Biology Bytes

Digestible Essays on Animals Both Commonplace and Bizarre

Non-Fiction - Animals
260 Pages
Reviewed on 03/01/2014
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Author Biography

Dr. Teisha J. Rowland has always had a passion for biology, from large mammals to tiny stem cells. While completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), she shared that passion through a weekly column with the local newspaper, the Santa Barbara Independent. The column was aptly called "Biology Bytes."

When Dr. Rowland started writing "Biology Bytes," she was studying stem cells in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology department at UCSB. But her love of biology reaches far beyond stem cells. In "Biology Bytes" she wrote about other biology topics too that she wanted to explore, including extinct megafauna, the history of pets, our evolutionary origins, and lots more. She also explored more troubling biology-related stories of our time, such as the decline of honeybees, bats, and coral reefs.

A wide range of of biology-related topics were covered in the column, exploring the biology that's all around everyone, but that's often overlooked, or misunderstood. And it strived to make even the most complex biological topics, like bioengineering organs or cancer vaccines, become something understandable. Dr. Rowland published the articles as an updated and revised series in two separate books. This is how Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Stem Cells and Modern Medicine and Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Animals Both Commonplace and Bizarre both came about.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

Biology Bytes: Digestible Essays on Animals Both Commonplace and Bizarre by Teisha Rowland is the book you want to have with you when you are in need of an entertaining information fix, especially if you are interested in the world of animals. The book is filled with chapters about a huge variety of animals. You don't have to read the book from page one to the last page (though it makes sense), but you could simply also just pick the chapters that interest you most and read them in whatever order you would like.

I found the lecture of Biology Bytes not only very interesting, but also entertaining. It is not written in a dull tone like many other books about animals and it also talks about animals that are less commonly known or that one might not even really think of as animals. I learned quite a few interesting things that I had no idea about before - there is so much to learn about our planet and the animals we share it with. I think this book is ideal for everyone who would like to start with learning more about the living world around us. And if one of the short chapters (essay character) made you interested in a certain species, then you can always pick up a different book to learn even more about them. This book certainly encourages people to be more aware of what's actually going on around them. Recommended for all ages, but kids would probably need help with some of the more complicated vocabulary.