An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals
by Ross Piper
Edition: 1st., 2007
Animals have existed on Earth for many hundreds of millions of years. In that time they have evolved into a great variety of forms, exploiting nearly every habitat the planet has to offer. In the dark depths of the oceans, in the seemingly inhospitable Polar Regions, in the driest deserts, even within the bodies of other animals, there are animal species that have developed unique and extraordinary means of surviving and thriving. Extraordinary Animals is an exploration of those members of the animal kingdom who possess strange and bizarre adaptations that allow them to survive in the most extreme environments, or whose complex lives can only be said to be bewildering. From the tar-baby termite to the blue whale, from the harpy eagle to the naked mole rat, these species reflect the exceptionally broad spectrum of life, showing just how diverse the animal kingdom is. Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals has been thoroughly researched for scientific accuracy, but is accessibly written in everyday language. Some of the animals covered are: The Spoon Worm: A species of worm in which the female can grow up to 2 meters long, while the male is only a couple of millimeters long and lives most of its life within the female.
Water bears: A small invertebrate that can dry out completely, with little sign of life, and in this state can survive drought, radiation, intense pressure, and the conditions within a vacuum. When water returns, they resume their normal shape and continue with their normal life.
Sand Tiger Shark: Female sand tiger sharks have two wombs, and at the start of pregnancy both of these wombs contain several developing young. But in each womb, one developing shark cannibalizes its brothers and sisters until it is the sole occupant of the womb. Each entry includes a description of the animal, an explanation of its odd behavior, other interesting scientific and trivial facts, and black and white illustrations. In addition, a fun and interactive "Go Look" section encourages readers to go look for the animals in the outside world.