Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World
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What if Nature is more cooperative, and less competitive, than we think?
A follow-up to Kristin Ohlson's previous book, The Soil Will Save Us (Rodale 2014), Sweet in Tooth and Claw extends the concept of cooperation in nature to the life-affirming connections among microbes, plants, fungi, insects, birds, and animals - including humans--in ecosystems around the globe. For centuries, people have debated whether nature is mostly competitive -- as Darwin theorized and the poet Tennyson described as "red in tooth and claw"--or innately cooperative, as many ancient and indigenous peoples believed. In the last 100 or so years, a growing gang of scientists have studied the mutually beneficial interactions that are believed to benefit every species on earth. This book is full of stories of generosity - not competition -- in nature. It is a testament to the importance of a healthy biodiversity, and dispels the widely accepted premise of survival of the fittest. Ohlson tells stories of trees and mushrooms, beavers and bees. There are chapters on a wide variety of ecosystems and portraits of the people who learn from them: forests (the work of Suzanne Simard); scientists who study the interaction of bees and flowers in the Rocky Mountains; the discovery of bacteria and protozoa in the mid-1600s by Dutch scientist Antoni von Leeuwenhoek; ranchers, government agency personnel, and scientists working together to restore wetlands from deserts in northeastern Nevada; and more. It is a rich and fascinating book full of amazing stories, sure to change your perspective on the natural world.
September 06, 2022
6.3 X 8.2 X 1.3 inches | 2.05 pounds
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About the Author
Kristin Ohlson is an author and freelance journalist in Portland, Oregon, who has published articles in the New York Times, Orion, Discover, Gourmet, Oprah, and many other print and online publications. Her magazine work has been anthologized in Best American Science Writing and Best American Science Writing. Ohlson's last book was The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, which the Los Angeles Times called "a hopeful book and a necessary one.... a fast-paced and entertaining shot across the bow of mainstream thinking about land use." She appeared in the award-winning documentary film, Kiss the Ground, to speak about the connection between soil health and climate health. Ohlson lives in Portland, Oregon.