Why the Lion Grew its Mane

A Miscellany of Recent Scientific Discoveries from Astronomy to Zoology

Lewis Smith

The Times science reporter Lewis Smith presents a fascinating collection of recent discoveries that overturn popular conceptions, enter realms that were previously the preserve of science fiction or simply add to the sum of human knowledge.

300 x 240 mm

288 pages


ISBN: 978-1-901092-83-7


Longlisted for Royal Society Science Books 2008

IPPY Bronze Medal 2009 – Science

Subject: Science

What is it about a lion's mane that tells the females if they're looking at the cream of the pride? Why is there a hole in the Earth's crust and are volcanoes still erupting on the moon? Did Hobbits really exist, could genetic engineering hold the key to eradicating malaria and how are cricket bats helping to secure the future of the koala bear? These and many other modern mysteries are questions that are being tackled and unravelled by scientists today. Science comes in many guises but from the study of animal behaviour to the creation of batteries powered by tree sap, it is constantly making new discoveries about the world around us. Stunningly illustrated and in clear, straightforward language, this book will amaze both young and old. It is a must-read for anyone curious about the diet of Neanderthals, the presence of life on Mars, and — of course — what a mane means to a lion.

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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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“Beautifully presented and easy to read... It sucks the reader into the world of science”
Royal Society Prize for Science Books

“The most beautiful science book of the year”
Sense about Science

“In characteristically clear style [Lewis Smith] explains all sorts of amazing stuff, so that even scientific halfwits like me can follow”
Damien Whitworth, The Times