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Life Sciences | Amazing Numbers in Biology (Reviews)

Amazing Numbers in Biology

Flindt, Rainer

Translated by Solomon, N.

Original German edition published by Elsevier GmbH, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2003

2006, XIV, 295 p.

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From the reviews:

"This quirky reference book is full of fascinating and obscure lists and facts from the natural world. ... This book will become ragged with use. ... A labour of love and listing, Amazing Numbers is better than googling, because it has a sensible index and you don´t have to wade through a whole load of irrelevance to get to what you want. It´s also logically divided ..., and, just in case you ever want to check, all the facts are referenced. A warning though – this addictive book will keep you absorbing odd little facts: dimensions of a bread mould´s mitochondria anyone?"

(BBC Wildlife)

"... a giant squid's eyeball is nearly half a metre in diameter. You may also be unaware that the oldest crow reportedly lived to 118; ... that midges beat their wings more than 1000 times a second; ... and that the fruit of the tropical liana catapults its seeds 15 metres. We don't often recommend books consisting entirely of statistics, but this one has a treat on every page."

(New Scientist)

"Almost 300 pages of nothing than tables of biological data might not sound like an ideal bedtime read, and every person I have shown it to has initially exclaimed "What an incredibly boring book!" But 30 minutes later, every single one of them was still standing rooted to the spot, flicking the pages while I tried to prise it back off them.

Want to know the inactivation temperature of Avian Flu virus? ... It´s all here. There are no frills at all – no pictures, ... , no jokes, no clever anecdotes. It´s just table after table. This is obviously like crack cocaine to the trivia-minded, but it´s a genuinely useful reference tool as well. ... nicely backed up with two indices ..."

(Luis Villazon, BBC Focus Magazin)

"The book’s first four parts are specifically dedicated to facts in zoology, botany, microbiology, and human biology, and its final part contains a wide range of comparative data across different kingdoms and species. … there will be a large group of people who find the volume interesting and useful. This will include not only teachers … but also scientists who can use it as a reference. Even children and their parents will find that facts interesting and entertaining." (Tzvi Tzfira, Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 82, March, 2007)



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