Have you seen the newest book in the Scientists in the Field Series, Wild Horse Scientists by Kay Frydenborg? Concentrating on research by two scientists, ethologist Dr. Ron Keiper and wildlife reproductive physiologist Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, the book reveals the challenges and the successes of studying wild horses.
Right away, I should make it very clear for my regular readers: this is not a picture book! It would probably be best from mature readers, ages 12 and up. The books contains large, full color photographs of dead, decaying horses, and a discussion of a birth control program developed for horses. That said, for older readers interested in science, and particularly horses, this book is a must have.
If your idea of wild horses has been shaped by the beloved book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, you will be surprised to learn the wild horses actually live on Assateague Island, which lies in part in both Maryland and Virginia.
It turns out that wild horses have no predators in the areas where they live, and they can produce a lot of offspring. Over time the herds become too large for the amount of food they have available, and they begin to starve and to negatively impact other wildlife. In the past, portions of the herds have been captured and offered out for adoption. Looking for a better solution, the agencies in charge of managing the wild horses asked scientists to find ways to keep the wild horse numbers to more ecologically sound levels.
Did the scientists succeed? Pick up this fascinating book to find out. You will be sure to learn a lot about science and horses along the way.
Our sister blog, Growing with Science has related horse science activities.
Wild Horse Scientists by Kay Frydenborg
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (November 6, 2012)
Book provided by publisher for review purposes. Cover courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.