THE BALANCE OF LIVING: Survival in the Animal World by Margaret & Linda Mantel Cooper

THE BALANCE OF LIVING: Survival in the Animal World

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Not, as the title would indicate, another ecology book, or indeed any attempt to relate one phenomenon to any other -- this is a function by function survey of animal processes, with each chapter an unbroken catalog of how different animals eat, breathe, move, reproduce, adapt to temperature change, and so on. The only concession to reader interest takes the form of chapter openings that miss their middle school target with their references to playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, falling off a bike, or getting sleepy after a picnic or circus; coy analogies project the female gypsy moth as ""wearing perfume"" and compare an animal body to a car engine trying to warm up in the morning. The last chapter, ""Animals do not live forever,"" makes a few passing references to adaptation and evolution, but fails to draw the pieces together and concludes only that ""death is sad because of love."" There are no organizing concepts anywhere, no insights or direction, only a classified compilation of facts. The decorative pictures enhance the book's appearance but add nothing to the understanding.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday