Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Encyclopedia of Mammals

Editor: David Macdonald

First line: To say that The Encyclopedia of Mammals covers all known members of the class Mammalia is an accurate but arid summary of this book.

Why you should read this book: As a general, all-purpose reference work on mammals, this book is tops, beginning with its historical discussion of mammalian evolution and continuing through its 800+ pages of stunning photographs (over a thousand) and detailed essays written by experts in the field. From aadvarks to zebras (and a little bit beyond), with close-ups and diagrams, this book is the perfect starting place for anyone looking for an overview of the class or trying to find specific details about certain species. An enduring work.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Given the book's scope, it is not possible for any animal to be covered in great depth; anyone over the age of twelve looking to write a report or gain a detailed knowledge about a particular animal will need to head for the stacks to find more specific information.

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