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Odd Couples:
Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom
Daphne J. Fairbairn

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"[A]n amazing story. . . . [A]n easy and enjoyable read. . . . It is ambitious, it is an excellent natural history chronicle and it is a nice encyclopedia of sexual differences. Overall, a good one for the library."--D. J. Hosken, Current Biology

"Looking at some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, Odd Couples sheds astonishing light on what it means to be male or female in the animal kingdom."--Northeastern and Southeastern Naturalist

"[T]his accessible volume is well organized, and its impressive helpings of technical details never impede readability."--Adrian Barnett, BBC Wildlife Magazine

"In observing the differences between genders, Darwin proposed both individual and natural selection. In this well-written, fascinating volume, Fairbairn explores how the two kinds of selection work to produce the 'odd couples' of the title. . . . [Odd Couples] should appeal to lay and professional readers alike."--Choice

"Odd Couples is a very informative and enjoyable book for anyone interested in animal life history. . . . I can recommend it for any interested naturalist whether professional or nonprofessional."--Roger D. Applegate, Canadian Field Naturalist

"Be prepared to be entertained and fascinated by this stimulating and provocative book. It is certain to spark your curiosity. Fairbairn lakes us on a romp through the animal kingdom. . . . This book provides ample incentive for continued investigations."--Ann Hedrick, Ecology

"Odd Couples present[s] a fun and enlightening plunge into the natural history of some very exceptional animals, along with an authoritative and accessible summary of current evolutionary theory on sex differences."--Robert Cox, Reports of the National Center for Science Education

"Daphne Fairbairn has written an engaging and fascinating book. . . . The well-written text flows nicely. Lay readers will enjoy natural history descriptions; discussions of fitness and Darwinian selection will . . . appeal to professional biologists for whom this book is an excellent model of clear scientific writing."--AAAS


"If you want to find out why adult male elephant seals can weigh more than four times as much as an adult female, whereas female blanket octopuses are truly enormous compared to their tiny male partners, this fascinating book is for you. Daphne Fairbairn not only introduces us to some exceptional animals but she also provides evolutionary explanations for why males are much larger (or much smaller) than females of their species. A great topic and a great read for layperson and biologist alike."--John Alcock, author of Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach

"Odd couples indeed! Fairbairn takes us on a journey through oceans, grasslands, beaches, and backyards, plunging us into the worlds of nature's most weird and wonderful creatures, all to answer one question: why are males and females different? By tackling extremes--such as male octopuses forty thousand times lighter than their mates, and parasitic male seadevils who fuse themselves to the bellies of females--she deftly illustrates how a common set of concepts can connect them all. A thoroughly enjoyable read."--Doug Emlen, coauthor of Evolution: Making Sense of Life

"A fascinating natural history account of some extreme and unfamiliar examples of sexual differences among animals. A real eye-opener."--Mark Elgar, University of Melbourne

"This unique, ambitious, and engaging book educates general readers about animal behavior, physiology, life history, and evolution using sex differences as its theme. Quite an achievement and a pleasure to read."--Allen J. Moore, University of Georgia

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File created: 4/24/2017

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