How did the animals we know today evolve? When and where were they first discovered? What of the many strange creatures our prehistoric ancestors drew on cave walls? Even more intriguing- how do the many haunting animals who still reside on earth survive? The animate wonders of the world -- birds of paradise, sea monsters, dragons of all sizes, bunyips of Australia and the gigantic roc of the Arabian Nights- are brought into focus as R. A. Marchant reveals a treasury of fascinating data.