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The Best Guide for Field Use in Africa!
on 5 August 2006
This compact little guide is a condensed version of "The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals" (ISBN: 0713665130) by the same author. That book is easily the best overview of African mammals, with detailed info on each species/genus, but it is not really practical for use as a field guide (see my review of it).
This book contains the same illustrations arranged in a format that makes them handier for actual identification in the field.
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.
Maps and brief info on distribution and ecology of each taxon is now to be found on the pages facing the illustrutions.
The latter are a mixed bag, as in the original work: 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).
All things considered, this is easily the best field guide to mammals of Africa, though for more in-depth information on each taxon, you may still want to have the original book in addition to this one.