Stories of the Natural World That Inspired Human Ingenuity
Washington, D.C. : Island Press, 2022.
Description: 377 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
"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 about 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.
Contents: 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'.
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