30 animals that made us smarter Stories of the natural world that inspired human ingenuity

Patrick Aryee

Book - 2022

"Accompanying a new series of the hit BBC podcast, a fascinating exploration of how the animal world has inspired human progress via new inventions and solutions that impact our daily lives. Did you know that mosquitoes' mouthparts are helping to develop pain-free surgical needles? Who'd have thought that the humble mussel could inspire so many useful things, from plywood production to a 'glue' that cements the crowns on teeth and saves unborn babies in the womb? How abo...ut the fact that studying the tiny kingfisher solved engineering problems with Japan's ultra-high-speed bullet train, or that the humpback whale's flipper helped design the most efficient blades for wind power turbines? For many years, humans have been using the natural world as inspiration for everything from fashion to architecture, and medicine to transport, and it may come as a surprise to learn how many inventions have been motivated by animal design and behaviour. Dive into the depths with us as author Patrick Aryee reveals even more astonishing stories about animals' exceptional powers and the unique contributions they've made to the quality of our everyday lives. Beautiful hand-drawn illustrations accompany his revelations and bring the natural world to life"--Publisher's description.

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591.5/Aryee
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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 591.5/Aryee (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 20, 2022
Subjects
Published
Washington, DC : Island Press 2022.
Language
English
Item Description
"Inspired by the hit BBC News World Service podcast"--Cover.
Physical Description
377 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBN
9781642832679
1642832677
Main Author
Patrick Aryee (author)
Other Authors
Michael Bright (author), Lizzie Harper (illustrator)
  • Blueprints
  • The kingfisher and the bullet train
  • Octopus: the ultimate disguise
  • Return from the dead: the tardigrade
  • A woodpecker and a black box
  • Polar bears and insulation
  • Mosquitoes, wasps and advances in medical technology
  • Master-builders: termites
  • Cod and the cold
  • Elephant trunks and bionic arms
  • Birds, bats and bots
  • Fog harvesters
  • Sharks and hospitals
  • Explosive back end: bombardier beetle
  • Wind farm animals
  • Hedgehogs and helmets
  • Packing a punch: mantis shrimp
  • Snake: search and rescue
  • Natural architects and artists: butterflies
  • Giant fish and body armour
  • Cows and eco-friendly sewage
  • Pollution solution: manta rays
  • Glues from life to save life... and make cupboards!
  • Cats and road safety
  • High-rise sponges
  • Camels and cool medicine
  • Lobsters and space telescopes
  • Waterloo Station and pangolins
  • Swarms of ants and mini-bots
  • Implants and shocking tales
  • Incy wincy rescue
  • 'The machines aren't coming: they're already here'.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This fascinating book explores numerous examples of biomimicry, the relatively new scientific field in which humans create innovative technology inspired by animals. Got a bullet train that's too noisy? Redesign the front end like the bill of a kingfisher. Need to build ever-higher skyscrapers? Check out the amazingly strong and flexible construction of a sponge. Each chapter offers detailed information about various critters' distinctive attributes and explains how observant humans have developed scientific solutions modeled after these special features. Highly detailed and extremely close-up black line illustrations appear occasionally, helping clarify applications, especially for microscopic subjects like tardigrades (which offer helpful survival tips for space travelers). Readers learn about scientific breakthroughs that range from hospitals experimenting with bacteria-resistant surfaces emulating shark skin to bionic arms modeled after elephant trunks. Author Aryee, a former wildlife filmmaker, is a great storyteller, and it's not surprising to learn that these excerpts are based on his BBC podcast series (which shares this book's name). Animals learned to adapt through natural selection, he emphasizes, so why shouldn't we humans take cues from the natural world? Aryee's seamless balancing of animal facts and accessible technology writing makes for a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable read. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Based on the popular podcast of the same name, a collection of fascinating stories that highlight how animals have inspired human innovation, including how mosquito’s noses are helping to develop pain-free needles and mussels that inspired denture glue. Original. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Did you know that mosquitoes’ mouthparts are helping to develop pain-free surgical needles? Who'd have thought that the humble mussel could inspire so many useful things, from plywood production to a “glue” that can cement the crowns on teeth? Or that the design of polar bear fur may one day help keep humans warm in space? In everything from fashion to architecture, medicine to transportation, it may surprise you how many extraordinary inventions have been inspired by the natural world. Take the woodpecker as one incredible example. Woodpeckers can face up to 1,2000 Gs of force, but they’re protected from brain damage by the design of their beaks and skulls. These marvels of nature have inspired an array of cutting-edge ideas, from an advanced black box recorder for airplanes to an exceptionally strong bike helmet. In 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter, join wildlife biologist, TV host, and BBC podcaster Patrick Aryee as he tells stories of biomimicry, or innovations inspired by the natural world, which enrich our lives every day—and in some cases, save them. With Aryee’s infectious curiosity and sense of wonder as inspiration, venture with us into the hidden world of biomimicry. 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter will reveal animals’ exceptional powers and change the way you look at the natural world forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Did you know that mosquitoes’ mouthparts are helping to develop pain-free surgical needles? Who'd have thought that the humble mussel could inspire so many useful things, from plywood production to a “glue” that can cement the crowns on teeth? Or that the design of polar bear fur may one day help keep humans warm in space? In everything from fashion to architecture, medicine to transportation, it may surprise you how many extraordinary inventions have been inspired by the natural world. In 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter, join wildlife biologist, TV host, and BBC podcaster Patrick Aryee as he tells stories of biomimicry, or innovations inspired by the natural world, that enrich our lives every day—and in some cases, save them.