A best-seller in Germany, this is an entertaining and informative illustrated survey of biology for the general reader by the author of The Dancing Bees. The emphasis is on the relationships of animal life to environment, how this affects the social groupings and behavior of various species followed by an especially readable section on heredity and advances in the field of genetics. Another stand-out is the rundown on the structure and functions of the senses. All the usual areas in biology--reproduction, anatomy, growth, ecology--are touched on somewhat lightly but sufficiently to satisfy the interested layman at whom the book is aimed. There are occasional, regrettable anthropomorphic references-- e.g. animals' ""dresses"" and snails' ""houses"". Nevertheless when the whole scope of this excellent book is considered, its few faults seem minor indeed.