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Publisher's Summary

Eating one's own kind is a completely natural behavior in thousands of species, including humans. Throughout history we have engaged in cannibalism for reasons related to famine, burial rites, and medicine. Cannibalism has also been used as a form of terrorism and as the ultimate expression of filial piety.

With unexpected wit and a wealth of knowledge, Bill Schutt takes us on a tour of the field, exploring exciting new avenues of research and investigating questions like why so many fish eat their offspring and some amphibians consume their mothers' skin; why sexual cannibalism is an evolutionary advantage for certain spiders; why, until the end of the 18th century, British royalty regularly ate human body parts; and how cannibalism might be linked to the extinction of Neanderthals. Today the subject of humans consuming one another has been relegated to the realm of horror movies, fiction, and the occasional psychopath. But as climate change progresses and humans see more famine, disease, and overcrowding, biological and cultural constraints may well disappear. These are the very factors that lead to outbreaks of cannibalism - in other species and our own.

©2017 Bill Schutt (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Adam
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 05-10-17

Very fun and interesting popsci book

I love biology books about strange and exotic animals and this one hit the mark. Venemous and toxic animals aren't something I was specifically interested in but this book made the topic fascinating.

An added bonus was the authors personality and the way it comes through in the writing. I usually prefer my science books to be a little on the dryer and strictly informative side, but occasionally an author is just really funny and interesting. That was the case with this book.


Fantastic book and totally worth a listen. I only wish there was more of it or more books by the author!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I couldn't get through it

I was very excited about this book, but I found myself bored, not only with the prose, but also with the narration. I love science, and non - fiction, but this just did not engage me (and the attempts at humor fell flat).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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