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on 30 March 2015
All the superlatives given by other reviewers are spot on. It continues DK's line of excellent popular Visual Guides, like Universe ,Earth: The Definitive Visual Guide (Dk) and Human: The Definitive Guide to Our Species among others.

I've ordered a used copy of the 2001 hardcover edition, and its simply stunning. It's hard to put down. The quality of the glossy paper and the vivid pictures still hasn't faded a bit after 14 years, and its hard to compete with the wealth of information and the way it's presented.

Pay attention to the fact that there a few editions including a compact one.
The Hardcover edition, with more than 600 25cm * 30cm high quality paper is a massive one both in size and weight.

With a 1p price tag for many used copies of the older editions, it may be considered as an insult to say it's worth every penny, so I'll just conclude with a warm recommendation.

The format is such that allows both adults and children to enjoy.

Contains the following sections:
INTRODUCTION
HABITATS
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
MAMMALS
BIRDS
REPTILES
AMPHIBIANS
FISH
INVERTEBRATES
each divided to smaller chapters.
Also available are TOC, Glossary and Index.

There's a newer 2012 edition Animal that also has a Look Inside feature here on Amazon, that for some reason is not available here.
I can confirm that it is almost identical to the content of this earlier 2001 edition, so if it's not for a present, but for personal use, I guess the much cheaper old edition would do.
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on 19 April 2015
This volume is lavishly illustrated and the text is written by various experts in the different species and habitats covered. It is easy to read and the book is set out neatly.

I do not, however, feel that it is "authoritative" as claimed by the publisher, as there are many different books that are more so - but that does not detract greatly from the beauty and breadth that is covered in the 600+ pages. If you are a serious nature buff with a slightly above average modicum of knowledge then this book is not necessarily for you, but for the novice naturalist it would be a good read.

It represents good value and should certainly be made available to all school libraries.
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on 19 April 2018
Very detailed descriptions of our manifold diversity of lifeforms on this amazing earth - plus multiple stunning photos
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on 28 August 2008
This excellent book has been produced by 72 contributors andconsultants. Over 2000 species are described. The book is divided into two parts a)covering introduction,habitatsand the animal kingdom b)sections on mammels,birds, reptiles,amphibians,fish and invertibrates.Each grouping covers anatomy,feeding,reproduction,movement and defence.For each species there is a distribution map,short description and first class illustration. Ahistory of endangered species and glossary are included. The book does not include my favourite animal-the takin (Budorcas toxicolor) the national animal of Bhutan.
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on 20 May 2017
Turned up early, absolutely gobsmacked at quality and price, really pleased
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on 20 February 2018
great book
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on 6 January 2017
This was my favourite childhood book (as big as it is) and I continue to adore it!
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on 17 June 2017
great book and price 5 stars
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on 30 October 2016
great value for the money great condition grandkids loved it
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on 22 June 2014
this book my son(5) chose from his school library, it weighs a ton, but he managed to carry it with his book bag! It has a pic of almost everything featured. I even found family members were tempted to have a sneaky look for animals they wanted to know more about. This book will be a great reference book for my son for many more years to come :-) paid 6.49 was 40 when it would have been new!! bargain
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