The Dawn of the Deed
The Prehistoric Origins of Sex
Praise For The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex…
“You are now holding a compromise between a book that you should carry hidden inside an opaque bag, and a sober respectable scientific treatise. It′s a deliciously written account of the evolution of sex, in all of its bizarre manifestations. Read, blush, and enjoy!”
— Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel
“John Long is renowned as the discoverer of the earliest evidence for internal fertilization. In a book encompassing 380 million years of sexual evolution, he lays the full significance of his discoveries in fascinating context.”
— Tim Flannery, author of Here on Earth
“You know that any book on evolutionary theory that opens with the story of erotic asphyxiation—strangling your sex partner to deplete oxygen to heighten orgasmic intensity—and how even a normal orgasm is so intense as to simulate a mini death through a momentary loss of consciousness at the point of climax, is going to be a great read. And so it is in this marvelously entertaining and remarkably informative book on the evolution of sex by paleontologist John Long, one of the world’s leading experts on teasing out of the fossil record the history of sex over the past several hundred million years. This book is erotica for empiricists.”
— Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine
“Combining thoughtful science with sheer fun, this book is impossible to put down. . . . John A. Long looks at evidence from the fossil record, examines mating patterns and sexual preferences of living animals, and discusses the attributes of various sexual organs (including the size and speed of ejaculations for males of many species). The book is far from prurient, even though it’s intriguing to hypothesize how 70-ton dinosaurs might have copulated. Long provides great insight into the process of science and makes the compelling case that understanding the history of sexual congress offers incontrovertible documentation of the evolutionary process.”
— Publishers Weekly
"In this entertaining book, the author traces the evolution of sex, tackling the subject from a paleontological and—to a lesser extent—sociological perspective. The prose is lively and informative, without getting bogged down in tricky terminology or technical discussions only experts would be able to follow; and the book is full of surprising revelations (like the fact that ancient fish copulated male-on-female, rather than spawning in the water as modern fish do)."
"From male guinea pigs that deposit copulatory plugs to hinder competitors, to dust mites which inseminate their partners by stabbing their abdomens, it's impossible to read The Dawn of the Deed without a wry smile or raised eyebrow."
— New Scientist
“From sharks that mate while doing a headstand on the ocean floor to ducks with enormous corkscrew penises, John Long humorously details the how and why of that funny little act we call sex. At times, the book is a bit heavy on autobiography of his paleontological finds, but that’s more than made up for by copious entertaining anecdotes about things like fruit bat fellatio and necrophilic snakes. Also, two words: T-rex sex.”
“This highly entertaining book remarkably informative book on the evolution of sex Dust mites inseminate their partners by stabbing their abdomens. The Argentine duck’s penis measures a whopping 16.5 inches. Ancient fish copulated male-on-female, rather than spawning in the water as modern fish do. These are a just a few of the revelations in paleontologist John Long’s highly entertaining and informative book on the evolution of sex.”
University of Chicago Press, 9780226492544, 296pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2012
About the Author
John A. Long is vice president of research and collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His other books include, most recently, Frozen in Time: Prehistoric Life of Antarctica and The Rise of Fishes.