Cover image for Animals eat the weirdest things
Animals eat the weirdest things
Swanson, Diane, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Holt, [1998]

Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 21 x 24 cm
Describes what different animals ingest and why.
General Note:
Includes index.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.6 3.0 43151.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL756.5 .S8 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Some of the most intriguing elements of survival in the animal kingdom are the unusual--and occasionally downright bizarre--eating habits that animals have developed. One animal's leftovers or excretions may be a great source of nutrition for another. For instance, porcupines feed on deer antlers to obtain calcium; Dungeness crabs will often eat their own offspring to replenish essential proteins; vampire bats must lap up half their body weight in blood each night in order to stay healthy. Mammals, birds, and insects have adapted to their environments by eating some very surprising foods--all the while making excellent use of what nature has to offer.

Filled with intriguing facts, this innovative picture book explores animal diet and cuisine with just the right mix of intelligence and humor.

Author Notes

Diane Swanson is the award-winning author of many nature books for children, including Safari Beneath the Sea , for which she received NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Terry Smith has created artwork for various environmental and wildlife organizations. This is the first book she has illustrated for young readers. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. Given such chapter titles as "Ooze, Vomit and Dung," kids might not want to read this on a full stomach. That aside, however, this solid blend of fascinating information and clear scientific explanation will be a fine purchase. Swanson's well-organized, smoothly flowing text covers the eating habits of animals--from scavenging carrion and cannibalism to sucking blood and chewing wood. Brightly colored paintings showing the creatures munching add interest without the overdose of grossness photographs would have brought. Sidebars and boxed information appear on most pages, providing extra appeal to reluctant readers who might not want to tackle large expanses of text. A great choice for booktalks in school, as long as the presentation isn't scheduled right after lunch. --Susan Dove Lempke

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-There's enough unappetizing fare here to satisfy any young reader's taste for the gruesome and grotesque. Bizarre eating habits and diets of the animal world-from the microscopic to the gargantuan-are presented with great gusto and epicurean detail. With humor and panache, the author has organized chapters into special menus-cast-off body parts, excrement, flesh, cannibalistic, and, on a much tamer note, manmade objects. Color illustrations and highlighted informational boxes provide additional tasty tidbits. The readable, entertaining, and informative text is in a very digestible format. The nutritive value of these exotic cuisines and the importance of nature's garbage collectors and various symbiotic relationships are also stressed. Definitely not for those preferring a meat-and-potatoes diet.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.