ELEPHANTS by Jan Van Wormer


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Not only the superior photographs in themselves but their integration with the brief text makes this an involving experience. When Van Wormer talks about the elephant's pillar-like legs, toes encased in hag-like skin, and feet flattened with the animal's weight (up to 14,000 pounds for an African male), that page-sized foot is right there for striking visual reinforcement. And the close-up patch of wrinkled hide almost makes you feel the crawling insects which ""find these wrinkles good places to hide and bite."" Behavior--water play, dust bathing--is Similarly observed, as is one large male prepared for a charge with tusks raised, huge ears spread, and trunk curled back protectively; the only disappointment is that no photos accompany the descriptions of courtship, birth and nursing. In all, though, Van Wormer's elephants are hard to forget.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton