January 17, 2018

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The Story of Cats | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarThe Story of Cats. (Nature). 106 min. Dist. by PBS. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781627898751. Blu-ray $29.99. UPC 0841887030472.

DVD-TheStoryofCatsGr 5 Up –This engaging film offers an incredible amount of information. The focus is on the most widespread of all carnivores, cats, found all over the world, even in our homes. The 37 different species of cats today live in every climate, and the program chronicles the evolution of the first breed of cats known to have existed 11 million years ago, the clouded leopard, which is now fast becoming extinct. Cats originated in Asia millions of years ago, and the film traces their subsequent migration to Africa and, eventually, the Americas. Students will be enthralled with the remarkable feats of the various cats presented, all of which share some of the clouded leopard’s features: speed, strong legs, and hunting prowess. Some of those covered include the white Bengal tiger, which hunts prey up to 1,000 pounds, even though it only eats about 80 pounds of meat a day, and the snow leopard, which can survive the extreme freezing temperatures of the Himalayas. All cats are solitary hunters, tracking, killing, and burying their prey for later meals. The video also provides facts on the dangers faced by some species of kittens and cubs that fall prey to animals that hunt in packs—dogs, wolves, and coyotes. This is an excellent film for those studying animal habitats, survival instincts, and the evolution of the familiar house cat. VERDICT School libraries should add this comprehensive study of cats to their science media collections.–Sheila Acosta, San Antonio Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2017 issue.

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