This fascinating book called The Wild Life of Our Bodies has a very telling subtitle: Predators, Parasites, and Partners that Shape Who We Are Today. Dr. Rob Dunn, a professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University, has written the story of how human evolution was influenced by our interactions with other species. From the smallest intestinal worm to snakes and large predators, Dr. Dunn addresses everything from why humans currently look the way we do to why we have good eyesight to how some modern illnesses are caused by our guts “missing” their old enemies and the body attacking itself in search of something to fight. Not only does Dunn address the interactions that have made us who we are today, he addresses how we can reintroduce old enemies (and helpers) into our lives to improve them and the health problems we have created by banishing nature from our lives.
This book took me quite awhile to read since it was so compelling I wanted to read the stories he used to illustrate his points slowly and carefully. The notes provide a wealth of background papers and books in which to further explore this subject.