Exploding Ants : Amazing Facts About How Animals Adapt
by Settel, Joanne

Describes examples of animal behavior that may strike humans as disgusting, including the "gross" ways animals find food, shelter, and safety in the natural world

Dr. Joanne Settel is an award-winning writer of science books for children, including Your Amazing Skin from Outside In and Your Amazing Digestion from Mouth Through Intestine. Dr. Settel&;s book Exploding Ants: Amazing Facts About How Animals Adapt was listed as one of the Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the Children&;s Book Council. Dr. Settel has a PhD in Zoology. She is a professor emeritus at Baltimore City Community College, where she taught courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology. She lives with her husband in Maryland, where she enjoys hiking, playing bridge, and gardening. Visit her online at JoanneSettel.com.

Gr. 5^-7. Not just another gross-out book of animal oddities, this attractive volume presents its material as wondrous science instead of sensational effect. The chapter heads are a bit over the top-" Murderous Nest Mates," "Gulping Eyeballs," and so forth; but, of course, kids will love them. They'll also like the variety of unusual creatures Settel introduces in straightforward terms-whether it's the nefarious cuckoo that insinuates its young into another bird's nest or an African frog that drops its eyeballs into its mouth. Most scientific terms are explained quite clearly in the text, and a glossary is appended. Color photos, sometimes a bit too small, show each animal. The selected readings are mostly adult titles. Some children's titles would have been a good addition, as this is one of those books kids won't want to end. ((Reviewed April 15, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Fans of all things gross, revolting, and disgusting will find plenty to applaud in this round-up of animal behaviors and habits for survival in the natural world. Eating, egg-laying, sheltering, tricking, and defending are all common comportment in the wide universe of animals, birds, insects, and parasites. A swallowtail butterfly larva mimics the shape of a bird dropping, a braconid wasp feasts on caterpillar guts, a honey ant regurgitates nectar for its colony, a tongue worm sets up house in the mucus of a dog's nose. Exploding soldier ants, ticks bursting with blood, vomiting vampire bats the characters described here are not for the faint of heart or feeble of stomach. If there's a misstep, it's that the plain presentation predominant text against a stark white background, interspersed with a few full-color photographs undersells the high-interest subject matter suggested by such jazzy chapter headings as ``Ballooning Birds,'' ``Gulping Eyeballs,'' and ``Underwater Bloodsucker.'' To aid readers, scientific terms are accentuated in italic typeface, defined in a glossary, and located with use of an index. (Nonfiction. 7-12) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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