Author(s): Matin Durrani
The animal world is full of mysteries. Why do dogs slurp from their drinking bowls while cats lap up water with a delicate flick of the tongue? How does a tiny turtle hatchling from Florida circle the entire northern Atlantic before returning to the very beach where it hatched? And how can a Komodo dragon kill a water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a domestic cat's? These puzzles - and many more besides - are all explained by physics. From heat and light to electricity and magnetism, Furry Logic unveils the ways that more than 30 animals exploit physics to eat, drink, mate and dodge death in their daily battle for survival. Along the way, science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher introduce the great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, as well as the animal experts of today who are scouring the planet to find and study the animals that seem to push the laws of physics to the limit. Presenting mind-bending physics principles in a simple and engaging way, Furry Logic will appeal both to animal lovers and to those curious to see how physics crops up in the natural world. It's more of a 'howdunit' than a whodunit, though you're unlikely to guess some of the answers.
How animals use cool physics as part of their daily battle to survive
Packed with insight and information. -- Jim Al-Khalili, physicist and broadcaster An intriguing, funny and clever insight into the physics of the animal world. You'll never look at a wet dog or a bloody-thirsty mosquito in the same way. -- Fran Scott, science presenter Wonderful, wild and witty. -- Ian Sample, science editor, Guardian Illuminating and intriguing. An entertaining book that provides fresh insight into how animals survive - providing food for thought whatever your level of scientific knowledge. -- Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics and Master of Churchill College, University of Cambridge There is nothing fuzzy about this book. With crisp prose and intuitive descriptions of physical processes, this book reveals how natural selection tunes the laws of physics to solve the myriad problems posed by nature ... a must read. -- Daniel Rubenstein, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
Liz Kalaugher is a science and environment writer based in Bristol, UK. Fascinated by animals since a childhood encounter with a squashed frog, she is a particular fan of bats, bees and badgers. After winning journalism fellowships from the World Federation of Science Journalists and the European Geosciences Union, Liz has also reported on beluga whales in the Canadian Arctic and Finnish reindeer. She has a materials science degree from Oxford University and a PhD in thin-film diamond. @LizKalaugher Matin Durrani is editor of the international magazine Physics World, where he enjoys telling the stories that underpin physics and showing how it impacts so much of everyday life. Based in Bristol, UK, he first became intrigued by how animals use physics after publishing a special issue of Physics World on the subject in 2012. Matin has a degree in chemical physics and did a PhD and postdoc squashing food gels at Cambridge University before moving into publishing. @MatinDurrani
Introduction: Furry Physics Chapter 1: Heat: The Warm-up Chapter Chapter 2: Forces: The Big Push Chapter 3: Fluids: When Things Get Stickier Chapter 4: Sound: Good Vibrations Chapter 5: Electricity and Magnetism: Let the Sparks Fly Chapter 6: Light: A Final Physics Fandango Conclusion: Life, the Universe and Everything Acknowledgements Index