Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Matthew LaPlante — “Superlative: The Biology of Extremes”

For a long time, scientists ignored superlative life forms as outliers. Increasingly,
though, researchers are coming to see great value in studying plants and animals that exist on the outermost edges of the bell curve.

“Superlative,” the first solo book by former News-Register reporter Matthew LaPlante, is the story of extreme evolution, and what we can learn from it about ourselves, our planet, and the cosmos. It’s a tale of crazy-fast cheetahs and super-strong beetles, of microbacteria and enormous plants, of whip-smart dolphins and killer snakes.

LaPlante left the News-Register to work for the Salt Lake Tribune. He has reported from more than a dozen nations, including Iraq, Cuba, Ethiopia and El Salvador, and his work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, CNN.com, and numerous other publications. He currently is an associate professor of journalism at Utah State University, where he teaches news reporting, narrative non-fiction writing, and crisis reporting.

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