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2010 Nominee
Voted 20 out of 20

Super Crocs and Monster Wings

By Claire Eamer. Published in 2008 by Annick

The surprising prehistoric origins of six common animals.

It’s hard to imagine, but about 99% of all the species that ever lived are already extinct. Some died off suddenly during global catastrophes, while others gradually disappeared as the world evolved. But some animals didn’t vanish altogether, and their distant relatives live among us today.

What were these ancient animals like? In a word, surprising. Ground-dwelling sloths were so tall they could nibble the leaves in treetops. Rabbit-sized camels scampered through the underbrush. Giant dragonflies the size of hawks were masters of the skies, swooping down on flies as big as chickadees.

These six modern animals are compared to their ancient ancestors:

Why did these fabulous creatures change? What did their world look like? How do scientists make the connection to each one’s extraordinary past?

Author Claire Eamer distills millions of years of global history on the astonishing evolution of six modern-day animals. At the same time, readers are treated to a visual feast of artists’ renderings of the ancients, together with images of their modern-day counterparts.

Claire Eamer is an editor, short-story writer, and author of non-fiction who has also worked in radio. This is her first book for young readers. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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