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The Tapir Scientist (Scientists in the Field)by Sy Montgomery
Synopses & Reviews
If youve never seen a lowland tapir, youre not alone. Most of the people who live near its home in Brazil, the worlds largest freshwater wetland known as the Pantanal, have never seen one, either. Resembling a diminutive hornless rhino with a long, flexible snout it uses like a snorkel and four hoofed feet, these shy loners are hard to find, which makes them hard to save—and the tapir is rapidly disappearing. While many of us may never see a tapir in the wild, well miss them when theyre gone—for if the tapir vanishes, the forests it helps to germinate will suffer. But not if field scientist Pati Medici has anything to say about it.
Sibert Medalist Sy Montgomery and veteran Scientists in the Field photographer Nic Bishop are your guides on this bushwhacking expedition to find the weird and wonderful tapir and reveal its mysteries to a world only just beginning to understand it.
"According to Montgomery, the tapir 'looks like a cross between a hippo, an elephant, and something prehistoric,' and indeed the animal has survived for more than 12 million years. In this addition to the Scientists in the Field series, Montgomery and Bishop bring readers into Brazil's Pantanal, an expanse of grasslands and subtropical forests, where a team of scientists tracks tapirs in an effort to understand them more completely. Profiles of scientists and ranchers, discussions of other animals of the Pantanal, Bishop's typically electric nature photography, and a few tense moments in the wild combine to create a full, fascinating picture of tapirs and one place they call home, as well as the work being done to protect them. Ages 10 — up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Tapir Scientist introduces young readers to one of the weirdest and most fascinating animals on the planet and recounts the extraordinary work of the dedicated scientists trying toand#160;save them.
Along the Bay of Bengal between India and Bangladesh stretches a strange and beautiful flooded forest. This enchanted forest is called the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and is home to more tigers than anywhere else on earth. There are said to be some five hundred tigers here. Nowhere else do tigers live in a mangrove swamp. And nowhere else do healthy tigers routinely hunt people. Yet about three hundred people are killed each year by the tigers of Sundarbans. No one knows why. The Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans is a mystery story, but it is also a story about science and myth, about people and tigers, and about different ways of seeing the natural world. Sy Montgomery traveled to Sundarbans searching for answers to the mysteries surrounding these tigers. She listened to what scientists had to say about the unusual tiger behavior and to the stories of the villagers who revere the very animals who hunt them.
If youand#8217;ve never seen a lowland tapir, youand#8217;re not alone. Most of the people who live near tapir habitat in Braziland#8217;s vast Pantanal (and#8220;the Everglades on steroidsand#8221;) havenand#8217;t seen the elusive snorkel-snouted mammal, either. In this arresting nonfiction picture book, Sibert winners Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop join a tapir-finding expedition led by the Brazilian field scientist Pati Medici. Aspiring scientists will love the immediate, often humorous and#8220;you are thereand#8221; descriptions of fieldwork, and gadget lovers will revel in the high-tech science at play, from microchips to the camera traps that capture the and#8220;soap operaand#8221; of tapir life.
About the Author
Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, newspaper columnist, scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes award-winning books for children as well as adults. She lives in Hancock, New Hampshire. Visit her website at symontgomery.com.
Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop won the Sibert Medal in 2011 for their collaborative work on Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot, another Scientist in the Field title.
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