As Gwenn Seemel points out in her richly illustrated book, Crime Against Nature, the non-human animal kingdom is chock-full of examples that challenge many of our deeply held beliefs about what is "natural" behavior in everything from sexual preference to lifestyle choices to gender roles and even gender identity.
She Wears the Pants (Spotted Hyena) by Gwenn Seemel
What really happened when Nemo’s mother died (Clownfish) by Gwenn Seemel
Father and child (Dayak fruit bat) by Gwenn Seemel
A third gender, male pregnancy and lactation, female penises - Seemel's book covers it all and reminds us that if you're inclined to look to nature for answers regarding what is "normal," "natural," or even "moral," it's clear that nature passes no judgement. There are no rules but the ones we impose on ourselves.
Boys Can Be the Pretty Ones (Chameleon) by Gwenn Seemel
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a fertile woman to understand infertility (Dromedary) by Gwenn Seemel
These images comprise a series of posters that combine the book's text and illustrations into one. Many of Seemel's original acrylic paintings from Crime Against Nature are available for sale (scroll down).
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Kalliopi Monoyios is an independent science illustrator. She has illustrated several popular science books including Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Find her at www.kalliopimonoyios.com.