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The Elephant Scientist

by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-O'Connell traveled to Africa in 1992 to observe wild animals; the trip turned into a job offer to study elephants at Etosha National Park; the text focuses on the scientists' work, findings, and problems encountered. The authors offer an outstanding look at new discoveries about elephant communication and how this knowledge can be used to slow the animal's slump into extinction. Combined with stunning full-color photographs by the scientists, the elephants' world is brought to the forefront. Readers enter the researchers' camp to see their setup, fieldwork, and takedown in action. They will learn how elephant anatomy and hierarchy work together to aid in communication. Children will be interested in O'Connell's growing interest in science, how family and teachers encouraged her, and her efforts to protect these threatened animals. This amazing presentation is a must-have for all collections.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list After studying entomology, researcher O'Connell observed elephants in Africa and noticed that the large mammals were behaving strangely, like the small insects she had previously studied. Both would freeze and lean forward, leading her to wonder if the elephants, like the insects, were sensing vibrations through their feet. She worked with other scientists to identity the vibration-sensitive cells in elephants' feet and trunks that enabled to them to hear sounds transmitted through the ground. Illustrated with many well-captioned, color photos, this eye-catching book provides a sometimes fascinating look at O'Connell's work with elephants in America and in Namibia. Not only the book's subject, O'Connell is also listed as its coauthor, yet the text refers to her in third person and quotes her extensively. The presentation concludes with brief lists of recommended books, DVDs, and websites; a glossary; and selected source notes, though without links to particular passages or pages in the text. This intriguing volume from the Scientists in the Field series will interest readers of Downer's Elephant Talk (2011).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.