Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History (Paperback)
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There was a time when people who considered the subject of cannibalism beyond stories of the Donner party, gruesome serial killers, and the occasional missionary-in-a-stew pot cartoon gag, agreed that it was an aberration, a reaction to extraordinary stresses that nature otherwise abhorred like a vacuum. This is not so, as Schutt, a biology professor who is also a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History, demonstrates in this fascinating and readable account. Birds do it, along with snails, toads, a host of insects, pumas, sea lions, and countless other creatures. But beyond cataloging the offenders, Schutt offers insight into why something that revolts us also fascinates us so, and how at various points in history this dichotomy has been exploited by those in power. Line drawings. Paperback.