Spectacular nature photography: Weird and wonderful, as only nature can be!
In surveying select ways to breathe, from the book gills of horseshoe crabs to the “butt snorkels”of hoverfly larvae and the elephant’s “versatile schnozzola,” not only does Wechsler suggest the amazing range of ways animals have adapted to diverse habitats, he underscores the central importance of oxygen to all the life on our planet. Sidebars under the rubric “How Science Works” expand his airy but accurate observations with, for example, a list of nine things those elephant schnozzolas can do besides breathe, or why gills work best in water. Even better, in the generous set of outstanding nature photos and graphic images, viewers can see for themselves the special organs that expedite circular breathing in birds, tubes that carry air to all the inner parts of a grub’s body thanks to “the miracle of the spiracle,” and how a snake’s windpipe stays open while prey is going down whole. All in all, a breath of fresh air for stale science shelves.