Despicable Species: On Cowbirds, Kudzu, Hornworms, and Other Scourges
In fourteen glorious essays, Despicable Species ponders some of the most loathsome creatures on the planet. But for every nasty reputation, there is a silver lining, which Lembke brings to our attention with dazzling bits of history, science, and culture. Lembke describes the horse fly as a blood-sucking insect with a walloping sting whose maggots exude chemicals that aid in healing human tissue, and that famous infant abandoner the cow-bird. She also writes about the hornworm, the opossum, and the deadly microbe Pfiesteria piscicida. And finally, she reveals our very own despicable species: Homo sapiens.
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