The Puzzle of the Platypus: And Other Explorations of Science in Action (Scientists Probe 11 Animal Mysteries)

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9781590785560: The Puzzle of the Platypus: And Other Explorations of Science in Action (Scientists Probe 11 Animal Mysteries)
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Scientists probe eleven animal mysteries. Why do some parrots eat clay? Which elephants are the wisest? Is the platypus a bird, a mammal, or something else? In this collection of science articles from Highlights for Children magazine, teams of researchers travel the world to solve some of nature's most intriguing puzzles. One team uses a high-tech camera to find polar bear dens under the snows of Alaska. Another group teaches dolphins how to play a game in order to study their sonar. Still other teams spend years studying elephants, crows, wild horses, rattlesnakes, cliff swallows, and other animals. Full-color illustrations bring these fascinating animals to life, and Jack Myers, in his warm, personal style, re-creates the scientists' adventures in discovery. His stories are true cases of science in action—the challenging and often creative process of revealing nature's secrets. He will start young readers thinking about the many secrets that still wait to be discovered . . . maybe by them.

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About the Author:

Jack Myers, Ph.D. (1913-2006) was the senior science editor of Highlights for Children for more than forty years. He was also a scientist at the Unversity of Texas at Austin where, at the time of his death, he was professor emeritus of zoology. HIs many science books for children include How Dogs Came from Wolves, about which the Booklist reviewe wrote, "The writing is clear and the science is explained well without being oversimplified" and the Children's Literature reviewer wrote, "The author distills complex information well."

John Rice is a wildlife artist and the illustrator of the following four books by Jack Myers: On the Trail of the Komodo Dragon, On Top of Mount Everest, What Happened to the Mammoths?, and How Dogs Came from Wolves. He lives in Mount Kisco, New York.

From Booklist:

In his fifth (posthumous) gathering of lightly edited columns from Highlights magazine, Myers looks with a typical balance of precision and simplicity at a clever study of dolphin sonar, a successful effort to reintroduce a nearly extinct species of wild horse to its original Mongolian range, the efforts of scientists to find a logical niche in the taxonomic scheme for the decidedly peculiar platypus, and eight other revealing experiments, observations, and discoveries. Along with the occasional color photo, each entry is illustrated with one or more of Rice’s accurately detailed paintings (some of which are amusingly fanciful), and in service to readers who want all the facts, a list of resources from which Myers drew his information is appended. As with the previous collections, these mini-essays are equally suited to reading alone or aloud and make stimulating introductions to the actual practice of science. For readers wanting more in-depth views of science at work, suggest books in the Scientists in the Field series. Grades 3-5. --John Peters

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