|Search for Olinguito : discovering a new species (Sandra Markle's science discoveries)|
Author: Markle, Sandra
Learn about the olinguito, one of the most recently discovered mammal species, the discovery thereof, and the "cloud forests" in which they live.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 186920
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 6.30
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 70108
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/16)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2016 For many years, the olinguito, a tree-dwelling mammal in South American cloud forests, was mistaken for the olingo or kinkajou, but the work of Kristopher Helgen, a scientist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, revealed it to be a new species. Readers move through the stages of Helgen’s discovery, accompanying him as he travels to museums around the world, runs DNA tests, and leads a research expedition in Ecuador to see if the olinguito still exists (it does!). Markle is careful to show what a long process declaring a new species can be; it took Helgen 10 years. While a number of cute olinguito photos appear throughout the book, the focus remains on the process of determining and proving whether a species exists. As a result, the illustrations also pull in the skulls, pelts, and taxidermied specimens that Helgen examines during his research. This unique approach to animal study gives readers insight into a less commonly discussed area of scientific research, while simultaneously illuminating an elusive, “new” animal. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 3–6—"Nothing new under the sun," goes the old saying, but apparently there is. Consider the first "new" carnivore spotted in the Americas in 35 years—the olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina), a small furry member of the raccoon family, hiding in plain sight (though nocturnal in nature) in the Ecuadorian rain forest. Markle, impressed by the announcement of the new species in 2013, set off on her own expedition of research, contacting Kristofer Helgen and assistants Roland Kays and Miguel Pinto to document the discovery. Her lucid, brief text records the 10-plus years from Helgen's first observation of a discrepancy in a preserved specimen at the Chicago Field Museum to the big reveal at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, in 2013. With color photos, maps, a raccoon "family album," and some tips on scientific investigation, this is a fascinating glimpse into the long process in the lab and in the field to document the search for actual proof of a new species. VERDICT This quick but wondrous look at the scientific search for the olinguito is an excellent addition to science collections.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.