The Milnes are able scientific popularizers, who focus here on the ways in which several representatives of the 4.5 million species now living in our world stay alive and kicking, flying, or whatever. They note that all kinds of plants and animals save man are limited by their physical endowment, but he seems bent on outsmarting himself and ruining the island world he has built and mastered. He needs more than his chosen partners to survive himself; a consequent concern is indicated. On to the species observed on several continents, whose adaptations include living in varying environments (sea, beach land), cooperation and coexistence (the oxpecker and the elephant) and parasitism; a difference of pace (the yucca, wrens), defense against gravity (coral); armor and skin deep adaptations (the armadillo, the porcupine); imitations. Intriguing information tied up with a message (will the meek inherit the earth from man or will he ""gentle"" in time?).