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EXTREME ANIMALS by Nicola Davies

EXTREME ANIMALS

The Toughest Creatures on Earth

By Nicola Davies (Author) , Neal Layton (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-3067-5
Publisher: Candlewick

Fresh from their dive into Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable (2004), Davies and Layton introduce a menagerie of survivors who have adapted to the worst conditions that nature can dish out. With plenty of Layton’s daffy, digitally colored cartoons to add both detail and flights of fancy (“Live Naked” proclaims a polar bear’s signboard), Davies conveys readers from the Arctic’s far-below-zero temperatures to the 200-plus degree heat near a volcano’s rim, from sunless “black smokers” on the sea bottom to harsh deserts. She not only identifies denizens of each clime, but also explains how, for instance, Emperor penguins keep their feet warm, wood frogs can survive being frozen and thawed and camels prevent their sensitive brains from overheating. In the end, the author presents persuasive reasons for awarding the “Truly Toughest Extreme Animal” trophy not to humans (“We humans are such a bunch of wimps!”), but to the lowly water bear. Fine fare for younger naturalists. (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-10)