Nature by Design (Knowing Nature)

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9780374354954: Nature by Design (Knowing Nature)

Describes functional structures built by such animals as the beaver, termite, and tailorbird.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The wit and impressive subject mastery of novelist and nonfiction writer Brooks ( The Moves Make the Man ; On the Wing ) once again produces eye-opening results in the new Knowing Nature series. Predator! portrays nature's bizarre and brilliant weaponry on parade. This arsenal of equipment and behavior that maintains the food chain balance of power humbles the imagination: an archerfish shoots bugs out of the air with his built-in, precision "blow gun." A meek bombardier beetle becomes a major menace as he discharges fireworks compounded from his body's chemicals. Tamer, but no less intriguing, is Nature By Design 's testament to animals as architects. Some creatures manufacture their building materials within their bodies. (Imagine a carpenter who "rolls his shoulders . . ., gives a little grunt, and then pulls the exact piece he needs from a slot between his shoulder blades.") Termites engineer heating and cooling systems that rival New York City skyscrapers. Both books--replete with superb photographs and engrossing captions--provoke deeper thinking about man's responsibility to the animal environment. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-8--Nature by Design discusses a variety of animal homes in a lively and quick-paced narrative. Readers learn of the ovenbirds' superior-to-man-made adobe and Texas carpenter ants' herds of aphids on their in-ground ranches. (Only in Texas!) In the same dazzling style, Predator! explores animals that kill and those that try to stay alive, as well as interloper man. Other books detail a host/guest animal relationship, but Brooks writes,``The best double-ambush duo in nature is the tag team of . . .a crab spider and a . . . pitcher plant in Malaysia.'' And, he tells of the electric catfish that can ``sidle up close and turn on the juice--up to 500 volts--and ZAP! Their meal is ready to eat.'' Both volumes abound with spectacular full-color photographs with credits appended. Useful indexes and glossaries are also included. The sophisticated vocabulary and dense blocks of small print may limit the books' audiences, so they will need to be introduced or booktalked. They're well worth the effort. --Amy Nunley, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Brooks, Bruce
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (J) (1994)
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