Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 7: Reptiles, 2nd Edition

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9780787657833: Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 7: Reptiles, 2nd Edition
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Gale proudly presents the first completely revised and updated version of this acclaimed set in 30 years. Some reviewers call Grzimeks Animal Life Encyclopedia the best reference work on animals ever published. Others call it the legacy left to us by famed zoologist and animal lover, Bernhard Grzimek. The accolades and praise go on for the newest addition to Gales line of reference titles. The original 13-vol. set, published in Germany in the late 1960s, is internationally renowned for its scientific reporting, coverage and illustrations, and serves as a major point of reference for researchers and students studying the animal kingdom. Thorough articles familiarize readers with animals found everywhere on the globe, detailing their life cycles, predators, food systems, overall ecology and much more. Staying true to the original scientific pedigree, Gale enlisted prominent advisors and contributors from the international scientific community to incorporate recent developments in the animal world. Our new editions of Grzimeks Animal Life Encyclopedia are sure to serve the needs of students at every academic level.

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*Starred Review* "Enjoyable reading" is not usually a phrase used in descriptions of encyclopedias, yet these four volumes of the second edition of Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia provide just that. Part of a 17-volume rewrite of the original 13-volume edition published beginning in 1967, these volumes exhibit excellence in writing, organization, illustration, and editing.

Following an extensive six- to nine-chapter overview, organization is taxonomical. Each family or order is discussed in terms of general description, evolution, structure and function, distribution, habitat, behavior, feeding, reproduction, conservation status, and relationship to humans. These descriptions are generally followed by anywhere from 2 to 20 representative species accounts that include rich illustrations and range maps. Formatting and layout are similar in all of the volumes, making the set consistent and easy to use. Illustrations, photos, and maps are in full color, serving the needs and expectations of today's readers. Editing of the volumes is tight, yielding uniform entries written by numerous expert contributors.

Volume 4 and volume 5--Fishes 1 and Fishes 2-- open with an elegant explanation of the diversity of the superclass Pisces and the difficulty of giving a general definition for all fish. Treatment is thorough despite the complexity of the topic caused by the sheer numbers of families, species, and habitats. Volume 6, Amphibians, includes introductory chapters on larvae and an expanded section on the early evolution and fossil history of amphibians. Volume 7, Reptiles, is the strongest of these excellent volumes. The contributors' expert knowledge and love of reptiles is evident. The "Order: Crocodilians" section is particularly well written.

Indexing is good in all volumes, giving access to both taxonomic and common names. Bibliographic references and further readings are well chosen and current. Recommended Web sites are authoritative and well cited. Criticism of these volumes is minor but must include the observation that the glossaries are on the scanty side. Examples of significant terms that should have been included in the glossary for Reptiles include envenomated, hibernaculum, vomeronasal, vomerofaction, TSD (temperature dependent sex determination), and GSD (genetic sex determination). The scientific illustrations are extremely well done, and the illustrations and photos are present in just the right amount--there when needed yet not intruding on the text. The addition of some minor cross-referencing of page numbers between the species/family accounts and the in-text illustrations and maps would be helpful.

These volumes are recommended for academic and larger public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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