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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, but capable of improvement, 21 Aug 2002
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I. Viehoff "iviehoff" (Chalfont St Giles, England) - See all my reviews
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Whilst I am very pleased to have this book, I do not wish to give unqualified praise. I think the coverage is unfortunately scanty in some areas, and often says nothing about familiar species.
This is a beautiful book with a lot of lovely pictures and information, and not over-populist in its content. However given the number of mammalian species, there is a limit to what you can cover in 1000 pages, and I think the balance is sometimes unfortunate. It is sometimes said that this encyclopaedia covers all mammalian species, however a great many are found only in a list of names. Entire families are given this treatment. Many other species are covered only with an uninformative three-line one-column entry. The coverage of bats is particularly weak, which is disappointing given that such a large proportion of mammalian species are bats. I have a slimmer encyclopaedia covering all vertebrate animals, which has at least a drawing of and a paragraph describing at least one representative of every mammalian family.
Just because an animal is familiar doesn't mean you will find any information on it. I give two examples. 1. A recent BBC programme on African wild-life spent some time showing Simien Foxes hunting African Mole Rats, a common and unusually large rodent much used as a human food source. It is related to the Bamboo Rat eaten in SE Asia. If you look up the African Mole Rat in the index, you will be referred to the section on Mole-Rats, which is an entirely different group of rodents. When you eventually find it many pages away, there is only a misleading and brief mention. 2. If, like many tourists, you travel to the high Andes of Peru or Bolivia, you will probably see Mountain Viscachas, and very little else. They are much photographed, featured in TV programmes, etc. But you will find no information on this animal beyond its name. However a drawing of the rarely-seen Plains Viscacha is provided.
The taxonomic list of all mammals would be much improved if it had page cross-references to the main section of the book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly comprehensive., 28 Feb 2002
By 
ACT1 (Australia) - See all my reviews
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Far more detailed than any other mammalian encyclopaedia that I have come across. It includes many excellent pictures and illustrations, as well as a very usefull size comparison of each animal next to a man.
Information about the state of species populations is given, as is the state of endangerment.
Case study-like articles, about 2 pages in length, provide interesting facts about many of the mammals in the book.
The only caveat, however, is that it did not include humans in the book. We are the only living mammals left out of the book, but should deserve as much as the other great apes for that is what we are.
However, an excellent purchase, and something that I will spend countless hours reading and learning.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive, easy to read and gorgeous book, 9 Dec 2001
By A Customer
The new encyclopedia of mammals is a pleasant and surprising mix of photographs, illustrations and text that consisely but comprehensively describes every mammal known to man today. The layout is easy to navigate considering the amount of information within the pages and the mix of scientific and layman's information is refreshing as was a diagramatic comparison of physical size rather than just a given measurement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wondeful, 20 Aug 2012
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A very high quality, well produced reference book.
A very detailed description of all the Mammals with superb photographs.
I was delighted with such a great present when it was given to me.
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The Encyclopedia of Mammals
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