BOOK REVIEW: Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World by Marlene Zuk | Science News

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BOOK REVIEW: Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World by Marlene Zuk

Review by Susan Milius

By
10:39am, September 9, 2011

People are more afraid of insects than of death, or so says a survey that Zuk cites a bit skeptically. (Heights and public speaking are supposedly scarier than both.) Surveys aside, bugs certainly have a PR problem, and Zuk is out to win friends for them.

Her wry, amiable volume makes a case for appreciating the wonders and weirdnesses of the most numerous of animals. As she puts it, an insect-of-the-month calendar might not have to repeat a species for well over 80,000 years. The book thus falls into the paradoxical tradition of the why-not-to-hate-bugs book that appeals especially to people who already love them. An earlier classic of this microgenre, May Berenbaum’s Bugs in the System, has amused insect enthusiasts since 1996, and Zuk, a behavioral ecologist, focuses on more recent research.

Despite the title, which depending on personal tastes can be a plus o

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