Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill – Heather L. Montgomery

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roadkill

Bloomsbury

November 2018

ISBN 9781681199009
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

 

RRP: $22.99

Yep, you did read that title correctly! It’s not for the ‘squeamish or faint-hearted) but it is completely and utterly engrossing (haha grossing!) and often rather humorous. Wildlife researcher Montgomery passes a tyre-treaded rattlesnake as she is jogging one day and on the impulse of all good scientists – why?-  goes back to pick it up so that she can investigate the mystery of how rattlers can retract their fangs without biting themselves.

After dissecting that first snake and satisfying some of her curiosity about these remarkable animals and, indeed, finding out more than she had ever known, Montgomery sets off on a ‘roadkill’ journey. She met with researchers and collectors, she helped with dissections and examinations, she found out there is a wide, wide world of biologists who are just as interested in dead animals as live ones.

These are the folks who are helping save animals from diseases and impacts from introduced species and human activity.  There is the scientist who identified a new species of bird just from one wing, a boy who rebuilds animals from the bones up, the researchers trying to find a cure for the cancer that is threatening the Tasmanian Devils and more.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste but I’m pretty sure that will only apply to adults. I think there will be many readers both boys and girls who will not only appreciate the science of it but the gruesome-ness and the irreverence.

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