Yes, by far the most interesting of titles that I picked for reading this summer. When my school librarian posted the new non-fiction arrivals, I scooped this one up. A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal about Aliens – and Ourselves by Arik Kershenbaum.

And interesting it was!

Kershenbaum uses his extensive knowledge of zoology to examine species that have evolved here on Earth to suggest and predict what species might be like on other planets.

Not to steal his thunder in anyway (and perhaps this is a bit of a spoiler), but the book is not going to answer the ultimate questions of what aliens look like, talk like, or even whether they would be friend or foe. This book delves into the variety of species traits that exist here on Earth and gives a variety of evolutionary ends that could be found in organisms that evolve elsewhere.

The author also does a good job of reminding the reader that we currently know little to nothing about worlds beyond Earth that could support life. He also reminds us that evolution could unfold in a variety of matrixes that do not reflect the exact replication of Earth. And whether he said it or not, I personally believe that to be true – even on an exact replica of Earth evolution could take a very different course than it has here…

Needless to say, if you are looking to expand your informational opinion on what aliens may be like, then this is the book for you. If you are a biology teacher with students engaged in exploring alien life or even the definition of what is life, then this is the book for you. The examples and details in each chapter mean you could use one in whole or in part to interest learners – I did find some of the ideas and comments to be repeated throughout the entire book as perhaps the underlying themes.

This book was definitely an interesting perspective on alien life and the different modalities to life that exist on our planet – some features or lifestyles I didn’t know existed from methods of communication to ways some species carry out everyday functions.

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Summer Reading Review: A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy

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