Amazing Facts About How Animals Adapt
By Joanne Settel
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780689817397, 40pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 1999
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A wasp lays its eggs under a
caterpillar's skin so that its young can
eat the caterpillar's guts as they grow.
A young head louse makes its home
on a human hair and feasts on
Frogs use their eyeballs to help
swallow their food.
From small worms that live in a dog's nose mucus to exploding ants to regurgitating mother gulls, this book tells of the unusual ways animals find food, shelter, and safety in the natural world.
If animals all ate the same things and lived in the same places, it would be impossible for all of them to survive. So they specialize. Some animals eat the bits that others leave behind, such as skin and mucus. They find all kinds of unusual places to shelter, including the cracks and holes in another creature's skin or its internal organs. They use their own bodies to protect themselves from predators by imitating unsavory items such as bird droppings and even by blowing up.
These habits that may seem disgusting to us are wonderful adaptations that make it possible for a great variety of creatures to live and thrive on Earth. Read about them and marvel at the amazing ways animals adapt to the natural world.
Joanne Settel is a professor of biology at Baltimore City Community College. She makes her home in Columbia, Maryland, where she enjoys hiking, biking, and bird watching. Dr. Settel is the coauthor with Nancy Baggett of Why Does My Nose Run?, How Do Ants Know You Are Having a Picnic?, and Why Do a Cat's Eyes Glow in the Dark?, also published by Atheneum.