Fall 2023

Wild Inventions

Ideas Inspired by Animals

From the Series Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

What do animals have to do with inventions?

Welcome to the world of bioinspiration! Inventors observe and imitate strategies and adaptations that animals use in the natural world to find inspiration for new creations.

Sometimes two animal species face a similar challenge and come up with two very different ways for dealing with it. For instance, both sharks and pangolins have special skin that protects them from harm. Shark skin inspired a type of armor for boats, and pangolins inspired the design of a helmet for humans. Wild Inventions introduces six pairs of animals and the inventions they inspired. It gives readers a peek at the creative process involved in designing new inventions to help people stay safe, live more comfortably, and go places and do things that weren’t previously possible.

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Engineering, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2023-10-03
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF061010, JNF051050, JNF051170
Dewey 600
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, Table of contents, and Teaching Guides

Author: Sandra Markle

Sandra Markle is the author of numerous award-winning books for children. A former elementary science teacher, she is a nationally-known science education consultant. Markle has received many honors for her series Animal Predators, Animal Scavengers, and Animal Prey. Several titles have been named as National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)/Children’s Book Council (CBC) Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, and Animal Predators was honored as a Top 10 Youth Nonfiction Series by Booklist. Markle is also the author of the Insect World series and several single titles. Her book Rescues! was named a Best Book by the Society of School Librarians International and a Recommended Title of Outstanding Nonfiction by the National Council of Teachers of English’s (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Award committee; Animal Heroes was named a 2008 Lasting Connections title by Book Links. Markle lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida with her husband, photographer Skip Jeffery.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries

Join award-winning science author Sandra Markle as she sheds light on some of the most fascinating scientific investigations in the animal kingdom. Solve real-life science mysteries alongside the teams of scientists dedicated to saving vanishing species or discovering new ones. And see… View available downloads →


  • Florida Book Award Silver Medalist, Commended, 2023


School Library Journal

“Brimming with full-color photographs and fascinating animals facts, STEM connections are plentiful. Budding young scientists will undoubtedly learn much from this title, and may imagine the role they could play in future bioinspired innovations.” —School Library Journal