Catching Air: Taking the Leap with Gliding Animals
About the Author
Junior Library Guild Selection ∙ 2017 Outstanding Science Trade Book 2017, National Science Teachers Association
Only a few dozen vertebrate animals have evolved true gliding abilities, but they include an astonishing variety of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
North America’s flying squirrels and Australia’s sugar gliders notwithstanding, the vast majority of them live in rainforests. Illustrated with arresting photographs, Catching Air takes us around the world to meet these animals, learn why so many gliders live in Southeast Asia, and find out why this gravity-defying ability has evolved in Draco lizards, snakes, and frogs as well as mammals. Why do gliders stop short of flying, how did bats make that final leap, and how did Homo sapiens bypass evolution to glide via wingsuits and hang gliders? Or is that evolution in another guise?