Unusual Creatures: a Mostly Accurate Account of Some of the Earth’s Strangest Animals
by Michael Hearst
If you’re the kind ofkid who loves the absurd, this book will fit the bill. It covers some bizarre animals – blobfish, glass frogs, anglerfish, narwhals, and more – and then outlines exactly what makes them so weird. It also throws in some really ridiculous false-but-funny quips to keep readers on their toes. (The false information is always labeled as such in some way or another.)
Just a few random facts to whet your appetite:
Wombat poop is shaped like a cube so it won’t roll away. They use it to mark their territory.
You can see the digestive tract, liver, and heart of a glass frog through its skin.
Hornbill moms seal themselves into their nests with mud and feces for four months while they incubate the eggs. The hornbill dad feeds her through a small slit.
Platypuses use electroreception to find food (they can perceive the electrical impulses generated by other animals).
Hagfish have all sorts of weird traits – they have a skull, but no spine; they have four hearts; they can change gender based on the season; and they can produce gallons of slime in just a few minutes.
I’ll leave you with that lovely picture of gallons of hagfish slime. If you’re looking for more ways to gross out your friends, you’ll find plenty in Unusual Creatures.
reviewed by Jessica
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