Like many kids, Marlene Zuk spent much of her childhood fascinated by insects -- and as she grew older, that passion only increased, leading her to career in science. Her newest book, "Sex on Six Legs", examines how even the smallest creatures lead complex emotional and physical lives.
From The New York Times review:
On vacation in Hawaii, Zuk prowls not the beaches or rain forests but a lawn visited by crickets parasitized by flies that deposit burrowing larvae on their bodies. After hatching, the fly larvae begin to eat the cricket's fat. As the maggots grow, they colonize the entire body cavity and consume all its organs until the creature "is a shell that looks like a cricket but is pulsing inside with fly."
If such descriptions revolt you, quit now. If you're muttering "cool," you will love this book and nod sympathetically when Zuk explains that the "sense of being in on a hidden world is exactly why we remain fascinated by insects." Once you know what insects are actually doing, she writes, "things will never be the same."
Zuk joins The Daily Circuit on Monday to talk about the fascinating world of insects and her new gig at the University of Minnesota.