The author/photographer team behind several similar bird profiles now takes up the cormorant, an ancient bird whose appearance when young offers remarkable ""proof"" of the order's reptile origins. Cormorants' hatching and rearing practices, colony living, graceful flight (and awkward take-off), and impressive fishing skills are all noted in the text and ably demonstrated in the photos. Scott enthuses over the cormorant's efficient anatomical design (""sheer physical perfection"" for its role as diver and fisherman) and engages interest with his account of Chinese and Japanese fishermen's employment of the cormorant as neck-ringed retrievers. At times, however, his wording is awkward or careless, his vocabulary beyond the reach of his likely audience. Overall, a respectable if not top-notch addition to the series.