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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