A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal


What does it mean to be female? Mother, carer, the weaker sex? Think again.
In the last few decades a revolution has been brewing in zoology and evolutionary biology. Lucy Cooke introduces us to a riotous cast of animals, and the scientists studying them, that are redefining the female of the species.

Meet the female lemurs of Madagascar, our ancient primate cousins that dominate the males of their species physically and politically.

Or female albatross couples, hooking up together to raise their chicks in Hawaii.

Or the meerkat mothers of the Kalahari Desert - the most murderous mammals on the planet.

The bitches in BITCH overturn outdated binary expectations of bodies, brains, biology and behaviour. Lucy Cooke's brilliant new book will change how you think - about sex, sexual identity and sexuality in animals and also the very forces that shape evolution.

'A dazzling, funny and elegantly angry demolition of our preconceptions about female behaviour and sex in the animal kingdom ... Bitch is a blast. I read it, my jaw sagging in astonishment, jotting down favourite parts to send to friends and reading out snippets gleefully' THE OBSERVER

'Beautifully written, very funny and deeply important - Lucy Cooke blows two centuries of sexist myths right out of biology.' PROFESSOR ALICE ROBERTS

Praise for Lucy's previous book THE UNEXPECTED TRUTH ABOUT ANIMALS
'Endlessly fascinating' - Bill Bryson
'A fabulous read' - Sue Perkins
'I cannot remember when I enjoyed a non-fiction book so much' - Daily Express
'A joy from beginning to end' - Guardian
'Best science pick: deeply researched, sassily written' - Nature

© Lucy Cooke 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022


  • Lucy Cooke's Bitch shows just how far we have come in seeing nature's females for what they actually are.'
    Simon Ing, Telegraph

About the author

Lucy Cooke

Lucy Cooke has a Master's in Zoology from the University of Oxford, where she was tutored by Richard Dawkins. She is the author of two previous books, A Little Book of Sloth, which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Unexpected Truth about Animals, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has also written for The Sunday Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Lucy is also an award-winning broadcaster and documentary filmmaker. Initially working behind the scenes in television comedy, she is now a regular on Radio 4 and has presented prime-time series for BBC, ITV and National Geographic.
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