Komodo Dragons: On the Hunt

Komodo Dragons: On the Hunt

by Janet Riehecky

A Komodo dragon may not look like much of a killer animal but the real danger lies inside its mouth Learn how the world's largest lizard hunts for its next meal


A Komodo dragon may not look like much of a killer animal but the real danger lies inside its mouth Learn how the world's largest lizard hunts for its next meal

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
To capture the attention of those readers who are still reading at lower levels, the publisher has named this series "Killer Animals." The cover, the title page, and the chapter introductions are black with bloody red splotches; a sidebar is called a "Killer Fact." Who are these fearsome monsters? Actually, they are the large predators of the world which are vital to the maintenance of ecosystems. Some are man-eaters, and these are called "alpha" predators. In this volume, readers will discover the hideous Komodo dragon, with its teeth like sharp blades and mouth full of bacteria. Large color photos show a Komodo in its habitat (an Indonesian island), killing and ripping up a deer while displaying its long, sharp claws and powerful legs. Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, have a strong sense of smell thanks to their muscular forked tongues and the Jacobson's organ on the roof of their mouths. They use this sense to locate prey. Though these dragons do attack and eat humans (not mentioned in the text), readers are informed that they are important to their Indonesian ecosystems and are in danger of extinction; scientists are studying ways to move them or raise them in captivity. Adults planning to use this set with children would do well to first read David Quammen's Monster of God (Norton, 2003) to gain a wider perspective on predators at the top of food chains and their importance to the survival of us all. (Quammen discusses the Komodo dragons' killing strategies.) Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

With each volume setting up for the kill and ending with a spread of the subject ready to strike again, these books make an all-out attempt to grab readers' attention. Incorporating the in-your-face photography and captions (such as "Underwater Spy" in Crocodiles ) associated with extreme TV, they mostly succeed. While no gruesome fact is spared (a spread of blood-covered Komodo Dragons lustily enjoying their meal comes to mind), the animals are shown to be not necessarily vicious. Each book ends with a breakdown of how the subject actually contributes to the ecosystem because of its predatory lifestyle and an explanation of how the creatures' perceived danger to humans is usually a misunderstanding. These are exciting reads-even the photo-diagram labeling the parts of each animal is an action shot. Vocabulary terms are defined at the foot of the relevant page and repeated in the glossary. While the use of "black space" is quite effective in creating a tone of danger throughout, it sometimes obscures the photos, many of which are up-close and chaotic. All the same, these titles will appeal to thrill seekers and young researchers who like to walk on the wild side.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Killer Animals Series
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Janet Riehecky is a longtime writer for children. She has worked as a high school English teacher, a college professor, and a children's book editor. Her 24 volume series Dinosaurs! won the Summit Award for Best Children's Nonfiction, presented by the Society of Midland Authors, and her Tasmanian Tiger was a Junior Library Guild selection. Janet loves to collect dinosaur bones. On a dig in western Colorado, she dug up the first bone found of a brand new dinosaur, the Mymoorapelta.

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