ANIMAL BABY-SITTERS by Frances Zweifel


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Zweifel singles out an appealing aspect of animal behavior and features four species as examples of different forms of ""animal baby sitting."" Adult cows watch over each other's calves while the mothers go off to drink at the river or water tank; among elephants, female ""teenagers"" attach themselves to newborn charges; males take over the care of year-old macaques when the mothers are busy with new babies; and acorn woodpecker parents are helped by the whole flock, as only one pair produces young. Zweifel mentions horses to illustrate that ""not all social animals can use baby sitters""--in this case, because ""the baby horse nurses from the mother two or three times an hour."" She ends by pointing to some of the advantages that baby sitters give the groups that do usa them. An attractive, positive subject, suitably shaped for the audience and pleasantly set off by Brady's warm earth-colored drawings.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow