The Book of Beetles: A life-size guide to 600 of nature's living gems

beetlesThe white fog-basking beetle dwells in the Namib desert. It climbs "to the top of a dune during the early-morning fog, orienting its body with the tip of the abdomen pointed upward and the head angled downward. Water vapor from the fog condenses on the abdomen and runs down the body and into the mouth."

This is just one of 600 beetles beautifully photographed and described in The Book of Beetles. Like the white fog-basking beetle, the other beetles have equally interesting lifestyles. For instance, the Lutrochus germari is a furry beetle that makes its home in an air bubble inside a piece of submerged wood, while the transvestite rove beetle secretes a substance from its abdomen that attracts flies, which it captures and eats.

Paging through the Book of Beetles felt like reading a book about extraterrestrial life forms. These creatures are weirder and more awe-inspiring than anything imagined by a science fiction writer or toy designer. But they are real and living among us. This is an exemplar of a Wink book.

See more beautiful beetle photos at Wink.