WASHINGTON (April 21, 2011)—Ready for an unforgettable foray into some of the most brutal life-and-death moments Mother Nature has to offer? In a new book from National Geographic, DEADLY INSTINCT (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0725-9; May 17, 2011; $26 hardcover), dramatic wildlife imagery drawn exclusively from National Geographic’s Image Collection and a powerful, fast-paced narrative by author Melissa Farris chronicle animals’ most mesmerizing and gritty predatory behavior.
Featuring award-winning images from world-renowned National Geographic photographers and a foreword by herpetologist Dr. Brady Barr, host of “Dangerous Encounters” on the Nat Geo WILD channel, DEADLY INSTINCT showcases stunning, and sometimes shocking, photographs. Candid interviews with photographers Chris Johns, Brian Skerry, Norbert Rosing and Melissa Farlow, who have witnessed these behaviors firsthand, add to the detailed and vivid descriptions of how animals battle to survive in the wild.
Divided into four chapters, DEADLY INSTINCT captures the relationships between predator and prey, mate and rival and subject and photographer. “Landscapes of Fear” describes the power a predator can exert over the behavior of its prey, often shaping its eating and breeding patterns. “Struggle for Life” looks into the intriguing survival strategies of often-preyed-upon animals, such as caterpillars that adapt their outward appearance to resemble the face of a deadly snake to scare predators. “Displays of Aggression” includes images of animals in the midst of their most intense combats, showcasing such scenes as a fight between two stag beetles and the roaring rage of polar bears in the heat of a skirmish. “Priority of Play” shows how rough play among young animals may serve as vital training for the unexpected challenges faced by all wild creatures.
The images “paint a vivid picture of the grueling challenges that life on Earth throws at members of the animal kingdom. Many of them wage fierce battles designed to let them feed, breed, grow, and carve out territory for themselves. Precipitated by nothing more than the animals’ natural survival instincts, such deadly encounters form a leitmotif of this book,” Farris writes.
“If the images serve a wider purpose, it may to reflect our own nature, behavior and experience. The struggle to provide food, shelter, and safety for our families and ourselves; the canny ways in which we adapt to sidestep harm; the fiercely competitive drive to win favor with a mate, or to win primacy in a group; the inquisitive, creative compulsion to explore our surroundings and make connections with our neighbors — all of the attributes we ‘civilized’ animals share with our ‘wild’ counterparts,” she adds.
Whether you are an amateur animal enthusiast or a dedicated student of all things wild, DEADLY INSTINCT will exhilarate you with its captivating images and in-depth look into the brain and brawn of animals across the globe.
About Melissa Farris
Author Melissa Farris is an art director for National Geographic Books and has produced dozens of books for the Society, many featuring photographs from its famed Image Collection. She is a former recording artist for Teenbeat Records.
About Brady Barr
Dr. Brady Barr is a reptile expert who has made it his life’s work to study and protect some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered land animals — alligators and crocodiles. He is the first person to capture and study all 23 species of wild crocodilians and is the host of “Dangerous Encounters” on Nat Geo WILD.