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Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife Hardcover – 15 Nov 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (15 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405320079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405320078
  • Product Dimensions: 30.4 x 26 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,034,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

DK's astonishingly wonderful Animal--produced in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution and more than 70 expert zoologists--profiles over 2,000 species, from the tiny spider mite to the massive blue whale. To call this book "profusely illustrated" is to seriously under-represent page after page of breathtaking photography capturing the thrumming life with sharp clarity. Even the page borders are covered with collages of animal skins to indicate which class of organisms is represented in that section--every inch of this heavy book is gorgeous.

Besides heft and beauty, Animal has authority. Editors-in-chief David Burnie and Don E. Wilson are top biologists, and they have assembled a crack team of consultants for each section of the book. For instance, Richard Rosenblatt of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography takes charge of the chapter on fish, so all the classification, behaviour and distribution data is up-to-date and full of the kind of detail that comes from years of professional specialisation. In addition to basic size, location and status information, each animal gets a short, one to two-paragraph description, enough to give a feel for the creature:

The blackfin icefish produces a natural "antifreeze", enabling it to survive in the subzero waters of the Antarctic. It lacks red blood cells and hence looks rather pale, but has excellent blood circulation, and a strong heart which weighs as much as that of a small mammal. Its large, toothy mouth led to it being called the crocodile fish by 19th-century whalers.
This book is an ideal browsing reference for all experience levels, as well as a delightful addition to the collection of any animal enthusiast or classroom. By necessity, not all species are covered, but as a general source of information down to the genus level, Animal excels. Though a little pricey, this book is extraordinarily beautiful, biologically accurate and packed with furry, feathery, finny, many-legged delights. It is one of the very best science books of 2001. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

It's a rash (or very assured) publisher who would describe any book as "The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife". No doubt one or two professionals may balk at the omission of certain species, but for the general reader (and it is to that individual that this sumptuous book is addressed) the inclusiveness will seem encyclopaedic. The arresting cover image of the eyes and nose of a baboon in extreme close-up typifies the unorthodox visual approach of many of the 5,000 breathtaking images. (There is a wonderful shot of a lynx appearing to wink at the viewer, also seen in extreme close-up.) David Burnie and his team took over four years to create this unique book, with research provided by 80 leading experts. Animal profiles over 2,000 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, while over 5,000 full-colour photographs vividly capture the drama and beauty of the animal kingdom. There are extensive features on habitats, anatomy, life-cycles, reproduction and social behaviour, while unique freeze-frame action sequences present key features of animal life. Some might argue that television has thoroughly colonised this kind of material, but a glance at the pages of this volume will quickly give the lie to such an idea. Expect this to figure in many Christmas book round-ups. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Once again, an exciting, interesting, and thouroughly enjoyable edition from DK. 'Animal' is possibly the best book to begin exploring the myriad of animal life that is gracing our known world.
This book is not just a colourful guide to the Animal Kingdom, indeed it is more an informative reference guide that involves us in each Species within. It informs us, via impressive Data boxes and stunning photography of the animals contained.
It classifies each animal group for easy, consise reading and explores habitats, Status, Occurences, and Statistics.
Excellent Reading, Excellent Viewing, and Excellent Reference.
Not to be missed!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. P. Roche on 25 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Animal" is extraordinarily good value for anyone interested in the natural world. In more than 600 superbly presented large format pages, several thousand species are beautifully illustrated and their key characteristics including distribution and conservation status described precisely and authoratively. There are introductory chapters providing a general overview of zoology including the tree of classification. The main part of the text is broken into large chapters on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, reptiles, fish and inverterbrates, covering almost every species most people will have heard of, and many others. Attention to the more obscure branches of nature is as meticulous as that given to the best-known species. "Animal" is a book for stimulating browsing and for reference, for many years to come.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
Animal is such a brilliant book! I have been totally absorbed reading it! It's true to say that this book is engrossing and you can really get carried away reading the descriptions and seeing the pictures of the different animals/species, some of which I was not even aware of!
This book reads extremely easily and can be understood by all... the information is facinating and informative while not too indepth as to make it boring. The pictures are fantastic too... I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you are at all interested in animals you'll love it!
This is an excellent book that is as entertaining as any documentary. I really love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ANDY AND LISA on 14 Mar. 2002
Format: Hardcover
A big heavy book, but the text within is anything but heavy. A wealth of information about animals, their habitats, feeding habits and phylogeny is presented in over 600 pages of fantastic photos, and in-depth but easy to read text. An essential book to animal enthuiasts, a very useful tool to students in zoology, biology and other animal related subjects.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss M F F Alman on 24 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a really good visual guide for all wildlife enthusiasts. The information is easy to understand and covers classification sytems, animal habitiats, behaviour, biology and loads more. The photos are excellent, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to find out more about wildlife.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
`Animal' is another outstanding book in DK's large `definitive guide' reference book series and as the name suggests this looks at the worlds wildlife. If you have seen any of the other books in the series you will know what to expect. This has stunning images throughout, clear, concise entries and is edited by leading authorities in their respective fields. This book starts off by classifying exactly what an animal is and explores aspects of animal life that relate to all species, things life behaviour, anatomy, life cycles and conservation. It then goes on to look at habitats animals live in before looking at the animals themselves. The chapter headings are Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish and Invertebrates and each chapter is further subdivided to be more specific and for ease of reference. Each animal entry has a stunning image, a map of where they are found, height, weight and other details relevant to that particular species (social unit for primates or plumage for birds for example), before a brief block of text explains about the animal in a little more detail. I am a huge fan of this DK series and this book lives up to the high standard the other books have set and I enjoy nothing more than sitting down for a few hours and browsing through this book. It is a large and weighty tome and would make a delightful coffee table book to flick though at odd moments, as well as being a great introduction to the worlds wildlife for inquisitive children (and adults!). Well worth a look and adding to your reference library.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I cannot but fully agree with every praise showered over "Animal". It is one of the best reference works I have ever seen. The text accompanying the excellent illustrations is compact and to the point. It makes great reading.
Nevertheless, I have to raise three small points:
1. Where are "Homo Sapiens Sapiens"? I didn't find him in the Apes Section where it belongs. Religious Reasons?
2. Why not include feeding and reproduction information (e.g. gestation period, number of young produced etc.) in the animals' "Identity Cards"? It is true that in many cases the text offers that information, but not always...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Roberts on 17 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
I got this book a while back, but I'll never regret it. If you want to research animals, have a casual glance through a good book, or you are just interested in that kind of thing, this is the book for you.
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