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*NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book* *Junior Library Guild Selection 2017*
Only a few dozen vertebrate animals have evolved true gliding abilities, but they include an astonishing variety of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
North America’s flying squirrels and Australia’s sugar gliders notwithstanding, the vast majority of them live in rainforests. Illustrated with arresting photographs, Catching Air takes us around the world to meet these animals, learn why so many gliders live in Southeast Asia, and find out why this gravity-defying ability has evolved in Draco lizards, snakes, and frogs as well as mammals. Why do gliders stop short of flying, how did bats make that final leap, and how did Homo sapiens bypass evolution to glide via wingsuits and hang gliders—or is that evolution in another guise?
This informative book explores questions such as what adaptations in the animals’ bodies enable them to glide, why gliders throughout the world are forest dwellers, and how gliding helps them to survive.
A respected science writer, Collard offers a well-researched, well-focused,and beautifully illustrated presentation of a topic seldom covered in children’s books.” — Carolyn Phelan, Booklist