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A Field Guide to Indian Mammals Paperback – 2 Sep 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 Sep 2003
£102.17 £37.55
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books India (2 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143029983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143029984
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,340,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Vivek Menon is one of India's top biologists and the author of several books. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Foreign visitors to African game parks have a plethora of mammal field guides to choose from, yet curiously, though India has a rich and interesting mammalian fauna, Vivek Menon's guide seems to be the only one in the English language currently (in winter 2011/12) in print.

Menon's guide does not cover the whole subcontinent, but only the political entity of India, and is a reprint of a book published by Dorling Kindersley/Penguin in India in 2003. The Dorling Kindersley (DK) connection is obvious, not only due to the book's design, but also because the illustrations of relevant sea mammals are the same as those used in DK's `Whales, dolphins and porpoises' (1995) (though this last fact is unacknowledged in the guide). All other mammal groups are depicted by colour photos.

Thanks in part to the use of symbols, there's an awful lot of useful information compressed into this small and slim flexicover guide, which (apart from the aforementioned sea mammals) covers in varying detail everything from primates through to rodents and bats, and also contains useful background information.

My only criticism concerns the illustrations, which in many (but not all) cases have been printed fuzzily; that this is a fault of printing rather than the original illustrations is confirmed by comparing the sharp images of Ganges River Dolphin in the DK cetacean guide, with the same illustrations in Menon's book. Why, with modern printing techniques, a big publisher such as A&C Black allows this to happen, is baffling.

In summary, this is an attractive, handy and easily portable guide, which makes a useful travelling companion for those visiting India to watch wildlife.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As stated in the other review this is the only guide available to the mammals of India, so it doesn't have a lot of competition. Since there is no `look inside' available for this item others might appreciate a more detailed overview of what one gets here.

There are two-page introductions to general topics such as mammals, their classification, feeding, social behaviour, habitats, conservation. In two pages there really isn't a lot that can be said - and anybody with more than a cursory interest is likely to already know much of what is written here. There follow 166 pages of species account, each family introduced by one or two overview pages. The larger species all have individual accounts of varying lengths (from under a quarter page to a double page for the iconic tiger), with information on status, diet, activity, where (arboreal vs territorial vs aquatic), a list of local names, a short description including size, habitat, conservation threats, overall length and weight, and in many cases `best seen where'. There also are distribution maps. The rest of the space is taken up by one or more photograph, with some id features pointed out.

Smaller species such as otters, martens, many rodents and bats only get summary pages without distribution maps, but typically with photos illustrating all/several species. The area covered is India including Kashmir, but excluding neighbouring countries, even Bangladesh. This makes the choice to include ocean-dwelling mammals somewhat odd since India is not particularly known for whale-watching trips (having the river-dwelling dolphins in there is a different matter).

I agree with the criticism from the other review that the illustrations look fuzzy in the print, which is annoying.
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The book is okay. It is a good field guide, however like many people have mentioned many of the pictures are poor.This is understandable for elusive nocturnal creatures, however it seems to be a common theme. The problem is that there is no competitor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96ab56c0) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
HASH(0x96abb750) out of 5 stars Great Guide to the Animals of India! 6 Feb. 2014
By Bob Buchanan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Handsome, well illustrated book with both scientific identification of species and information for tourists, such as locations, hours most likely to be seen, and habits. In preparation for a first trip to India that includes a couple of days at Ranthambore National Park, where tigers are present but often out of sight, this book is just what I wanted, covering the many species we should see even if we strike out on the tigers and leopards.

Bob Buchanan
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97212310) out of 5 stars A very comprehensive and excellent guide... 7 Jan. 2013
By Clive Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a present for my wife who has just returned from a wildlife safari to India and is intending to go again. She is absolutely thrilled with it and will put it to very good use on her next trip to India - it really is a very comprehensive and excellent guide to the wildlife of the area.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97212328) out of 5 stars Got to have this 14 Mar. 2014
By Jeannie Marcus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going to India on a wildlife trip. This is an excellent guide. Don't leave home without it. Recommended by the tour operator.
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