© 1990 Sir David Attenborough
Following up on last week's The Private Life of Plants, I enjoyed another of Attenborough's books documenting the extraordinary natural world: this with a focus on the lives of animals, with chapters devoted to various elements of animals' lives. After two initial chapters on birth and childhood, the book covers navigation, courtship, feeding, hunting, and home-making among others, not to mention separate chapters exploring the way animals interact with one enough. All sorts of beasts have their time in this book, from the smallest ants to mighty elephants. I learned that there is a caterpillar that appears to be a viper, why termite skyscrapers are neatly oriented along with the poles, that they are often home to a host of other animals besides termites, and that antlers are only temporary. Like The Private Life of Plants, Trials of Life is replete with astonishing pictures. This is an easy recommendation.