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Animals Up Close: Zoom in on the World's Most Incredible Creatures Hardcover – 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405337311
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405337311
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.5 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,744,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By T. Jonker on April 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful photography meets high quality facts to create a nonfiction title that everyone should see. Although not the first to offer close-proximity images (Nic Bishop's work is a recent example), Animals Up Close does so with a variety of fauna, and at a level few can touch. From centipedes to sea urchins, hermit crabs to chameleons, students will be repulsed, amazed, and thoroughly transfixed by this book.

Animals Up Close first provides some context for the small creatures that are to be presented. Sections on how small animals view the world, how they are classified, and how they were photographed lay the groundwork for the meat of the book. What follows is essentially a role-call of a wide variety of animals including insects, mammals, birds, fish. Each animal gets its own two-page spread containing:

1. An entry describing the animal.

2. A graphic showing name, size, habitat, lifespan, and endangered status.

3. Specific information pointed out in a diagram style.

4. An insanely detailed photograph.

The amount of facts make Animals Up Close suitable for information-seeking students.

This book owes everything to its images. In his forward, Siwanowicz asserts that, "When you get up really close, many of these creatures look like aliens from another planet." That's no joke. The photos, especially those of lesser known insects, will challenge the way you look at the animal world. They also might leave readers pleasantly grossed-out. Siwanowicz captures his subjects with sharp clarity and often from unexpected angles. A belly-side shot of a Gecko clinging to glass shows how the lizard's feet are specially adapted for climbing.

Some creatures are more suited for this sort of inspection.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book with wonders. Forty-one animals receive each a two-page spread covering about 19 by 12 inches.

The photography shows the detailed form of the animal and the text discusses the function of many of the structures. Antennae can be used as feelers, or receptors for chemicals such as pheromones. "Mantises smell by flicking their antennae to capture airborne scent molecules on fine sensory hairs." Eyes vary in form, related to their necessary function.

I was aware that a variety of woodland wildflowers have "eliasomes", small attachments to seeds that attract insects which carry the seeds back to their nests, where they eat the eliasome and leave the actual seed to germinate there or nearby. The fantastic prickly phasmid, a stick insect that looks more like a clump of leaves, employs a similar genome-spreading technique. The female phasmid lays one egg a day and flicks it onto the gorund. Each egg has a small stalklike growth on it called a capitulum that attracts ants. The ants carry the egg to their nest, eat the capitulum, and leave the egg which hatches into a larva that looks like a small ant. After its first molt outside the nest, the phasmid becomes spiky and leafy in appearance.

The book shows a beautiful rose-colored hawk moth. The text notes: "Hawk moths have significantly larger eyes than other moth species. They are also the only creatures we know of that are able to see full color at night."

During pupation of the blowfly, the entire body of the maggot is liquified except for the "imaginal disks" (clusters of cells) that will construct the adult fly. The blowfly has a special organ on its head that intermittently pulsates like a balloon to help draw the fly out of its pupal case.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the way this book is laid out. It has that "Encarta Encyclopedia" feel to it. The photography is stunning, which was the reason I got the book in the first place, but it's also very engaging content, and I've enjoyed looking through it with my 9-year-old son.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been following Igor's photography for many years on DeviantArt. I love the amount of detail and care that goes into his photographs - I'm always astonished at how small each of his subjects actually are, since they all look like they size of trucks or monsters in his work.

When I saw that he had a book I scooped it up ASAP, and I have to say it's even better than I was expecting. The photos on each page are huge and wonderfully presented, and much to my surprise, my favorite photo of his (the Stag Beetle duel) gets its own two page spread in this book, with tons of facts artfully placed around the action. Many other interesting animals get similarly awesome two-page spreads.

There's no shortage of variety in this book, either. Insects, reptiles, fish, mammals, birds... many different families of critters get the attention they deserve.

Thanks for the great book, Igor!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incredible and detailed photography. Fantastic macro photography. This is a must gift for an family member or friend who
Loves wildlife and nature.
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