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Other titles in the Scientists in the Field series:
The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field)by Caitlin Oconnell
Synopses & Reviews
The people of northern Namibia in the African desert refer to Caitlin O'Connell as "the mother of all elephants." In this book, O'Connell juggles several roles while she studies elephant behavior in Namibias Etosha National Park: field scientist, mediator, ecologist, conservationalist and environmentalist. In decoding the patterns of elephant communication, she has aided tremendously in the fight against killing and poaching elephants--in some cases, those which are endangered, like the Asian elephant. Her scientific observations and procedures have also acted to mediate between the farmers of the region and the elephants who eat their yet-to-be harvested crops.
Donna M. Jackson, author of Extreme Scientists and ER Vets captures the most intriguing pieces of Caitlin O'Connell's scientific observations of elephant communication through seismic signals--vibrations they transmit with their feet. Interestingly enough, Caitlin found herself hypothesizing and discovering how elephants "listen with their limbs" through her early observations of how insects communicate through vibrations they cause in the leaves of plants. The text teems with other intriguing facts about these pachyderms (which means "thick skin"). Elephants are nature's largest mammal weighing in at 14,000 pounds. There are 40,000 muscles in an elephant's trunk, which is a multifaceted tool used for many more purposes than just smelling daisies. A hundred year ago, 10 million African elephants roamed the earth; now only 500,000 remain.
Slaughtering elephants for their ivory; shooting bears for their gall bladders; capturing sea turtles for soup. In the name of vanity, fashion, and greed, man stalks and kills wild animals — and gets away with it, even when it is clearly against the law. But now scientists have a way to catch and convict poachers. In a laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, they analyze clues to link suspects to crimes. In words and pictures, this book tells a poignant story and reveals how science can indeed save the day.
2012 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
In the sprawling African scrub desert of Etosha National Park, they call her “the mother of all elephants.” Holding binoculars closely to her eyes, American scientist Caitlin OConnell could not believe what she was seeing from these African elephants: as the mighty matriarch scanned the horizon, the other elephants followed suit, stopped midstride, and stood as still as statues.This observation would guide the scientist to a groundbreaking discovery about elephant communication: elephants actually listen with their limbs.
About the Author
Nic Bishop, who holds a doctorate in the biological sciences, is the photographer of many acclaimed books for children.
Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, newspaper columnist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who writes award-winning books for children as well as adults.
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