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Cover for Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time

Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time

My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals

Richard Conniff


List Price: 25.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/28/2010)


An award-winning nature writer takes us on a thrilling journey deep into the domains of strange—and often dangerous—animals.

Field journalist Richard Conniff examines the lives of two-, four-, six-, and eight-legged creatures from around the globe, providing adventure-packed accounts of his many ill advised forays into the animal kingdom. He pulls a 90-pound snapping turtle out of a Louisiana bayou, tracks leopards with !Kung San hunters in the Namibian desert, and travels through the Himalayas in pursuit of tigers and the mythical migur. All in a day’s work, he flings chicken carcasses into piranha-infested waters to clock how quickly they disappear before diving in himself, and then encounters a man stung by 120 different species of insects, ranking their pain the way Robert Parker ranks wine. Again and again, Conniff courts the most dangerous animals and lives to tell the tale. This collection offers a rare chance to accompany him on death defying treks and see life through the lens of a bona-fide field naturalist.

Praise For Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals

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

Bright entertainment from a great explainer of the lives of animals.
— Kirkus Reviews

Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.
— Outside Magazine

Richard Conniff writes with vibrancy and verve. His prose crackles with the leaves on an African savannah and shimmers with the sun on a Louisiana bayou.
— Sacramento Book Review

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

Animal lovers will enjoy these true tales of adventure that make you laugh aloud or gasp in fear.
— The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY)

... frequently hysterical and always compelling essays ...
— The Day (New London, CT)

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393068931, 304pp.

Publication Date: May 4, 2009

About the Author

Richard Conniff, a Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the National Magazine Award, writes for Smithsonian and National Geographic and is a frequent commentator on NPR's All Things Considered and a guest columnist for the New York Times. His books include The Natural History of the Rich, Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time, and The Species Seekers. He lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.