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Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History
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Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History


Eating one’s own kind is completely natural behavior in thousands of species, including humans. Throughout history we have engaged in cannibalism for reasons of famine, burial rites, and medicinal remedies; it’s been used as a way to terrorize and even a way to show filial piety. With unexpected wit and a wealth of knowledge, American Museum of Natural History biologist Bill Schutt takes us on a tour of the field, dissecting exciting new research and investigating questions such as why so many fish eat their offspring and some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why sexual cannibalism is an evolutionary advantage for certain spiders; why, until the end of the eighteenth century, British royalty ate human body parts; how cannibalism may be linked to the extinction of Neanderthals; why microbes on sacramental bread may have led Catholics to execute Jews in the Middle Ages.

Today, the subject of humans consuming one another has been relegated to the realm of horror movies, fiction, and the occasional psychopath, but be forewarned: As climate change progresses and humans see more famine, disease, and overcrowding, biological and cultural constraints may well disappear. These are the very factors that lead to outbreaks of cannibalism. As he examines these close encounters of the cannibal kind, Bill Schutt makes the ick-factor fascinating.

Title:Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:332 pages
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    Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History Reviews

  • Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell
    Jun 23, 2016

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI blame Bill Nye for fostering in me a fascination with all things science (something I think he'd gladly take the credit for). Romance novels m...

  • Tudor Vlad
    Apr 21, 2017

    This was fun. I know, a book about cannibalism, how fun could that be? There are times when the book is dry and there were moments when I trudged through pages and pages of information. Still, for the...

  • Nick Pageant
    Feb 21, 2017

    I know I'm not likely to convince anyone to read this but for a few special souls (I'm looking at you, Kelly). Still, this is a fun book. The author has a very light touch, lending humor to the grueso...

  • Krista
    Mar 03, 2017

    Away for the weekend for my husband's work, we went out for a group dinner last night not long after I finished reading Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, and as one does, I steered the convers...

  • Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
    Mar 31, 2017

    Absolutely *DEVOURED* this....I'm sorry, sometimes the urge to pun is just too strong. ...

  • The Behrg
    Jul 15, 2016

    I'm not sure if reading a non-fiction novel about Cannibalism says more about the READER than it does the AUTHOR, but I found this a disturbingly fascinating read. Running the gamut from insects to th...

  • Olive (abookolive)
    Mar 31, 2017

    See my review on my booktube channel:

  • Jenny (adultishbooks)
    Mar 25, 2017

    Utterly fascinating piece of non-fiction that is easy-to-follow, accessible, and snarky. I do think it lost focus at the 11th hour when it discussed Mad Cow Disease (which I totally missed the connect...

  • Ana  Vl?descu
    Mar 31, 2017

    So, just to deter any possible squeamish readers: Schutt eats placenta, prepared a la osso bucco, in this book. I kinda-sorta-maybe-wanna eat placenta right now, just to see how it tastes. Is that gro...

  • Lena?Ribka
    Feb 20, 2017

    Eating one’s own kind is completely natural behavior in thousands of species, including humans. Well...that is something I have to read...when I'm in the proper mood....