Bats are misunderstood creatures. A repository for our fears of the night and the subject of dark myths, they are in fact altruistic and wonderful parents and among the world's most ecologically valuable animals. 100 times more ancient than human beings, crocodiles and alligators are living reminders of the days of the dinosaurs. The haunting songs of whales have lured sailors for centuries; we now know that whales use rhyme to remember their songs. Penguins are the most anthropomorphic of animals. They walk upright, travel in groups, talk all the time; male penguins even give their girlfriends gifts of polished stones. Penguins, however, are creatures of instinct. But then, so are we.;The portraits in this book form a work about animals and humans and their relationship. Whether sitting astride an alligator in the swamps of Florida or swimming with whales in the icy waters off Patagonia, Diane Ackerman offers the reader a new perspective on the wonders of nature, and insights into ourselves.;The author also wrote "Extended Wings", "A Natural History of Senses" and "Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems".