Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for scuba divers in the UK
Whilst I may not be able to substantiate the biological accuracy of this book I found it hugely enjoyable to use.
I dive frequently in the waters around the UK, this book has shown me much of the wealth and diversity of our local sealife. Many people imagine that our compared to the great barrier reef there is relativly nothing to see.
The format was clear and...
Published on 2 Feb 2002 by M. Lumsden

versus
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A surprising number of errors and misleading information
Its pretty cover will undoubtedly sell it to the unsuspecting public, and at first sight it appears to be just what divers need - a photographic identification guide, with an easy to follow layout, species photos, notes, key identification features and distribution maps. Unfortunately, this book doesn't live up to its promise, and the more you examine it the less...
Published on 18 Oct 2001 by Amazon Customer


Most Helpful First | Newest First

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A surprising number of errors and misleading information, 18 Oct 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (Bangor, North Wales) - See all my reviews
Its pretty cover will undoubtedly sell it to the unsuspecting public, and at first sight it appears to be just what divers need - a photographic identification guide, with an easy to follow layout, species photos, notes, key identification features and distribution maps. Unfortunately, this book doesn't live up to its promise, and the more you examine it the less trustworthy it proves.
After only a quick flick through the pictures we found at least a dozen glaring errors where the photos used to illustrate easily recognised species were of a completely different species (examples: the football seasquirt Diazona violacea, sponge Raspailia hispida, sea gooseberry Pleurobrachia pileus, sea cucumber Neopentadactyla mixta and seaweed Scytosiphon lomentaria) and there was even one image used more than once to illustrate different species! A more detailed look at the guide, including testing it during a marine taxanomic workshop involving experts from all over the UK and Ireland, revealed many more errors. Many of the distribution maps are inaccurate, and for a book that claims to cover the area from the Bay of Biscay to Norway, it has a distinctly southern bias. Many common and easily identified northern British species are missing, even the lumpsucker. Yet they include the southern seaslug Hypselodoris messinensis, which doesn't occur in Britain as far as we know. And have the authors got something against Wales - what about the seafans and many other southern and western species which occur in Pembrokeshire?
The authors have used a mixture of new and out-of-date scientific names, and many common names have been omitted - why they didnt stick to 'industry standards' set in the Marine Conservation Society's Species Directory? While many of the photos are good, others are too poor for identification purposes (notably many of the seaweeds), and many (dead?) specimens are photographed against a sandy background, giving the wrong impression of their natural habitat.
Amateur naturalists and students studying marine biology cannot put their trust in this guide as it is. Will Oxford University Press withdraw this edition from the shelves until a second and substantially more trustworthy edition is produced? - I doubt it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nice layout, but poor identification accuracy, 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I have identified and recorded marine molluscs for 20+ years, mainly as an amateur, so I was pleased to see a new photo marine ID book. The layout is good; but that is the only positive aspect of the book. I list points concerning the mollusc section.
1. The book says species are mostly illustrated in their natural habitat - at least 15 species are in the wrong habitat eg p. 279 Lasaea 'rubra', and others are misleading.
2. The nomenclature is out of date - the Species Directory (published 1997 by Ulster Museum/Marine Conservation Society) is the accepted version by most professionals.
3. Some of the distribution maps are wrong eg p.237 Osilinus lineatus (which is a widely known species).
4.The drawings are cursory and add little eg p. 237 Gibbula umbilicalis.
5. The text is inaccurate in places eg under Barleeia unifasciata - Assiminea grayana occurs in Ireland; under Hydrobia ulvae - ventrosa and neglecta CANNOT be separated by shell characters
6. The quality of the photos is very poor in places eg p. 243 Rissoa parva
7. The worst aspect of the book is the high level of inaccuracy in the identifications. 18 of the mollusc photos are incorrectly identified (nearly 15%) eg. all photos on pages 249 and 267 are wrong! Experts in other groups have also found inaccuracies of identification.
This book is supposed be a identification guide. It is therefore unacceptable, and a considerable disappointment, to have such a high level of inaccuracy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for scuba divers in the UK, 2 Feb 2002
By 
M. Lumsden "Rebreathergirl" (Cheltenham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
Whilst I may not be able to substantiate the biological accuracy of this book I found it hugely enjoyable to use.
I dive frequently in the waters around the UK, this book has shown me much of the wealth and diversity of our local sealife. Many people imagine that our compared to the great barrier reef there is relativly nothing to see.
The format was clear and easy to use. Photatgraphs were wonderful, too many times have I had identification books with little line drawing that were just dull to look at.
In my opinion this book may be lacking in some areas but for a non biologist it provides a great entry into the underwater world of life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy identification,good for amateurs like me., 26 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
I am interested in sea and shore life but I need a book which is easy to use, one that I can understand and which actually does help me identify what I see. We keep a copy on our boat and thanks to the photographs I have "discovered" new jellyfish and crabs.This book made me want to learn more about the wealth under our keel and on the shore when we reach harbour. Congratulations to the trio responsible for this quality guide.
Mary Reed
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic but well written and Illustrated, 4 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
A beautifully illustrated book with many of the common intertidal and sublittoral species represented. This book gives a little information about the biology and distributions of covered organisms. However identification mainly relies on photographs, without the use of keys. A good book for anyone interested in the organisms of the seashore, but for detailed and certain identification the keen biologist may require a more in depth approach.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is generally very useful. Images are excellent., 16 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
In general I find the book sufficiently useful to carry it on the seashore to remind me of the names that I have forgotten over the course of my career in marine science. I can see some problems with the occasional identification but there are considerably more that are right than those that are wrong. For the non-professional its an excellent guide. For the marine biologist who needs to identify everything accurately there are professional taxonomic works: Let's not confuse the two... We need public enthisiasm to conserve UK marine life. The illustrations and layout of this book will generate that enthusiasm.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 20 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
I brought this book this past weekend whilst on a diving trip to Portland in Dorset, it really turned my trip around. I was able to identify the creatures I saw on my dives and learn a few basics about them
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in marine creatures around the UK and Northern Europe. It has great section listings and is very easy to use. Well worth the money
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent identification guide, not just the common stuff, 28 Jun 2001
By 
J. Hudson "jon" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
This book contains good quality photos of a large number of the marine species that may be found around our coasts. It is an ideal identification guide for divers, snorkellers and naturalists.The book focuses on indentification and gives only a brief description of the habits and ecology of each species. Listed in the book are many of the species that are typically seen whilst diving U.K. waters. All in all it is a very useful guide.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone interested in seashore life., 28 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This book is totally different from any other nature guide I have ever used. It is beautifully presented, the photographs are superb, the line drawings clear and the text easy to read. The book is an ideal size for taking onto the beach and the plastic cover protects it from the elements. It also feels just right!! I think this book is a must for anyone interested in seashore life. Excellent value for money too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Photographic Guide to Sea & Shore Life, 12 July 2009
By 
bogdilly (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history) (Paperback)
For me, this book is a definite improvement on my other two guides to the seashore. At 8.5" x 5.5" it's still small enough to fit a large pocket, and the extra size means the images can be bigger, and hence more helpful when you're trying to identify something. Even with it, identification of seaweeds is still very hard (as illustrated perhaps by the book showing the same picture for 'Gelidium pusillum' as for 'Rhodomela confervoides' but probably that's a different kind of mistake!) The large pictures, feel of the layout and style of writing all make this book a pleasure to study.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Photographic Guide to Sea and Shore Life of Britain and North-west Europe (Oxford natural history)
Used & New from: £49.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews