Living Fossils: Survivors from Earth’s Distant Past

Millbrook. Oct. 2020. 48p. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781541581272.
Gr 4-8–Life on Earth has existed for nearly 3.5 billion years, but 99.9 percent of the species that have ever lived have gone extinct. Six of these living fossils are described in engaging, easy-to-read, and beautifully illustrated chapters. These living fossils include horseshoe crabs, which climb ashore from their deep-sea habitat to lay thousands of eggs from Florida to Maine; the West African lungfish, which has a dual system of gills and lungs; and the tuatara lizard of New Zealand, which can slow its heart to seven beats an hour and live to at least 100 years. Full-color drawings, charts, and photographs spotlight these living fossils, their fragile habitats, and the scientists who study them. A time line details the history of life on Earth. A glossary, an index, sources, and websites are included.
VERDICT Recommended for all libraries. This illustrated title is a fascinating overview of animals that are the last or almost the last of their kind within the context of evolution and extinction.

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