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Animal Aha!: Thrilling Discoveries in Wildlife Science

Overview

Animals do some extraordinary things, but not always while people are watching. When patient and persistent scientists do make a discovery, it can change how we think about animals and ourselves.

Animal Aha! highlights a number of magnificent moments in animal science. Meet Alex, a chatterbox parrot who learned not just to mimic speech, but to communicate by talking. Alex's education is already helping some speech-delayed children learn to speak. Visit a California lab where ...

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Overview

Animals do some extraordinary things, but not always while people are watching. When patient and persistent scientists do make a discovery, it can change how we think about animals and ourselves.

Animal Aha! highlights a number of magnificent moments in animal science. Meet Alex, a chatterbox parrot who learned not just to mimic speech, but to communicate by talking. Alex's education is already helping some speech-delayed children learn to speak. Visit a California lab where scientists study snacking snakes. After eating, a python's heart becomes 40% larger than normal. By finding out how, scientists hope to help strengthen human hearts too.

Explore all these exciting discoveries:

  • Cockroaches that learn best at night
  • Dolphins that do basic math
  • Elephants that recognize their reflections
  • Gorillas that use tools

Each profile includes fun facts about the featured creature, thoughts from the scientists who made each discovery and amazing photographs of the animals in action. Animal Aha! will forever change your ideas of animals and how we learn from them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Patricia Williamson
Diane Swanson brings a factual, informative style to this book about the research some are undertaking with specific animals. For a reader who is interested in animals of various sorts, from gorillas to dolphins to cockroaches, this book will be a hit. The sections are independent and focus on current research underway to discover the intelligence of a specific species: Gorillas seen using tools; Elephants and their reflection; Dolphins doing math; a Parrot who can distinguish shapes and colors; a Python with a really big heart; and cockroaches who learn best in the dark. The books format is simple and easy: there are fun facts about the species as the narration starts; the story of the research and its findings is written in a very easy style; and the end includes more interesting facts about the animal species. This could be a great starting point for any budding zoologist or biologist who wants to explore the world of animal intelligence. Reviewer: Patricia Williamson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—An olio of "AHA!" moments in natural science. Who knew that a Burmese python's heart enlarges to aid in digestion? Or that a parrot might comprehend human language and be able to use it creatively? Such are the tidbits in this browsable book. "Fun Facts" and "Fast Facts" boxes abound, and a color photo pops up on almost every page. With a lively text, this interesting pastiche will be enjoyed by kids pawing through the classroom library seeking an engaging nonfiction read.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554511648
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Swanson is the award-winning author of more than 70 factual books for children, including Nibbling on Einstein's Brain, a new edition of which is also available Spring 2009. She lives in Victoria, BC.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Discovering the Wonder of Wildlife
Gorillas That Use Tools
Elephants that Recognize Their Reflections
Dolphins That Do Basic Math
Parrots That Speak with Meaning
Pythons That Grow Huge Hearts
Cockroaches That Learn at Night

Index
Acknowledges
Photo Credits
About the Author

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Preface

Introduction

Discover the Wonder of Wildlife

There's no doubt about it. Scientists work hard to uncover some of the amazing things that animals do. They spend thousands of hours planning experiments, making observations, spotting patterns, and analyzing results. Their efforts call for plenty of patience and loads of persistence. But that all pays off big time when they discover something new — something no one has ever seen before. As you might imagine, finding an AHA! in research is a huge thrill.

Scientists study wildlife as large as whales and as small as insects to learn about what, how, and why critters do what they do. Some research is done in the wild to see how the animals behave in their natural homes. Other research takes place in laboratories where scientists can watch what happens in controlled experiments. Now and then, a discovery even helps us understand more about people.

This book looks at scientists who have made recent, exciting discoveries about wildlife. Their work has been reported in professional science journals, but not everyone agrees with the results. All research conclusions must be proven by other scientists studying more animals and, perhaps, taking different approaches. Sometimes conclusions change because of new observations.

The stories of the AHA! moments in wildlife science are awesome. One day, they may even inspire you to unravel animal secrets.

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