The Big Book of Beasts: The World's Most Curious Creatures

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HarperCollins, Apr 16, 2013 - Nature - 416 pages
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The world's wildest collection of animal knowledge and lore!

Lions, and tigers, and bears . . . and dinosaurs, dragons, and monsters. Oh my!

For hundreds of years, the most popular books in the Western world next to the Bible were "bestiaries," fanciful encyclopedias collecting all of human knowledge and mythology about the animal kingdom. In these pages, eagles and elephants lived next to griffins and sea monsters. Now, in The Big, Bad Book of Beasts, award-winning author Michael Largo has updated the medieval bestsellers for the twenty-first century, illuminating little-known facts, astonishing secrets, and bizarre superstitions about the beasts that inhabit our world—and haunt our imaginations. You'll learn about the biggest bug ever, the smallest animal in the world, and the real creatures that inspired the fabled unicorns. You'll discover how birds learned to fly, why cats rub against your legs, and a thousand other facts that will make you look at nature in a wonderfully new way.

Did you know?

The fastest animal in the world is the peregrine falcon, which reaches speeds of over 200 miles per hours.

Circus ringmaster P.T. Barnum fooled many when he displayed a "mermaid" carcass that was later proved to be monkey bones sewed together with the body of a fish.

Discovered in a remote volcanic crater in New Guinea, the Bosavi wolly rat grows to the size of a cat.

President Andrew Jackson bought an African gray parrot to keep his wife company. The bird outlived them both and was removed from Jackson's funeral for cussing in both English and Spanish.

A to Z: From Aardvark to Zooplankton!

For all ages!

Includes 289 illustrations!

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About the author (2013)

Michael Largo is the author of The Big, Bad Book of Beasts; God's Lunatics; Genius and Heroin; and the Bram Stoker Award-winning Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die, as well as three novels. He and his family live in Florida with their dog, two turtles, a parrot, two canaries, and a tank of fish.

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