Outrageous Animal Adaptations

From Big-Eared Bats to Frill-Necked Lizards

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

A fish that walks on land, a frog that makes its own sunscreen, and an insect that can become invisible? Whether to avoid predators, to stalk prey, or to withstand extreme temperatures, Earth’s creatures have evolved some outrageous features and tricks to ensure survival.

For example, did you know that the geoduck (nope, it’s not a duck, it’s a clam) can live as long as 160 years? And that the aye-aye, a nocturnal primate, uses echolocation and a long, spindly finger to find and dig up food? Or that in its deep-ocean habitat, the vampire squid uses bioluminescence to startle predators? These are among the many animals that show evolution and adaptation at work.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Science, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Animals
Copyright 2018
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 96
Publication Date 2018-01-01
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN003000, YAN050130
Dewey 578.4
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 1100
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Index, Reviewed, and Source notes

Author: Michael J. Rosen

Michael J. Rosen is the acclaimed author of some three dozen books for children of all ages (and even more for grown-ups!), including The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Poems for Birders; Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Famiy’s Farm (which he both wrote and illustrated with some 400 photographs); A Drive in the Country; Don’t Shoot!; A School for Pompey Walker; and Elijah’s Angel. For over 35 years, ever since working as a counselor, water-safety instructor, and art teacher at local community centers, Michael has been engaged with young children, their parents, and teachers. As a visiting author, in-service speaker, and workshop leader, he frequently travels to schools and conferences around the nation, sharing his stories, poems, creativity, and humor. As a talented editor and illustrator, Michael has enlisted hundreds of other authors and artists to create 15 philanthropic books that aid in the fight to end childhood hunger through Share Our Strength’s national efforts, or that offer care to less fortunate companion animals through The Company of Animals Fund, a granting program he began in 1990. For the last four years, working with the Ohio Children’s Foundation, Michael created a early literacy activity book, particularly designed for kids who are likely to start school without knowing the alphabet: You, Me, and the ABCs: 100 Ready-for-Reading Activities for Kids and Their Favorite Grown-ups.


  • Children’s Book Committee at the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature Best Children’s Books of the Year Outstanding Merit, Winner, 2019


Kiss the Book

Twenty-four different animals are highlighted in this book about animals who have physically adapted to their environments. Some of the animals include: Geoduck, Vampire Squid, Waxy Monkey Tree Frog and Naked Mole Rat. Each animal has their picture, a classification, their adaptation and some interesting facts about them. At the end there is a glossary as well as references for videos and other books to find more information.
This book is very visually appealing with bright photographs of weird looking animals. I was fascinated and sometimes repulsed by the different animals and enjoyed reading about lesser known species. The information is text heavy with higher level vocabulary so it is geared towards older readers-maybe middle school or high school. Also, sometimes the author tries to be funny but it’s such a factual book that the jokes seem random and aren’t consistent throughout all the animals.

School Library Journal

“Whether exploring the book as a resource for a science project or to satiate curiosity, readers will have trouble looking away from the occasionally gross-out photos and lively text.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“Both budding zoologists and children with even just a mild interest in the natural world will slurp this down.”—Kirkus Reviews