Ever heard of the naked mole rat? It’s a nearly cold-blooded mammal with an extraordinary life expectancy of over 30 years. It’s resistant to cancer, doesn’t age, and is unable to feel pain. In local writer Maggie Ryan Sandford’s new book, Consider the Platypus, the naked mole rat is just one of the unusual beasts she discusses. Meet the axolotl, an amphibian with remarkable healing abilities, and learn more about pets like dogs and cats, which she uses to talk about things like evolution, biology, and how genetics work. A former researcher with the Science Museum of Minnesota, Sandford has a wonderful comedic writing style, and her book is sure to entertain as well as educate. She’s also written for National Geographic, Slate, and the Smithonian, and has appeared on All Things Considered.