"Do the Locomotion!" Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
HIGH ABOVE THE GROUND, A RING-TAILED LEMUR LEAPS FROM TREE TO TREE.
A JUMPING SPIDER CAN LEAP FIFTY TIMES HIS OWN BODY LENGTH.
As orphan Annie used to say to her dog Sandy, "Leapin' Lizards!"
Yes, co-authors Steve Jenkins and Robin Page have those, too, the agama, and lots more curious locomoting creatures in their forthcoming nature science book, Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
Just plain old walkin' has some pretty strange practitioners. Octopuses use two of their eight arms as legs to walk across the sea bottom, and even a few steps up onto the land when occasion warrants. Batfish and sea pigs use fins and other appendages to stroll the ocean floor.
Why do elephants swim across rivers? To get to the other side, and pretty proficient they are at it, too, equipped as they are with a flexible proboscis that doubles as a snorkel. Baboons and sloths like a refreshing swim, too.
There are other surprising ways of locomoting in the animal kingdom. Goats climb trees to get to the tenderest nibbles and escape predators, and so do snakes, Coconut crabs climb palms, cut down the ripe coconuts, and scurry down to crack them for lunch. Flying squirrels, sugar gliders, and flying frogs glide to the next tree or the ground with grace. Many mantas and rays, Draco lizards and flying snakes use their built-in "wings" to fly, but the flying fish are the champs, sailing in the air over the waves for the length of a football field. Some animals say "that's just the way we roll:" the pangolin, pebble toad, and hedgehog prove that they are the real inventors of the wheel, while the squid, jellyfish, and nautilus make their case as the creators of jet propulsion.
Animals are no slouches at getting about, as Jenkins and Page show in their latest curious critter book. Author Robin Page provides just the facts, ma'am, while Caldecott artist Steve Jenkins proffers his trademark eye-pleasing collage illustrations of the many ways animals prove that they are born to move.
As is their custom in these appealing nature books, Page and Jenkins provide an appendix with thumbnail pictures and brief summary of each featured animal and other examples, subdivided into categories of locomotion--walking, leaping, swimming, climbing, flying, rolling, and jetting. This latest for the talented two is an essential for nature study collections and young biology buffs.