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The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals

The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Kingdon
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Travellers and students of wildlife should take notice--this volume sets the standard for the field. . . . A childhood in British East Africa and more than 25 years of producing atlases of the mammals have equipped Kingdon with a possibly unrivaled knowledge of his subjects, and this yields unusual and thought-provoking insights. . . . As an artist and sculptor who works in abstract, impressionistic and illustrative styles, Kingdon brings an immediacy to his drawings that escapes all other field guides. . . . The 1150 or so mammals that earn a place in his book are not just represented by the usual police-style profiles, but also by pictures of gripping emotion and playful naughtiness--usually several, sometimes many, for each species. . . . Buy this book for yourself and for anyone else who likes nature just to know that you possess several thousand of Kingdon's wonderful drawings. . . . This is quite simply a superb and authoritative work by an author of unsurpassed credentials and talent for his task. Everybody will delight in it. -- Mark Pagel, Nature

For anyone planning an African safari, this guide should be as essential as binoculars. -- David Tomlinson, New Scientist

All naturalists resident in or visiting the continent should have a copy. It is much more than a field guide. -- Jeremy J D Greenwood, Habitat

A good field guide, whatever its subject, is a delight to have on one's bookshelf, and this one is a topper. One main, magnificent first for this guide is that it covers all known mammals of Africa, not just the large ones. This is an exquisite book to have, even if you have no intention to ever visit Africa (but then you are likely to change your mind after this Kingdon experience). -- Hans Kruuk, Mammal News

Since the appearance of his seven-volume encyclopaedia of East African mammals in the 1970's, Kingdon has become a figure of high distinction in conservationist circles. His extraordinary talents as a writer and painter have been dedicated to astonishingly beautiful and detailed records of African fauna and the ecosystems that sustain them. This makes his new field guide rather more than a handbook. . . . The richness of information is exemplary. The illustrations would make a big cat purr. . . . . It is one of Kingdon's strengths, both as a naturalist and as an artist, that he is interested in how animals look and feel to each other. . . . His drawings and paintings stress the elegant functionality of body geometry, the way animals use facial and body patterns for visual signalling. -- John Ryle, Guardian

This is a handy, nicely prepared pocket field guide covering every species of terrestrial African mammal and is the essential reference work to be carried along by anyone traveling in Africa. -- ert E. Hoopes," Wildlife Activist

Product Description

This ebook is the complete guide to the mammal fauna of Africa. Optimised for iPad, this guide will enable identification of all 460 land mammals likely to be seen anywhere in Africa.
Detailed accounts, with colour illustrations, are provided for most species, but some complex small mammal groups are summarized by genera. The colour illustrations show both sexes in sexually dimorphic species, and there are also a wealth of line drawings illustrating typical behaviours, the function of camouflaged or disruptive markings and the details of interspecific variation among closely allied species. Fully zoomable distribution maps show the ranges of most species covered.
Heading to any part of Africa? Don’t leave home without this indispensable guide.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 12569 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: A&C Black; New Ed edition (31 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AYY2RP8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About the Best Currently, but Could Be Improved 15 Sep 2004
First let me say that in general I find this book excellent, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the mammalian fauna of Africa.
It is very comprehensive, covering every single species of African mammals with the exception of bats, rodents, insectivores, elephant-shrews and hyrraxes, which are usually represented by one species for each genus. But every single genus is represented, and of rodents, every species of squirrel is dealt with separately.
The information accompanying each species is very detailed and appears up to date.

Now for the shortcomings:
1) The illustrations are next to the description of each species. Given how detailed/long the texts are, this means that usually there are just 1 or 2 species shown on each page, so to compare all antelopes you must look through a hundred pages or so - not very practical in a field guide!
2) Maps are often pages away from the text and illustration, with no reference to their whereabouts. I often thought there was no map for a species/genus, only to find it pages away, combined with the map for another taxon.
3) While illustrations are identified by the species' English name, the maps are confusingly id'ed by Latin names only. If you aren't familiar with the latter, it takes some cross-reference to find out which species' range you are looking at.
4) The illustrations vary so much in standard that it is hard to believe they were drawn by one person... While most are quite good, even excellent and life-like, others are quite awful, either showing animals with stiff, straight limbs/bodies as if drawn with a ruler (like the Crowned Monkey) or in highly unnatural positions (like the Potto with the limbs twisted out, or the Cheetah standing up like a circus horse).
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Book for African Animal lovers. 28 Sep 1998
By A Customer
This is a dream book for those interested in African mammals. First of all, it does not concentrate on "popular" species, such are lions and cheetahs, but talks about all species and important sub-species. The layout of the book is like this: first the author talks about a certain class of mammals, ex. Carnivores, and talks about the things characteristic to that class; then he goes down to family, e.g. canids, and talks about aspects characteristic to that family, and finally, the species themselves, and talks about their individual characteristics, distribution, size, and status. And it goes like that until every species, family and class of African mammal is mentioned. There are no pictures in the book, but color illustrations of all the species mentioned. The illustations are high-class, so much you can easily imagine what the animal looks like in real life. And now, a few bad points. As a bonus, he adds the names of animals in French, German, and a few African languages. Unfortunately, this is inconsistent throughout the book. I understand for the African languages, but French and German translations should have been given for each species. Also, he doesn't mention the mammals of Madagascar, even though Madagascar is part of Africa. And another thing, which would have been nice: with eponymized species (e.g. Ruppell's fox, Wolf's monkey) he should have mentioned who those species were named for. Nevertheless, I still give this book the highest score, for being complete, at least for continental Africa.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Safari Companion? 11 May 2004
Covering 460 mammal species in a single compact volume is no easy task. Neither is providing detailed, quality colour pictures of each animal, along with details of identification, ecology, distribution, evolutionary relationships and conservation status. In this excellent field guide, Kingdon achieves all this and more.
As a visitor to Africa, I found this guide irreplaceable when identifying the mammals that I encountered, especially small species such a bush squirrels, mongooses etc. Such animals are often overlooked by similar texts.
The only criticism I can find with this book is I often found the distribution maps to be too small to accurately identify the area I was visiting. In addition, several complex groups of small mammals, e.g. bats and shrews, are referred to by genus only.
It must be realised, however, that field guides have to be compact if they are to be practical. Rectifying the above criticisms would result in a text much too large to be any use in the African bush.
In summary I would recommend Kingdon's field guide to any wildlife enthusiast visiting Africa, or with an interest in this beautiful and fascinating continent. The author's illustrations alone make this text a worthy addition to any naturalists' bookcase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best safari guide 20 May 2008
Currently the best field guide to take on safari. I found most of the illustrations excellent, although some of the descriptions were rather light. Conversely, there is much information that does not really belong in a field guide - e.g. discussion of the evolutionary relationships of the various species.

Another gap not mentioned by other reviewers is that there are no aquatic mammals, including manatees as well as dolphins.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference book 22 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this to accompany me on a safari to South Africa and found it invaluable as a reference guide.
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