The work for this book began with a course I created and taught called Animal Behavior. I always knew that there was a strong magnetic bond between people and animals, but it wasn't until I began working on my curriculum that I truly found out how strong this bond really was. Millions of people, young and old, will visit zoos and aquariums each year. People stand in front of the animals, hypnotized by the every movement of the animal. People seemed to be looking not just at the animal, but almost as if they were looking inside these animals, wondering and questioning about the lives of some of our most distant animal relatives. In my classroom, I found the exact same kinds of responses. The discussions and questions of my students motivated me to share with you the lives and abilities of some of the most amazing living creatures in the world.
People realize that humans are also animals, but the belief that we have superior intelligence and problem solving abilities makes us think we are far superior to all of the rest of our Animal World. As I began to learn more and lead my student discussions, I soon realized that maybe our intelligence was the only thing that we really did have in our superiority over the rest of our animal relatives. I began to look into the idea of comparing humans to animals in a wide variety of behaviors and activities, and soon a brand new window into the REAL world of animals began to open up. I soon realized that even the most "insignificant" animals in our world were really superstars when compared to humans.
By using math, we are able to truly get a comparison of animals and how they relate to our own human abilities. As I began to create the problems and "do-the-math", it became very evident, that I began to get the responses that I had hoped for. I soon began to call these responses, the "Wow factor". A number of times, the teachers that have worked on the problems would actually go back and do the problems a second time because "there has to be a mistake" or "no way that this can be true". There were no mistakes and the math did not lie. The math allowed us to look at the animals in a totally different way. I hope that you too will be amazed and "wowed" by some of these amazing animals that we share our world with.