With more than 20,000 species, fishes are by far the most numerous group of all vertebrates. They are also the earliest group of backboned animals having evolved in the seas almost 500 million years ago. While they remain confined to water, fishes in all their variety now exist in an extraordinarily diverse range of habitats.
Magnificently illustrated with more than 200 spectacular color photographs and 150 original illustrations, diagrams, and maps, this indispensable encyclopedia reveals the fascinating world of fishes in an authoritative and stimulating way. The highly readable text, written by leading experts from around the world, incorporates the most recent scientific research and presents a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the complex, diverse, and often bizarre lives of fishes.
* Magnificently illustrated in full color
* Includes hundreds of color photographs and meticulously researched diagrams and maps
* Written by an international team of world recognized authorities
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John R. Paxton is a senior research scientist at the Australian Museum, Sydney. He has conducted fieldwork in many South Pacific countries, and has taken part in numerous deep-sea expeditions. His current work involves attempts to unravel the mysteries of the biology and evolutionary relationships of the deep-sea whalefishes. He has served as foundation secretary and president of the Australian Society for Fish Biology, and has written more than 60 scientific papers and popular articles.
William N. Eschmeyer is Director of Research and Curator of the Department of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences, a major natural history museum in San Francisco, California. His research specialty is scorpionfishes and their allies. Since 1982 he has been involved with the preparation of databases, summarizing information about fishes on a worldwide basis.
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