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Blowholes, Book Gills, and Butt-Breathers: How Animals Get Their Oxygen (How Nature Works) (Paperback)
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Spectacular nature photography: Weird and wonderful, as only nature can be!
Explores a question unasked by any other book for young readers: What can we learn about nature and evolution from the bizarre and exotic ways some animals have evolved to get life-giving oxygen? An inquiry-based book designed to stimulate active minds; a STEM standout from a celebrated nature photographer and writer.
About the Author
Doug Wechsler, a biologist, has studied wildlife in the Brazilian Amazon and as a park ranger and naturalist. For 28years he curated the largest collection of bird photographs in the world for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. He has researched hummingbirds and flycatchers in Costa Rica and photographed birds in tropical forests around the world. His wildlife books for young readers include The Hidden Life of a Toad (multiple starred reviews; multiple awards including 2018 Gryphon Award; Correll Book Award; Green Earth Book Award; and AAAS/Subaru Longlist), Marvels in the Muck (Smithsonian Notable Books for Children),and Frog Heaven (2008 AAAS/Subaru Longlist; Society of School Librarians International Honor Book).
In surveying select ways to breathe, from the book gills of horseshoe crabs to the “butt snorkels”of hoverfly larvae and the elephant’s “versatile schnozzola,” not only does Wechsler suggest the amazing range of ways animals have adapted to diverse habitats, he underscores the central importance of oxygen to all the life on our planet. Sidebars under the rubric “How Science Works” expand his airy but accurate observations with, for example, a list of nine things those elephant schnozzolas can do besides breathe, or why gills work best in water. Even better, in the generous set of outstanding nature photos and graphic images, viewers can see for themselves the special organs that expedite circular breathing in birds, tubes that carry air to all the inner parts of a grub’s body thanks to “the miracle of the spiracle,” and how a snake’s windpipe stays open while prey is going down whole. All in all, a breath of fresh air for stale science shelves.
— John Peters - Booklist