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  • 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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10 Ways Obscure Species Save Our Lives

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 9, 2013

Look what's in your medicine cabinet

Look what’s in your medicine cabinet

Why should it matter when scientists discover yet another obscure insect or fungus? Who really cares if we let one such species, or 100,000, go extinct? I get the question from time to time when I am giving a talk. Sometimes I find myself asking it, because the astonishing abundance of life on Earth can at times seem overwhelming. So why does it matter?

Without meaning to make it too personal, my standard response is that the person asking the question would probably be dead, or in great discomfort, were it not for a variety of obscure and often forgotten species. (I try not to add, “And good riddance.”)

About half the drugs we depend on in our daily lives come directly or indirectly from the natural world. Even doctors and drug companies tend to forget this inconvenient truth, maybe because they like to think that they are the ones who cure what ails you. So here are some examples to suggest why Nature deserves a considerable share of the credit:   … to read the full article, click here.


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