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The Story of Rats : Their impact on us, and our impact on them - S Anthony Barnett

The Story of Rats

Their impact on us, and our impact on them

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'Mr Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I'll nip him in the bud.'..An English Member of Parliament..Are rats still a threat to our health and food? Do they think? Is it true that wild rats sometimes die, unwounded, from social stress? Can studies of rat societies tell us anything useful about our own social lives?..Love them or loathe them, everyone has a rat story. Throughout history vast numbers of rats of many species have shared our space, our food and our diseases; and they continue to do so...Yet The Story of Rats is more than a tale about how people and rats live together. It is about science and scientists, the problems they solve and fail to solve, and the scope and imperfections of our scientific knowledge of the world. It is a book for those who love rats or fear them; for the curious, the science literate and non-literate alike...Early in the Second World War, equipped only with firs class honours from Oxford University, Tony Barnett was drafted, not into the trenches (there weren't any), but into the sewers, wharves, food stores and other rat-infested environments offered by a London bombed nightly by the Luftwaffe. Thus began his interest in rats and his academic career in Scotland, India, Australia and North America. He is now Emeritus Professor of Zoology in the Australian National University.

Illustrations..Preface..PART 1: Histories..1 Tales of Rats..2 Naming and Taming..3 All Fall Down..PART 2: Questions and Answers..4 A Battle of Wits?..5 Do Rats Think?..6 Are Rats Gluttons?..7 All in Their Genes?..8 Rat Societies..PART 3: The Blindness of Research..9 Population Explosions..10 Social Life and Death..11 Nature and Human Nature..Glossary..Notes on sources..References..Index

ISBN: 9781741151084
ISBN-10: 1741151082
Format: PDF
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 1st August 2001
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Edition Number: 1