I am currently reading a book that came highly recommended. I have to say, I’m really enjoying it – except for one, teeny, tiny, niggling point… koala’s aren’t bears!
In the book the author makes a reference to “koala bears”. She did that many pages ago but I can’t let it go. So please excuse my little lecture.
I know they look like real-life teddy bears, but they are just called koalas. I’m not being pedantic. They aren’t called bears because they aren’t bears.
Bears are mammals. They give birth to live young who have developed in-utero receiving nutrients via a placenta.
Koalas are marsupials. They give birth to live young who haven’t received nutrients in-utero via a placenta. Instead the young are born much earlier than mammals (an earlier embryonic stage) and travel to a pouch where they attach themselves to a teat and remain there for weeks or months to complete their development.
Like I said, only a teeny point. But as an Australian reader it grated and pulled me from the story. Not helped by the fact I am also an environmental scientist, which is probably why I haven’t been able to let it go.
I guess it just shows that readers will notice any error that slips through edits.
Has an incorrect fact in a book ever distracted you from the story?