Natalie Angier knows all that scientists know - and sometimes more - about the power of symmetry in sexual relations, about the brutal courting habits of dolphins, about the grand deceit of orchids, about the impact of female and male preferences on evolution. She knows how scientists go about their work, and she describes their ways, their visions, and their arguments. Perhaps most poignantly, she understands the complexities and the sad necessity of death. "The beauty of the natural world lies in the details, and most of those details are not the stuff of calendar art," she points out. Few writers have ever covered so many facets of biology so evocatively in one book. The Beauty of the Beastly tells us how the genius of the biological universe resides in its details and proves why, according to Timothy Ferris, author of the acclaimed Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Angier is "one of the strongest and wittiest science writers in the world today."