About the Author:
April Pulley Sayre is a writer, video producer, and bird watcher with a special interest in "overlooked, sometimes maligned creatures," including bats, insects, and lemurs. She and her husband live in South Bend, Indiana.
Gr. 4-7. This fascinating title shows the thrill of scientific discovery up close. Sayre profiles three bioacousticians--scientists who study the sounds made by living things, communication that is often outside the range of human hearing. Each extensive chapter follows the scientist into the field: the ocean, where Christopher Clark studies whales; the rain forest of the Central African Republic, where Katy Payne studies elephants; and throughout the U.S., where Bill Evans studies birds in migration. Sayre's text explains scientific concepts in simple, engaging language, and she gives plenty of detail about work conditions, equipment and research techniques, and what it takes to enter the field. Sayre also shows how the scientists' work contributes not only to a better understanding of the animals but also to conservation and protection of the species. Lots of well-edited quotes from the scientists convey their contagious enthusiasm for what they do, and sharp color photos, sound charts, and activity boxes break up the text, making it even more readable. Like Ellen Jackson's Looking for Life in the Universe, reviewed on p.684, this book is part of the consistently excellent Scientists in the Field series; it provides readers with an inspiring introduction to a little-discussed field and to biology in general. Gillian Engberg
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