NATURE'S TRICKSTERS by Mary Batten

NATURE'S TRICKSTERS

Animals and Plants That Aren't What They Seem
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14
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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. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-316-08371-2
Page count: 64pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1991




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