A swift flies two million kilometres in its lifetime. That’s far enough to get to the moon and back twice over – and then once more to the moon. A giraffe was once given to the King of France; she marched through the streets, dressed in the finest couture raincoat Paris could produce. A pangolin’s tongue is longer than its body. It keeps it neatly furled in a pouch near the hip.
Each of these animals is extraordinary. And each of them may soon disappear from the Earth. A lavishly illustrated collection of the lives of some of our astounding animals, this is a chance to be awestruck and lovestruck – to reckon with the beauty of the world, its fragility, and its strangeness.
Rundell’s books include Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, and Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise.
Katherine Rundell is in conversation with the novelist, poet and playwright Owen Sheers.