When Fish Got Feet, Sharks got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm

3 WFGF cover(CONFUSION ALERT: The title of the three-in-one version of my When trilogy, When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big and When Dinos Dawned, includes the titles of all three individual books; as a result, if you type “When Fish Got Feet” into an on-line search, you will find both the stand-alone volume and the more recent three-in-one book. If what you want is the three-in-one, look for the yellow National Geographic border.)

Life before the dinosaurs doesn’t normally get much coverage, which isn’t really fair since the planet was already a happening place long before dinosaurs appeared on the scene. The solution? When Fish Got Feet, which tells the story of the our planet and the plants and animals that lived on it WAY before the dinosaurs – about 440 to 360 million years ago to be exact, during the Silurian and Devonian periods.

At the beginning of the book, the oceans are teeming with life, including big sea scorpions and crazy-looking jawless fish, but dry land is almost completely empty. We follow the evolution of plants as they gradually make the planet green and fertile (and cooler, because they soak up lots of CO2). Many invertebrates come onto land as well, and we also see how fish with jaws evolve and one group in particular develops legs and crawls out of the water to join the fun. These were the first tetrapods, or four-legged animals.

3 WFGF cartoon

Praise for When Fish Got Feet, Sharks got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm:

“This exemplary science book will serve report writers well and captivate casual readers.” –School Library Journal (starred review)

“Bonner serves up a second heaping course of science that will both stick to the ribs and tickle them.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The science is first-rate… Equally effective are the multilayered cartoonlike illustrations containing cultural references for both adults and children. Most of the illustrations are not just funny but truly scientific, demonstrating the power of illustration to help make scientific ideas clearer through clever visual metaphors.” —Hornbook

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Book details:
National Geographic Children’s Books
Ages 7 & up
October 2007 48p.
Hardcover ISBN 9781426300783
Paperback ISBN: 97814263054673