Extreme Longevity: Discovering Earth's Oldest Organisms

104p. bibliog. chron. diag. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Twenty-First Century. Oct. 2018. lib. ed. $37.32. ISBN 9781512483727.
Gr 7 Up—A fascinating study of some of the longest-living organisms on the planet. Although many books cover the life of various plants and animals, this particular approach is thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. If we think of a standard human lifespan and then lengthen it by 20 years, most people would consider those centenarians to be truly old. Readers learn that there are many mammals, fish, reptiles and other smaller organisms that make our human lives seem like drops in an eternal bucket. Simply to imagine a bowhead whale's journey through icy Arctic waters, encountering whalers from the 1890s and then scientists from 2017, connects humans to our past as never before: human beings are merely one small component of time and Earth. The chapters are well written and succinct. Fascinating segments offer additional information, enhance the narrative, and will engross readers. Each chapter is a topic unto itself and offers scientific as well as anecdotal material.
VERDICT An excellent addition to middle school and high school library collections.

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