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The Elephant Scientist

By: Donna Jackson

Caitlin O'Connell

Illustrator: Caitlin O'Connell

Caitlin O’Connell recognized the behavior from studying insects. Was it possible that elephants “were talking—and listening—to one another with their feet?” Information about adopting an elephant. Further reading and information. Glossary. Selected source notes. Index. Map. Full-color photographs.
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ISBN: 9780547053448


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: African elephants , Namibia , African elephant behavior , Research , Scientists , Caitlin O'Connell (1965- )

$18.99  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal Honor; Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: 2012; ALA Notable Children’s Book 2012, Older; 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, Nonfiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Connell traveled to Africa in 1992 to observe wild animals; the trip turned into a job offer to study elephants at Etosha National Park; the text focuses on the scientists’ work, findings, and problems encountered. The authors offer an outstanding look at new discoveries about elephant communication and how this kn
[STARRED REVIEW]
Connell traveled to Africa in 1992 to observe wild animals; the trip turned into a job offer to study elephants at Etosha National Park; the text focuses on the scientists’ work, findings, and problems encountered. The authors offer an outstanding look at new discoveries about elephant communication and how this knowledge can be used to slow the animal’s slump into extinction. Combined with stunning full-color photographs by the scientists, the elephants’ world is brought to the forefront. Readers enter the researchers’ camp to see their setup, fieldwork, and takedown in action. They will learn how elephant anatomy and hierarchy work together to aid in communication. Children will be interested in O’Connell’s growing interest in science, how family and teachers encouraged her, and her efforts to protect these threatened animals. This amazing presentation is a must-have for all collections.—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA

Horn Book

Scientist O’Connell’s contributions to our understanding of elephant communication propel this account of scientific research in action. O’Connell and Jackson focus on the ways in which these animals communicate through vibrations sent through the ground, a technique O’Connell first observed in her masters degree work with i Scientist O’Connell’s contributions to our understanding of elephant communication propel this account of scientific research in action. O’Connell and Jackson focus on the ways in which these animals communicate through vibrations sent through the ground, a technique O’Connell first observed in her masters degree work with insects, and later with African elephants in Namibia. They describe the findings in a way that lets readers witness the unfolding of a research program, as hypotheses lead to new insights that beget even more questions. Featured are observations of animal behavior, lab-based examinations of the cells in elephant feet and trunks that facilitate vibration sensing, and experiments with varying sounds and their effects on elephant herds. The many color photographs, predominantly from the Namibian field sites, capture the majestic elder elephants, their always-appealing offspring, and the dusty, rugged landscapes in which the scientists and research assistants camp and work. Readers are directed to the website of the nonprofit organization founded by O’Connell and her husband, where they can view video of the communication experiments. Further reading, a glossary, selected source notes, and an index are appended.

Junior Library Guild

  • Fascinating portrait of a scientist—her interest in the natural world from a young age, her early scientific work with planthoppers, and how her work with elephants evolved. It is especially remarkable that Caitlin O’Connell’s study of a microscopic creature led to a groundbreaking discovery involving the largest land mam
    • Fascinating portrait of a scientist—her interest in the natural world from a young age, her early scientific work with planthoppers, and how her work with elephants evolved. It is especially remarkable that Caitlin O’Connell’s study of a microscopic creature led to a groundbreaking discovery involving the largest land mammal.
    • Gives an accessible, thorough view of the study of elephant communication, clearly describing what this particular research entails and the many steps in a long process. Initial experiments, for instance, only lead to more questions: “Why did some elephants react fearfully to the alarm calls, while others became angry? Was there one alarm that all elephants would respond to in the same way? And how were the elephants receiving these messages?”
    • Separate sections break information into digestible pieces. Readers learn a wealth of information about elephants’ physical attributes and behavior as well as research-specific details.
    • Includes numerous striking photographs of elephants and other savannah wildlife. Many images also provide visual references of living and working conditions at a scientists’ research camp.

Book Details

ISBN

9780547053448

Genre

Dewey Classification

599.67/4096881

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Page Count

80

Accelerated Reader

Level 8.4; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 11.9; Points: 6;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

African elephants, Namibia, African elephant behavior, Research, Scientists, Caitlin O'Connell (1965- ),

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