Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Life

The Kingfisher Encyclopedia of Life: Minutes, Months, Millennia- How Long is a Life on Earth?
Written by Graham L. Banes
Illustrated by Andy Crisp
Kingfisher, c2012.  160 pages. Non-fiction.

This new encyclopedia is a spectacular addition to the science section! Its contents feature information about creatures' life cycles and life spans, whether they are microscopic or gigantic. The first section is Here Today... in which the specimens have very short lives, such as salmonella bacteria that live only 30 minutes. In A Life Well Lived, there is beautiful photography of animals from under the sea to the savannahs.  In Long-Distance Runners, there are creatures that live 50-75+ years, including humans. There is a fun shout out to the local crowd in the segment "Human Lifespans Today," which mentions that Mormons' "life spans tend to be eight years longer than those of other Americans." In Time is On My Side, the book takes a look at all of the world's elderly species. The world's oldest tree, a bristlecone pine (named Methuselah) is over 4800 years old! His exact location in the world is top-secret to protect him.  A fascinating conclusion delves into how species may live longer, and what scientists are doing to prolong lifespans on this earth.

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