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"Through this book we understand that there is no survival without coexistence".
"It is rare to find a book about the incredible mutualistic relationships found in nature that is as captivating and convincing as this one".
“Quite apart from the awe-inspiring genius of symbiosis itself, the appeal of this book is in the way it expresses a strong scepticism about an overly anthropocentric attitude".
Passauer Neue Presse
Symbiosis. If we look at the etymology, the word derives from the Greek and means 'living together' and is expressed in the coexistence of creatures of different species – as we know, a concept that is not as easy as it may seem, at least for us human beings... Even when we do our best to be in harmony, there are disagreements, divisions and conflicts. We might ask ourselves: are symbiotic relationships better in nature? Yet why would a living thing agree to link its existence to that of another? Quite simply: because it is more convenient. In order to save our own skins and cope better with the many dangers of life, fighting is generally less advantageous than coexistance. Think of lions who, having captured an antelope, are surrounded by jackals that pounce like lightning on the carcass in an attempt to grab a few scraps of meat. For the felines, those morsels are tiny, but for the jackals, these scraps are big enough to ensure their survival; otherwise they would never have been able to hunt such an animal. Or consider the relationship that has developed between dogs and humans: both benefit enormously from living together, but with guide dogs, the symbiosis between man and dog has reached an almost unattainable peak. Or let's think about how roe deer and geese compensate for each other (geese have infallible eyesight and recognise danger from great distances, while roe deer have terrible eyesight but exceptional hearing and sense of smell) or the strange bedfellows, the lizard and the scorpion, or waders and crocodiles. Similarly, we humans form complex communities: our insides and outsides are home to more bacteria than cells in our body.... In short, symbiosis is one of nature's most fascinating phenomena. It doesn't always work out perfectly, as we also find in humans. Ideal relationships, if they exist at all, are very rare.
But even those that are not perfect can have their advantages and a degree of long-term success, just like symbiosis.
Josef H. Reichholf, born in 1945, is an evolutionary biologist and ecologist. He was head of the vertebrate section of the Zoologische Staatssammlung (State Zoological Collection) in Munich and taught Ecology and Nature Conservation at the Technical University of Munich. He was awarded the Treviranus Medal, the highest honour awarded to German biologists, and in 2007 he received the Sigmund Freud Prize for scientific writing. He lives in Bavaria. For Aboca Edizioni he has published Scoiattoli & Co. Viaggio nel mondo del roditore più simpatico, veloce e parsimonioso (2021).
Release date: 2022
Dimensions cm 15 x 22,5