Rodent

6 Books to Read if You’re Hankering for More ‘Planet Earth’

Fans of the BBC series Planet Earth have the highest highs and the lowest lows. The highs, of course, include the high definition vistas, the close-ups of exotic animals, and David Attenborough’s quirky voiceover. The low is the long wait between seasons. Look, BBC, we get it. It takes a long time to capture a snow leopard kicking slush, but ten years is a long time.

 

Well, between now and Planet Earth’s next season in 2027, you can read several books. I’ve gathered some books that are right up the alley of you Planet Earth cravers.

 

1. The Peregrine by J. A. Baker

Peregrine

Image Via Amazon

 

From fall to spring, J.A. Baker set out to track the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons across the flat fen lands of eastern England. He followed the birds obsessively, observing them in the air and on the ground, in pursuit of their prey, making a kill, eating, and at rest, activities he describes with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry. And as he continued his mysterious private quest, his sense of human self slowly dissolved, to be replaced with the alien and implacable consciousness of a hawk.

 

It is this extraordinary metamorphosis, magical and terrifying, that these beautifully written pages record.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

2. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

 

Origin

Image via Amazon

 

Charles Darwin’s classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.

 

Few other books have created such a lasting storm of controversy as The Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory that species derive from other species by a gradual evolutionary process and that the average level of each species is heightened by the “survival of the fittest” stirred up popular debate to fever pitch. Its acceptance revolutionized the course of science.

 

As Sir Julian Huxley, the noted biologist, points out in his illuminating introduction, the importance of Darwin’s contribution to modern scientific knowledge is almost impossible to evaluate: “a truly great book, one which can still be read with profit by professional biologist.”

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

3. The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution’s Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life’s Biggest Problems by Matt Simon

 

The Wasp

Image Via Amazon

 

On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators.

 

These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

4. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

 

The Genius of Birds

Image Via Amazon

 

Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence. In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores their newly discovered brilliance and how it came about. 

 

As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent. At once personal yet scientific, richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

5. Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams

 

Tailchaser's Song

Image Via Amazon

 

Fifteen years ago, a young author surprised and enchanted readers with his first novel—the story of Fritti Tailchaser, a courageous tom cat in a world of whiskery heroes and villains, of feline gods and strange, furless creatures called M’an.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

6. Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat by Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup

 

Tigers Forever

Image Via Amazon

 

Tigers are in trouble, and National Geographic photographer Steve Winter is on a one-man mission to address the plight of this magnificent cat – while there’s still time.  Together with Panthera, the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to saving big cats, and its Tigers Initiative, Winter reveals a decade worth of stunning images and stories of tigers in their world. In Tigers Forever, readers follow Winter through Myanmar’s leech-infested jungles in search of tigers; into the forbidden realm of poachers in Sumatra; and witness the breathtaking intimacy between a tiger mother and her cub. Winter’s gripping images, along with co-author Sharon Guynup’s eloquent prose, tell the dramatic story of the tiger’s fight for survival, and the lengths to which one man would go to bring that story to the world. Above all else, Tigers Forever reveals the tiger itself: elusive, majestic, ferocious, powerful, mysterious—and in desperate need of our help to survive.

 

Synopsis courtesy of Amazon

 

Feature Image Via BBC