From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-Walker traces the scientific detective work that led to identification of this species, long thought to be extinct, then describes the subsequent investigations of its physiology, habits, and habitat. In words and photos, she introduces the scientists and fishermen involved in the search as well as the rare specimens, which have not survived in captivity and were so difficult to preserve until mid-century. The author mentions the international politics involved in the ownership of the fish as well as misinterpretations of scientific data. As the text moves through the 20th century to recent discoveries in 2001, the photos change from black-and-white shots to color photos enhanced by modern underwater technology. The author ends by cataloging the questions still to be answered. An outstanding history of scientific inquiry, this title will appeal to future oceanographers and excite them with the news that there is still important research to be done.Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-8. Walker tells the story of the coelacanth, an ancient fish with a distinctive tail, four stubby bottom fins, and spines on its scales. Known from its fossil remains, this type of fish was thought to be extinct until a scientist discovered one in a South African fisherman's catch in 1938. The hunt was on, and since that time other coelacanths have been found in a few other parts of the world and observed in their habitats deep below the surface of the ocean. Walker writes well, making this relatively unknown area of science history an exciting story of exploration and discovery. Excellent, full-color photos illustrate the text. A behind-the-scenes look at the scientists intently engaged in the study of biology. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved