Freaky Animal Stuff

Animals do weird stuff! LOTS of weird stuff. Zombie Birds, Astronaut Fish, and Other Weird Animals by Becky Crew is a collection of short descriptions of some of the world’s weirdest animals, from spiders that create a diving bell out of their own webbing to male anglerfish that latch onto and merge into female anglerfish in the mating process.

I enjoyed reading through this, and it’s great if you’re looking for a book that you can pick up and put down without losing the thread of a plot–each section is just a few pages long and stands alone. Each section seems well-researched, describing recent studies in easy-to-grasp language and stating where additional research is needed to understand exactly what is happening and why. Crews accompanies many of the nonfiction descriptions with a shorter fictional tale of how the animal’s weird characteristic might play out, in an anthropomorphized way. I didn’t mind these but didn’t find that they added much to the book. I definitely read it for the science and not the stories.

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