NATURE'S TRICKSTERS: Animals and Plants That Aren't What They Seem by Mary Batten

NATURE'S TRICKSTERS: Animals and Plants That Aren't What They Seem

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sampling of mechanisms that plants and animals use to enhance pollination and reproduction, to avoid predators, and to capture prey. Some ""tricks"" are familiar: the viceroy butterfly mimics the coloration of the foul-tasting monarch; the anglerfish dangles bait to capture its prey. Some are bizarre: the male red-sided garter snake emulates the mating pheromone given off by the female snake, enabling it to confuse other male garter snakes and enhance its chances of mating with the female; the African widow bird, which lays its eggs in finch nests, has evolved so that the chicks mimic 125 different species of finches, each with a distinctive mouth marking. Fascinating stuff that, unfortunately, lacks the detail and documentation to make it outstanding science: the author gives no sources, while the soft b&w pencil illustrations are a poor choice for the subject matter. Specialized terms are italicized (""cryptic walking,"" ""Batesian mimicry,"" ""photophores""). Index not seen.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: "Sierra Club/Little, Brown"