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ANIMALS IN MOTION by Pamela Hickman


How Animals Swim, Jump, Slither and Glide

by Pamela Hickman & illustrated by Pat Stephens

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-55074-573-5
Publisher: Kids Can

Nature writer Pamela Hickman (My First Look at Nature series) provides a closer look at the special anatomical features that help animals run, walk, swim, and fly. She frequently compares human inventions and animal adaptations; for example: `People use parachutes to fall more slowly through the air. Many animals, such as flying squirrels, lemurs, lizards and frogs, have built in parachutes.` Hickman then explains the special features of the sugar gliders (flying squirrels) lizards, frogs, and flying fish that help them glide, and steer. She also provides a brief experiment, `Make a Sugar Glider,` so the reader can see for himself how adding a plastic flap to a Popsicle stick frame (like the sugar glider's folds of skin) helps the model fall more slowly. A careful observer of animals, she describes four different ways snakes slither, how a walrus uses his tusks like ice picks to move along on ice packs, how a Jacana (bird) walks on water, and how the penguin uses his wings to fly underwater. Full color illustrations on every page engage the viewer. Some, drawn much larger than life are startling, like the inch-long land snail, drawn plattersized. Others, like a magnified view of the hairs on the legs of a water strider, or the spiny scales on the edge of the toes of a fringed lizard that help it run on loose desert sands, extend the readers understanding. The author does not include information on the size, range, or scientific name of animals included. The author and illustrator do provide a splendid look at animal adaptation for movement. (index) (Nonfiction, 812)