James Martin Living Fossils

ISBN 13: 9780517598665

Living Fossils

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9780517598665: Living Fossils

Living fossils are survivors from the dawn of life on earth.  They have survived mass extinction, escaped the enemies that killed off other animals, and avoided evolution to live for tens and even hundreds of millions of years virtually unchanged.  When the dinosaurs perished, the "living fossils" remained--and even thrived.  The award-winning author of Hiding Out, Tentacles, and Chameleons documents these resilient creatures, from the exotic to the familiar, including the Komodo dragon, crocodile, alligator, horseshoe crab, nautilus, and the ubiquitous cockroach.  With dazzling photographs, detailed illustrations comparing the creatures' ancient habitats, and awesome facts, Living Fossils unravels some of the mysteries behind nature's longest running success stories.  

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About the Author:

James Martin is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Outside and elsewhere. His fascination with chameleons and other reptiles has taken him to Madagascar, Africa, Borneo, Sumatra, and the "Dragon Island," Komodo, in Indonesia.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6. Although the animals in this book can be found in the fossil record, they are also very much alive today. Martin explores the lives and evolution of creatures that, unlike dinosaurs, trilobites, and pterosaurs, didn't become extinct, but managed to adapt to the changing conditions on Earth over many millions of years. Included are the horseshoe crab, the nautilus, the coelacanth, the Komodo dragon, the crocodilians, and the cockroach. Readers learn about the life cycles of these creatures and the traits that may have helped them survive the cataclysmic events that destroyed so many other living things. The nautilus, for example, may have survived the event (comet or asteroid) that destroyed the dinosaurs because they laid their eggs deep in the ocean. Though the adult nautilus were toasted by the extreme temperatures, the next generation survived. The clear, large, full-color photos are great. Less polished are the paintings of animals that coexisted with the survivors, but are now extinct. Though the creatures in them are labeled, little else is included about them in the text, which is frustrating because many of them look intriguing. Overall, there's good information here, especially the clues about what made these animals such successful life-forms.?Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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James Martin
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers (1997)
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