Purists might object to Zappler's breezy circumlocutions (""reptiles were everywhere. . . and the nose led the way"") and occasional references to ""greedy"" frogs and ""terrifying"" eels, but she does manage to turn her comparative anatomy lesson into a romp. In tracing the evolution of external and internal nostrils, Jacobson's organ, and specialized scenting powers, she introduces an impressive variety of smelling apparatuses, from the helmet-like nasal crest of the duckbill dinosaur to the sensitive shnozzles of moles, anteaters, and bats. As in the Natural History of the Tail (1972) the bizarre specifics merely point the way to the important concept of evolutionary development; so forgive the excess chitchat and follow that nose.