Bionic Beasts: Saving Animal Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks
Bionic Beasts: Saving Animal Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks
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Annotation: Using innovative designs and technology such as 3-D printing, humans are helping animals in need. Discover the amazing true stories of five animals that have survived thanks to their prosthetic body parts.
Genre: Biology
Catalog Number: #218161
Format: Library Binding
No other formats available
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 48 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-541-58940-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-58940-7
Dewey: 636.089
LCCN: 2019050146
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Animal-rescue stories are always popular; this book enhances the topic by delving into how prosthetics dramatically improved the lives of five animals. The gravely injured subjects -- a Kemp's ridley sea turtle, an Asian elephant, a German shepherd, a goose, and a pig -- were rehabilitated thanks to the compassion, perseverance, and collaboration of teams of rescuers and researchers. Each affecting story includes captioned photos of the animal subjects and their human caregivers. A related activity follows each story, helping readers better understand animal body mechanics and scientists' creative problem-solving methods. A glossary, selected bibliography, related organizations, and index are appended.
Kirkus Reviews
Gutiérrez profiles five “bionic beasts,” animals whose prosthetic body parts help them to function.Matter-of-factly, she introduces three animals that each have only three legs: Lola, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle from Texas; Mosha, an Asian elephant from Myanmar; and Cassidy, a German shepherd from New York. Pirate, a Berkshire-Tamworth pig from Vancouver Island, has a deformed leg; Vitória, a greylag goose from Brazil, lacks a beak. The animals struggled to move or eat until veterinarians, designers, and doctors teamed up to create innovative prostheses and orthoses. The prostheses’ complex design processes are clearly described. Sidebars provide animal facts and highlight various rescue organizations; the book’s bright yellow and green color scheme complements the accompanying color photos. Though technology is the primary focus, the author acknowledges political and environmental issues in the animals’ habitats, such as ongoing civil wars in Myanmar and oceans cluttered with plastic waste. Activities follow each profile. Some attempt to mimic the teams’ challenges by constructing mock prostheses from household items and exploring strengths and weaknesses of various designs. Others edge problematically into disability simulation, such as imitating Pirate’s walk “to understand how Pirate feels” without his orthosis; though well-meaning, the exercise risks encouraging pity for similarly disabled humans and feels incongruous with other, inclusive instructions: “if you are able”; “or observe a friend.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-16-inch double-page spreads viewed at 69.1% of actual size.)Scientifically inclined readers will enjoy this in-depth application of STEM to disabled animals. (glossary, notes, bibliography, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 48 This title discusses animals that have been injured and given prostheses to improve their lives. Gutiérrez highlights five different animals, educates readers on each particular species, and explains how they became injured. The narratives also detail how the prostheses were made for each animal, as making a flipper for an injured turtle is a different process than constructing a foreleg for an elephant. Readers interested in biomedical technology will appreciate the instructions for building small-scale prosthetic models using household items. VERDICT Examining environmentalism, animal rescue, and technological possibility, this science-filled book for upper-elementary to middle school readers entertains in many forms. Sara Jurek, Children's English Lib., Stuttgart, Germany
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Horn Book (8/1/20)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 42-44) and index.
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X

What happens when a young elephant steps on a buried land mine? What happens when a sea turtle's flipper is injured by a predator? Thanks to recent advances in technology, we have new ways to design and build prosthetic body parts that can help these animals thrive. Meet an Asian elephant named Mosha, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle named Lola, a German Shepherd named Cassidy, a greylag goose named Vitória, and Pirate, a Berkshire-Tamworth pig. Each of these animals was struggling, but through a variety of techniques and technologies, humans created devices that enabled the animals to live and move more comfortably. Discover the stories of how veterinarians, doctors, and even students from around the world used 3D printing and other techniques to build bionic body parts for these amazing animals.

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