Dazzled and Deceived Book Summary - Dazzled and Deceived Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Dazzled and Deceived summary

Peter Forbes

Mimicry and Camouflage

16 mins

Brief summary

Dazzled and Deceived by Peter Forbes is a fascinating exploration of the history of camouflage. It reveals how nature and the military have been inspired by each other to create methods of concealment and deception.

Table of Contents

    Dazzled and Deceived
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Distinguished scientists like Darwin, Wallace and Bates studied mimicry in nature for over a century.

    Have you ever looked at a tree trunk and been startled to see a butterfly emerge, seemingly out of nowhere? If so, you’ve experienced the wonder of mimicry, a phenomenon that has captivated laypeople and researchers alike.

    Let’s go back in history to see how the study of mimicry originated.

    In the nineteenth century, English naturalist Henry Walter Bates and friend Alfred R. Wallace set out to research butterflies in the Amazonian rainforest.  

    They were delighted by the unbelievable variety of different species they found. What excited their scientific imaginations even further were the fascinating, mysterious behaviors of these many species.

    For instance, these pioneers found that the benign Leptalis genus of butterfly mimicked the look of poisonous butterflies. Leptalis butterflies did this so effectively, in fact, that they shared almost the same wing pattern with poisonous butterflies. Only when Bates caught, dissected and compared the two types of butterflies was he able to recognize them as two distinct species.

    This behavior, in which harmless creatures mimic poisonous or harmful ones, is now aptly called Batesian mimicry. This finding, among others, marked some of the first steps of mimicry study.

    If the names of these scientists don’t ring a bell, you’ll be interested to know that Charles Darwin was also a frequent collaborator with Wallace. In fact, Darwin had initially felt threatened because Wallace’s theories on natural selection were similar to his, and thus created the potential for competition.

    Luckily, the two scientists decided to channel their competitive energies into collaboration. Darwin was particularly interested in how mimicry might influence his theories of evolution and the survival of the fittest. Together, Wallace and Darwin explored the intersection of mimicry and mating, with questions such as whether potential sexual partners would be more attracted to colorful mimics.

    Though most of their theories didn’t hold up, their mimicry studies were highly influential on their research and publications on evolution theory – and on science as a whole.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Dazzled and Deceived?

    Key ideas in Dazzled and Deceived

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Dazzled and Deceived about?

    Dazzled and Deceived (2009) explores the fascinating phenomenon of camouflage and mimicry in nature, where animals act like leaves and harmless prey look like ferocious predators. These blinks examine how the science of camouflage has influenced not only artistic expression but also how humans fight and win wars.

    Dazzled and Deceived Review

    Dazzled and Deceived (2002) by Peter Forbes is a fascinating exploration of the deceptive world of mimicry in nature. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It uncovers the intricate and ingenious strategies that animals use to deceive and survive in their environment.
    • By examining diverse examples from insects to birds, the book highlights the remarkable adaptability and creativity found in the natural world.
    • The author's engaging storytelling and meticulous research not only educate but also entertain, ensuring this book is anything but boring.

    Who should read Dazzled and Deceived?

    • Biology lovers
    • Artists looking for inspiration
    • Fans of military history

    About the Author

    Peter Forbes received the Warwick Prize for Writing for Dazzled and Deceived. He is also the author of The Gecko’s Foot and is a Royal Literary Fund fellow at St. George’s University.

    Categories with Dazzled and Deceived

    Book summaries like Dazzled and Deceived

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Dazzled and Deceived FAQs 

    What is the main message of Dazzled and Deceived?

    The main message of Dazzled and Deceived explores the fascinating world of mimicry and deception in nature.

    How long does it take to read Dazzled and Deceived?

    Reading time for Dazzled and Deceived varies, but you can get the key insights in just 15 minutes with the Blinkist summary.

    Is Dazzled and Deceived a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Dazzled and Deceived is a captivating read that sheds light on the intricate strategies employed by animals to survive and thrive.

    Who is the author of Dazzled and Deceived?

    The author of Dazzled and Deceived is Peter Forbes.

    What to read after Dazzled and Deceived?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Dazzled and Deceived, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Financial Intelligence by Karen Berman & Joe Knigh with John Case
    • Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein
    • Gut by Giulia Enders
    • Underbug by Lisa Margonelli
    • Untrue by Wednesday Martin
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    • The Intelligence Trap by David Robson
    • The Science of Kissing by Sheril Kirshenbaum
    • Intimacy & Desire by David Schnarch