Monday, November 7, 2011

Elephant Talk by Ann Downer

Elephant Talk:
The Surprising Science of Elephant Communication
by Ann Downer
Non-fiction
2011

Book Jacket Summary
On a hot day in the African savannah, a group of elephants searches for food. While foraging they often lose sight of one another. Yet at the end of the day, in one coordinated movement, the elephants suddenly regroup. This coordinated movement--and others like it--has puzzled scientists and caused them to question how elephants communicate with each other. Since the 1990s, scientists have gathered significant data on elephant "talk." Biologists have determined that elephants use a complex system of communication of at least ten distinct sounds, combined in many variations. Researchers are now asking: what do these sounds mean? As scientists study the elephant sounds that humans can hear, they are also identifying ways elephants communicate through nonverbal behaviors and making sounds too low for human ears. Scientists have realized that elephants even receive messages by using their sensitive feet to feel vibrations in the ground. All of these discoveries are helping elephant researchers better understand elephant behavior. But the elephant's time as a wild animal is running out. Threatened by habitat loss and illegally hunted for their ivory tusks, elephants are on the brink of extinction. Will understanding elephant talk be the key to saving the species

My Thoughts
I went to the zoo this weekend and enjoyed looking at all the animals. Elephants have never been my favorite because you can smell them all the way from the parking lot but this book made me appreciate them in a whole new light. The cover drew me in and the information kept me engaged. It was a whole new approach into how elephants communicate but also how scientists are finding this out.
This book would be perfect for middle and high schoolers that are looking for more than general information about elephants. The budding zoologist will find the science behind the book facianting and something new to their collection. This book book focuses on how they live and communicate with each other. I do have to say the the picture of baby elephants were my favorite part. There is something about baby animals that just make me happy. Of course the book also delves into the elephants being on the endangered speices list and how their habitat is shrinking. I would recommend this one to any library that is in need of current books about elephants or zoological studies. If your child loves animals and wants more information on how they act and why, this is the perfect book for them.
Book Pairings
Face to Face with Elepahants by  Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert

1 comment:

  1. Ironically, elephants were one of my favorite animals for a long time. I blame Disney's Dumbo for that though, because I thought he was so cute. This sounds like a great read for students to learn about the pachyderms. :)

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