Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals

Richard Conniff, Author . Norton $25.95 (299p) ISBN 978-0-393-06893-1

Travel writer and field naturalist Conniff (Rats ) shares such outrageous vignettes from his career as feasting on warthog sausage with an occasional side of beetle larvae, having insects copulate on his forehead and communing with packs of African wild dogs. His acute descriptions and self-deprecating humor keep such sections riveting, but the chapters profiling other experts’ research and involvement with various species read a bit laboriously. Particularly tedious is his investigation into Madagascar’s lemurs with Patricia Wright, a housewife-turned-primatologist, who names the lemurs and spends nights in the forests observing them. Conniff’s perspective is nowhere to be found in this chapter, only a historical and contemporary account of Wright’s experiences and her effort to preserve the lemur colonies. Readers will likely crave more chapters spotlighting Conniff’s personal experiences of the animals and his keen wit and insights. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/23/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-393-07153-5
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-0-393-30457-2
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