'I once travelled back from Africa on a ship with an Irish captain who did not like animals. This was unfortunate, because most of my luggage consisted of about two hundred odd cages of assorted wildlife . . .' Gerald Durrell's accounts of the animals he encountered on his travels were some of the first widely shared descriptions of the world's most extraordinary animals. Moving from the West Coast of Africa to the northern tip of South America - and elsewhere - Durrell observes the courtships, wars and characters of a variety of creatures, from birds of paradise, to ants and anteaters, among others.