The Encyclopedia of Mammals Hardcover – 12 Oct 2006
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A proven success and a fascinating read...The Encyclopedia of Mammals certainly gives you excellent value for money. Painstakingly compiled, the encyclopedia is packed with fascinating information. The photography and illustrations are also very impressive...I cannot recommend it highly enough. (James Beattie, Outdoor Photography )
About the Author
David Macdonald has produced a wide range of books and wildlife films on mammals, both academic and trade. First known for his work on foxes, he has moved on to work on badgers, meerkats, buffalo, wild dogs, wolves.... He and his films have been shown on television and some of his books sold in tens of thousands. First among his book sales was the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Mammals, first published in 1983 which sold around 16,000 copies in the UK, 100,000 in the US, and
50,000 copies in other languages and was most recently reprinted (for the US) in 1995. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It was used as a textbook for my college mammalogy class, and it served the purpose better than any standard text. The authors and editor, top mammalogists, do a good (albeit slightly conservative) job of bringing together what is known about mammalogy and condensing it into one large volume. Each section summarizes one species or group of animals. Special spreads describe details such as the songs of the gibbons and the responses of voles to the scent of their predators. It was very engaging, and I highly recommend it even as a popular science reference.
Biology (BN 357/2)
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