strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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What This Blog Is All About

Posted by Richard Conniff on February 14, 2007


Richard Conniff is at work on his new book, House of Lost Worlds, the story of how one museum revolutionized our ideas about life on Earth. He won a National Magazine Award in 1997 and a 2009 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.  He was a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow.   His articles have appeared in Time, Smithsonian, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and other publications. He is a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, a columnist for, and has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others. Conniff is the author of seven books, including The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth (Norton, 2010), Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time:  My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals (Norton, 2009), The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide (Norton, 2002) and Spineless Wonders:  Strange Tales of the Invertebrate World (Holt, 1996).


My name is Richard Conniff. On my Strange Behaviors blog, I share my writing for various publications.  Intermittently, I publish pieces about behaviors of humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither. Sometimes the behaviors I come across in my reporting don’t fit whatever I happen to be writing at the moment. (I’m a writer of books, magazine articles, television scripts, and radio commentaries.) Sometimes they’re just too weird to fit anywhere. But I love them anyway, for their own sake. So I publish them here, with the idea that readers will enjoy news and opinion from the behavioral world, and maybe also want to share some of their own discoveries



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