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 human blood. 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.
Dr. Joanne Settel is an award-winning writer of science books for children. Dr. Settel’s book Exploding Ants: Amazing Facts About How Animals Adapt was listed as one of the Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children (2000) by the Children’s Book Council. She also coauthored a popular series of children’s books including Why Does My Nose Run?,Why Do Cats’ Eyes Glow in the Dark?,and How Do Ants Know When You’re Having a Picnic?, which was also named an Outstanding Science Trade Book For Children (1986).Dr. Settel has a PhD in Zoology. She is a professor emeritus at Baltimore City Community College, where she taught courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology. She lives with her husband in Maryland, where she enjoys hiking, bird watching, and gardening.