The issue of rarity in nature is an interesting one, as there are many reasons species are rare, some of them obscure. You can be rare because you are a big cat and require a vast territory of small animals to hunt, all to yourself. You can be rare because you're stuck on an island alone, genetically isolated from your cousins on the mainland; you're rare because you're overhunted; you can be rare for no obvious reason. In the Wall Street Journal last week I looked at a new book by Eric Dinerstein, the chief scientist for the World Wildlife Federation, who's spent many years thinking about rarity and identifying the rarest and -- the hard part -- attempting to predict which rare species will become ultra-rare, like this maned wolf of Brazil, whose savannahs are being quickly converted to soy fields. I am wondering whether the photo used with the review, below, depicts a live animal or some particularly well maintained taxidermic specimen posed in a museum diorama. If it's the latter I doubt it was intentional, but I like the irony of it.