Living on the Edge
Amazing Relationships in the Natural WorldBook - 2003
"Get rid of it, for gosh sakes! Get rid of it!" my aunt barked when she spied the garter snake latched onto my six-year-old arm. I then responded with, "No!" That's when everyone went silent until my aunt spoke out once again, "What do you mean 'no'? Why not?"
As the tears continued to stream down my face, I answered back through an exaggerated and convulsing huff, "Because I love it!"
It was then that Jeff Corwin was hooked. Whether it's serpents, lizards, crocs, or frogs, or any number of furry creatures, Jeff has spent decades learning-- and educating-- about the world's most diverse ecosystems and their inhabitants.
Travel with him now through Arizona, Africa, Costa Rica, and Venezuela to encounter those who are familiar-- coyotes, elephants, anteaters, and crocodiles-- and meet those who aren't-- the vinegaroon, which keeps out of harm's way by gagging and repelling potential predators with caustic fumes; painted dogs, which allow only one monogamous pair within the clan to breed; the omnivorous kinkajou, which helps propagate the enormous strangler fig tree; and capybaras, the world's largest rodents,who happen to be excellent swimmers.
Bear witness to the codependency of all these creatures on either the plants that surround them or each other, and look behind the scenes to see Jeff's coming of age in the world of biodiversity. Some of the fabulous creatures in these pages are in danger of becoming extinct, while all carry a vital role in maintaining these ecosystems. Without the interplay of predator, prey, and symbiotic communalism, the world as we know it would be a vastly different place.