Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History
A fascinating, beautifully illustrated book featuring the animals that have played a central role in the evolution of humankind and modern society.
Examples of the animals detailed are:
- The horse, used in warfare since the 4th millennium BC, helped the Mongols to subdue a huge empire
- The silkworm, vital to textile manufacturing for over 5 500 years, was the trigger for trade between China and Europe
- The flea Xenopsylla cheopis spread the Black Death and so claimed up to 100 million lives in the mid-1300s
- The beaver drove hunters and trappers into previously unexplored regions of Canada and the northern US as part of the fur trade.
Each animal is judged by its influence in four categories: Edible (animals that have shaped agriculture, such as the cow), Medical (animals that are ‘disease vectors'), Commercial (animals used for trade or in manufacturing) and Practical (animals used for transportation or clothing).