Furry Logic: the physics of animal life
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 was born? And how can a Komodo dragon kill water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a cat’s?
As Furry Logic reveals, these puzzles – and many more besides – are all explained by physics. Whether it’s ants, elephants, bees or squirrels, animals are cleverer than we think. 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 great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, touching briefly on why you should only stick things in your eyes if you’re a genius. And there’s plenty on the animal experts of today, from the Australian who made an annual pilgrimage to “biologists’ heaven” in Canada, to the Canadian — inspired by watching David Attenborough as a child — who made the reverse journey to look for archerfish in Australia’s rivers, to the researcher who videoed flirting peacocks.
Written in a simple and engaging style, 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.