If children have ever wondered how dolphins find friends, how bats home in on their victims, or how spectacled bears find food many miles away, this is the book that will explain. Animals use light, scent, sound and forces beyond our human senses to survive, but many of the techniques they use can also be used in the human world.
Catherine Barr explains that, for example, microwaves were produced even as far back as the Big Bang, when the universe was created, and of course microwaves are useful in all sorts of ways, not just for cooking. Space cameras use them to take pictures through clouds, and in hospitals, Radiotherapy uses microwaves to attempt to kill cancerous cells.
Animals use ultraviolet light: certain lichen that reindeer eat glows in their vision, bees and butterflies see UV colour and patterns in flowers and on each other, and salmon can spot plankton to eat when they see the glow. We use ultraviolet light in lightbulbs, for killing germs in food, and in reflective ‘hi-vis’ clothing. Infrared light, magnetic power and electric waves, ultra- and infra- sound- all have their uses in the animal kingdom and also in our world.
The book is laid out so that we see how something works in the natural world, and then the next double page spread looks at similar usage in the human world. The text is in bite-sized chunks, and well-illustrated by Anne Wilson in a clear, colourful and graphic style. A little cartoon person leads us through each topic, and there is a useful Glossary. This will be useful for browsing and for finding out all sorts of interesting facts.