The Unexpected Truth About Animals

Brilliant natural history, starring lovesick hippos, stoned sloths, exploding bats and frogs in taffeta trousers...

Lucy Cooke

'Endlessly fascinating.' - Bill Bryson 'Eye-opening, informative and very funny!' - Chris Packham
'Well-informed and downright funny' - Richard Dawkins


History is full of strange animal stories invented by the brightest and most influential, from Aristotle to Disney. But when it comes to understanding animals, we’ve got a long way to go.

Whether we’re watching a viral video of romping baby pandas or looking at a picture of penguins ‘holding hands’, we often project our own values – innocence, abstinence, hard work – onto animals. So you’ve probably never considered that moose get drunk and that penguins are notorious cheats.

In The Unexpected Truth About Animals Zoologist Lucy unravels many such myths – that eels are born from sand, that swallows hibernate under water, and that bears gave birth to formless lumps that are licked into shape by their mothers – to show that the stories we create reveal as much about us as they do about the animals.

Astonishing, illuminating and laugh-out-loud funny.

  • Transworld Digital
  • Published 19th October 2017
  • 400 Pages