature, Science

Lewis Smith begins by looking at ancient species and recent discoveries about their behaviour. The head-butting dinosaur is just one example. He looks at the many threats to wildlife today, how these threats can be countered, and how wildlife helps itself and can be helped to recover from the dangers that beset it. Examples of animal behaviour include new research on the promiscuity of female, as well as male cheetahs: almost every cheetah litter has two or more fathers. The benefits are that their cubs are more genetically diverse and the chances of the young being killed by adult males are reduced. Despite many centuries of research, new species are still being discovered. Lewis Smith introduces us to the world's largest pygmy shrew and several other extraordinary examples. He concludes with a discussion on invasive species and their effect on the environment, including the American bullfrog, the crayfish, and the grey squirrel. The animal world is revealing more of its long-kept secrets every day. Some are mind-boggling, many are totally unsuspected, all are fascinating and lead to a better understanding of the world in which we live. The informative text and accompanying images will enthrall even the uninitiated.

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Lewis Smith

Lewis Smith is a journalist specialising in science and the environment. After graduating from the University of Leicester he worked on various local newspapers and as a freelancer for several national newspapers, including The Times from 1998 until 2009. His main areas of interest are climate change and animal conservation and behaviour. His first book Why the Lion Grew Its Mane was longlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books in 2007.

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"A beautifully illustrated book on wildlife mysteries"
The Daily Express