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DAZZLED AND DECEIVED: Mimicry and Camouflage
Bibliophile price: £2.50
Anybody who has been watching David Attenborough's latest marine extravaganza Blue Planet II will have been privileged to witness the most amazing acts of camouflage, mimicry and trickery on the planet. By imitating other animals, plants and surroundings or sending out signals known to make predators wary, nature's fakers use mimicry to protect, to attract and repel, to bluff, misdirect and warn, to forage and to hide - but how has "blind" nature managed these deceits and how is it that some species can adapt so quickly? And what have we learned from their endeavours? Peter Forbes here explores the impact of mimicry and camouflage on art, literature, military tactics and medical cures across the 20th century and sheds unexpected light on what is arguably man's most abiding quest, the understanding of life at its deepest levels. Just as Darwin realised, nature is a tinkerer and in all her multiple choices, chances and small scale experiments, some of which disappear without trace, others which can lead to whole new ways of living or even species, there are so many amazing possibilities. In doing so he opens our eyes to aspects of the natural world that may have passed by even the most seasoned observer. 16 pages of colour plates, 282pp, paperback.

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