Liz Kalaugher

Old Member (1989)

Back to publications

Featured Publications

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life

Author: Liz Kalaugher and Matin Durrani

Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma

Publication date: October 2016


The animal world is full of mysteries. Why do dogs slurp from their drinking bowls while cats lap up water with a delicate flick of the tongue? How does a tiny turtle hatchling from Florida circle the entire northern Atlantic before returning to the very beach where it hatched? And how can a Komodo dragon kill a water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a domestic cat’s?

These puzzles – and many more besides – are all explained by physics. From heat and light to electricity and magnetism, Furry Logic unveils the ways that more than 30 animals exploit physics to eat, drink, mate and dodge death in their daily battle for survival.

Along the way, science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher introduce the great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, as well as the animal experts of today who are scouring the planet to find and study the animals that seem to push the laws of physics to the limit.

Presenting mind-bending physics principles in a simple and engaging way, Furry Logic will appeal both to animal lovers and to those curious to see how physics crops up in the natural world. It’s more of a ‘howdunit’ than a whodunit, though you’re unlikely to guess some of the answers.

Table of contents

Introduction: Furry Physics
Chapter 1: Heat: The Warm-up Chapter
Chapter 2: Forces: The Big Push
Chapter 3: Fluids: When Things Get Stickier
Chapter 4: Sound: Good Vibrations
Chapter 5: Electricity and Magnetism: Let the Sparks Fly
Chapter 6: Light: A Final Physics Fandango
Conclusion: Life, the Universe and Everything


Furry Logic is an important book that is equally inspiring and humbling.” –  Science

“An appealing mix of familiar animals … and the life stories and weird research techniques of physicists and biologists, past and current, famous and unknown.” –  The Daily Telegraph

“An enlightening and entertaining slant on two very different scientific disciplines, rendering a tricky subject accessible.” –  BBC Wildlife

“A fun, informative chronicle of how myriad animals take advantage of the laws of physics.” –  Science News

“Packed with insight and information.” –  Jim Al-Khalili, physicist and broadcaster

“An intriguing, funny and clever insight into the physics of the animal world. You’ll never look at a wet dog or a bloody-thirsty mosquito in the same way.” –  Fran Scott, science presenter

“Wonderful, wild and witty.” –  Ian Sample, science editor, Guardian

“Illuminating and intriguing. An entertaining book that provides fresh insight into how animals survive – providing food for thought whatever your level of scientific knowledge.” –  Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics and Master of Churchill College, University of Cambridge

“There is nothing fuzzy about this book. With crisp prose and intuitive descriptions of physical processes, this book reveals how natural selection tunes the laws of physics to solve the myriad problems posed by nature … a must read.” –  Daniel Rubenstein, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

“Readers don’t need a background in physics to enjoy this engaging, educational title. Recommended for fans of popular science, including YA audiences.” –  School Library Journal

See for more details and a free extract.