The poems in this title evoke encounters with a number of living creatures, primarily in southern Africa. They range from aardvark to zebra, and include dragonflies, jellyfish, kudu, seahorses and warthogs. The text invites the reader to consider animals not so much as beasts or feasts, pets or threats, but as our chromosome cousins. The title embodies recent discoveries in the fields of evolutionary biology, palaeontology and astronomy. These discoveries, when taken together, reveal how each animal is part of a lifeline that stretches back billions of years and is inseparable from the genesis of the cosmos as a whole.