The members of the oldest group of vertebrates on Earth have quite a few tricks up their sleeves.
Levesque opens with an overview of fish types and anatomy thorough enough to cover the five kinds of fish scales. Following this, she introduces 26 fishy feats—from using lures, water jets, and even tools to snag prey to producing electrical fields, “mouth brooding” eggs and hatchlings, turning blood to antifreeze in cold habitats, and gender switching. Her bright, realistically rendered digital portraits place her subjects in natural underwater (or, for seven-spots archerfish and mudskippers, open-air) settings. She covers nearly 50 named species that employ these innate or learned “tricks.” Her grasp of dry-land biology isn’t as firm as it might be (no, crickets do not use their legs to chirp), but overall these finny tricksters put on a show that will immerse young naturalists in watery wonders.
A show that is well worth the price of admission. (index, websites) (Nonfiction. 10-13)