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The Inside Out of Flies

McAlister Erica



Price: $34.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN13: 9781486313808
Published: September 2020

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This is a new book. Condition: Brand New.

The Inside Out of Flies is a look under the bonnet at the astonishing mechanics of fly anatomy. Erica McAlister reveals the engineering miracles embodied in each species of fly and some of the fascinating implications they hold for human technology. Discover the physics of the mysterious 'scuba diving fly', marvel at the venomous horsefly larvae which prey on frogs and glimpse the golden ratio in these creatures' spiral flight patterns.

McAlister touches on the emerging field of biomimetics - the study of evolutionary adaptations to devise new technology - and anticipates everything from medical needles based on the mosquito's proboscis to hearing aids inspired by Ormia ochracea, a tiny fly with ears on its thorax. At every juncture she uncovers unique and surprising science lessons encapsulated in the form and function of the humble fly.

'Flies are not filthy...they are always cleaning themselves,' notes entomologist Erica McAlister's caption for a photo of a fly maintaining its antennae - one of many eye-popping images in her erudite, irresistible natural history of the insects. She agrees with naturalist Pliny, who wrote two millennia ago that insects display nature's 'exhaustless ingenuity'. Consider Ephydra hians, which 'scuba-dives' in alkaline lakes - using hydrophobic hairs that trap an air bubble like an external lung - to lay its eggs on the lake bottom.' - Nature.com

'Not only is her subject matter engrossing and outlandish, but McAlister is also enthusiastic and witty...She had me in stitches with the kinds of personal revelations that only a biologist would think of writing down...And there is a streak of eccentricity in her fascination, such as the joy of watching decomposing wildlife in her garden to see the flies it attracts...The Inside Out of Flies is much more than just a carnival of the bizarre...McAlister [combines] a heartfelt sense of wonder at the small things around us with a knack for popularizing science.' - The Inquisitive Biologist

Book details and technical specifications

Format: Hardback
ISBN13: 9781486313808
Published: September 2020

Number of pages: 288
Width: 130 mm
Height: 195 mm
Depth: not specified

Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

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