June 19, 1989 12:00 PM

>PARTNERS FOR LIFE A lively way to encourage budding scientists, this is a primer on symbiosis. “When a Nile crocodile opens its huge mouth and lets a bird walk right in to poke around for scraps of food, it’s not because the two animals are friends,” writes science author Margery Facklam. “It’s strictly business.” Facklam, aided by illustrator Pamela Johnson, shows intriguingly how such “business” works. (The croc gets its teeth cleaned in this case; the bird gets lunch.) Facklam doesn’t explore how human relationships reflect varieties of symbiosis, but then that’s another book. (Sierra Club, $13.95)

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