Latin Names Explained: A Guide to the Scientific Classification of Reptiles, Birds and Mammals

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9780816033775: Latin Names Explained: A Guide to the Scientific Classification of Reptiles, Birds and Mammals
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Describes the meanings of the Latin names of over 4,000 individual species, and gives a translation of the Latin name

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Until now, there has been no one book that provided information about the origins of both the common and the Latin names of animals. Birders have many sources, an example being the Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names by James A. Jobling (Oxford, 1991), but other disciplines are not as fortunate. After doing much research, Gotch has brought together in one volume the common and Latin names of some 4,000 species of reptiles, birds, and mammals.

The first part of the book is a brief historical account of how the animal kingdom is divided into phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. The following three parts cover the orders of reptiles, birds, and mammals, with each part arranged in its proper scientific sequence. For each entry the common name is listed first in boldface, followed by the Latin name, which is further translated into English showing, in some cases, the relationship to the common name. A brief description of the species is provided, including some information on geographic distribution. For example, the red-breasted sapsucker has the Latin name Sphyrapicus ruber meaning hammer (sphura), woodpecker (picus), and red (ruber). Its name comes from the fact that it drills holes in decidious trees and drinks the sap and eats the insects that are attracted to the sap. There are separate indexes to the common and Latin names for each part of the book. However, the common-name indexes have some inconsistencies. The red-breasted sapsucker is listed only under Sapsucker, Red-breasted, but the spiny anteater is under both Anteater, Spiny and Spiny Anteater. There seems to be no problem with the Latin indexes.

For the layperson and student, this book can help in understanding the names of animals. The descriptions are concise and easy to understand. It is a good general-science reference book for all libraries, interesting to browse for facts and lore about animal names.

Review:

This guide to the scientific classification of reptiles, birds and mammals provides extensive natural history coverage explaining the Latin system of classification and should be considered a standard and important reference for any college-level or public library collection emphasizing natural history studies. From the Orders and Families of creatures to the meaning of Latin names of over 4,000 species, this packs in translation and details. -- Midwest Book Review

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9780713725650: Latin Names Explained

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ISBN 10:  0713725656 ISBN 13:  9780713725650
Publisher: Facts on File, 1995
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