Nature: The Other Earthlings

James Shreeve, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $0 (288p) ISBN 978-0-02-534920-9
Everybody who enjoyed the Nature series on public television will find this companion volume equally interesting and informative. The narrative moves smoothly from the Arctic to Australia, from the rain forests of the tropics to the open savannah of temperate lands. Shreeve, of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., introduces us to selected groups of animals and shows how they have adapted to their environments. We meet polar bears, tigers, elephants, gorillas, wolves and some of the smaller creatures that share their respective habitats. One of the most successful earthlings, says Shreeve, is the fig tree; it shelters up to 32 species of birds and mammals, and they, in turn, take care of seed dispersal and pollination. Perhaps the high point of this nature study is the section on the marsupials and monotremes of Australiakangaroo, koala, echidna, platypus. We learn, for instance, that a nursing kangaroo mother produces two grades of milk for offspring of different ages. There is a discussion of the relative merits in terms of the ""reproductive value'' of mammals and marsupials. Lavishly illustrated, this book will appeal to zoo visitors and animal lovers alike. (September 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 978-0-517-07630-9
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