1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Superlative  By  cover art

Superlative

By: Matthew D. LaPlante
Narrated by: George Newbern
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $24.99

Buy for $24.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the biggest, fastest, deadliest science book you'll ever hear.

The world's largest land mammal could help us end cancer. The fastest bird is showing us how to solve a century-old engineering mystery. The oldest tree is giving us insights into climate change. The loudest whale is offering clues about the impact of solar storms. 

For a long time, scientists ignored superlative life forms as outliers. Increasingly, though, researchers are coming to see great value in studying plants and animals that exist on the outermost edges of the bell curve. 

As it turns out, there’s a lot of value in paying close attention to the “oddballs” nature has to offer. 

Go for a swim with a ghost shark, the slowest-evolving creature known to humankind, which is teaching us new ways to think about immunity. Get to know the axolotl, which has the longest-known genome and may hold the secret to cellular regeneration. Learn about Monorhaphis chuni, the oldest discovered animal, which is providing insights into the connection between our terrestrial and aquatic worlds. 

Superlative is the story of extreme evolution, and what we can learn from it about ourselves, our planet, and the cosmos. It's a tale of crazy-fast cheetahs and super-strong beetles, of microbacteria and enormous plants, of whip-smart dolphins and killer snakes. 

This book will inspire you to change the way you think about the world and your relationship to everything in it.

©2018 by Matthew D. LaPlante. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing Inc., all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with BenBella Books.

More from the same

What listeners say about Superlative

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    51
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating survey of amazing biology

The narrative was great, but the narrator kept mispronouncing words and putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable in various terms. Mispronounced terms like "amigdala" and "cyclopamine" and "cnidarian" and several others grated my ears.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlightening, funny

I enjoyed this book very much. To learn about a species becoming extinct has always been a fascination of mine. I loved hearing about the science of that.
More so I think this book opens the hard conversations about things as simple as humans being not being the “most intelligent” creatures on the planet. And even deeper how sentient are our planet mates. And still further how much empathy and compassion do they possess and is their memory based and driven by genes or like humans based only on that individuals experience.
Wonderful book I will recommend to many. FYI the narrator was great.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gret insight

Great book, with a lot of interesting insights, and crazy discoveries. So seems there is still a lot of things that we need to discover

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and fun

If you have any sort of curiosity about the living world around us and how we fit in, this is a must read. LaPlante uses extremes as a platform to guide us to a better realization of what’s going on right under our feet and out the door. He instills the enthusiasm of a child with solid scientific backing to take us on the journey.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Woke biology

It is ok that the fastest ultra marathon was run by a male and the fastest swimmer was also a male. You don’t have to point out how conservative Utah is in the context of how awful the people are. Humans might be causing some of the problems described here but you don’t have to state human wickedness as a fact. Humans are pretty darn amazing and the developed world has put forth a concerted effort to save many ecosystems. Do other organisms set up conservation programs? Not according to Malthusian principals. Speaking of Malthusians… you don’t have to fawn over billionaires. A madman with no more than a high school diploma shouldn’t even be a foot note in a book about science but this typical liberal elitist author decided he would be a stereotype.

Otherwise the book is really good.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining book of biology!

This book was very entertaining and wonderfully written. Full of fun facts and funny quips. If you are looking for a detailed explanation of how superlative biology comes to exist, this may leave you wanting a little more. But if you want to learn some things you never knew in a fun and light hearted way, this is a great read/listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book

I dont consider myself an environmentalist, but after reading this, I am more environmentally conscious.

it is also a great book on exploring how science is being applied for developing new products, medicines through the study of extreme animals and plants.

One of my new favorite books.