by Eivind Undheim, Ronald Jenner
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Natural Science, Science
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
A fully illustrated guide to venom, its evolution in different animal groups, its effects and its treatments.
When we enter the world of venom, we enter the realm of one of the most diverse, versatile, sophisticated and deadly biological adaptations ever to have evolved on Earth.
Since it first appeared in ancient jellyfish and sea anemones, venom has proved so effective that it has since evolved independently in dozens of different animal groups. The authors reveal the many unique methods by which venomous animals deliver their cocktail of toxins and how these disrupt the physiology of the victims.
Jenner and Undheim also consider how humans have learnt to neutralise venom’s devastating effects, as well as exploit the power of venom in innovative ways to create new drugs to treat a variety of serious conditions. Fully illustrated throughout, this illuminating guide will appeal to all those with an interest in the wondrous world of venom.
When I started this book, I thought it was going to be introductory, aimed at a mainstream audience. It’s introductory, in its way, but I can’t imagine it’s really meant for a mainstream audience; lots of latin names and terminology that’s not advanced (no molecular structures, so far) but not really reader friendly either.
I’m really enjoying it; I like the informative charts I’ve come across so far, and there is a generous number of full colour photographs that are beautiful. Some of the information is old-hat for me, but quite a bit of it is new, and I’m only done with 2 chapters.
This is a slow read that will ruin my average reading time stats, but will be well worth it, I think.