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This four-volume set of encyclopaedias offers accessible information on the animal kingdom. Entries focus on non-humans from the animal kingdom, from insects to reptiles to mammals. Early humans are addressed in an evolutionary context, and modern humans are included only for interspecies comparison or for their efforts to coexist with other species. The encyclopaedia's also contain species overviews which discuss notable anatomy and physiology, habitat, behaviour and reproduction and include a sidebar listing classification, geographical location, life span, and special anatomy.
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This encyclopedia set is an update and expansion of the 1991 Magill's Survey of Science: Life Science and its 1998 supplement. The scope of the work has been refocused from general life science to a discussion of nonhumans from the kingdom Animalia, with an emphasis on animals in nature. Entries on domestic animals also cover their wild relatives (dogs, wolves, and coyotes are discussed under one heading). This edition contains 385 signed entries ranging in length from two to eight pages and is arranged alphabetically. All classifications of the animal kingdom are discussed except humans (although early humans are treated in an evolutionary context). Additional topics cover anatomy (Muscles in invertebrates, Noses); behavior (Migration, Nocturnal animals); ecology (Adaptations and their mechanisms, Endangered species); evolution (Mutations, Phylogeny); fields of study (Marine biology, Paleontology); geography and habitats (Lakes and rivers, Savannas); physiology (Metamorphosis, Osmoregulation); reproduction and development (Courtship, Offspring care); and scientific methods (Breeding programs, Veterinary medicine).
Each entry begins with information on the categories of animal science and fields of study under which the topic falls and a listing of principal terms with brief definitions. Every essay ends with see also references and an annotated bibliography for further reference. (Those entries reused from Magill's Survey of Science have been updated with recent sources.) Species overviews include fact boxes with classification, habitat, life span, and geographic distribution information. Several biographical entries are included as 500-word sidebars within entries. Disappointing black-and-white photographs accompany some entries. Several are unclear, including the one accompanying Whale sharks, where it is difficult to distinguish the shark's outline.
A complete alphabetical list of contents appears in the back of all four volumes, as does a category list. Volume 1 includes a listing of contributors and their affiliations, and volume 4 contains a plethora of highly useful supplementary matter. Examples are a classification table, an evolutionary time line, and a list of 51 scientists, past and present, with brief biographical sketches. A geographical list of animals breaks species down into areas, both land and water. A wonderful animal terminology index lists the male, female, young, and group name of all animal types. Major journals and scientific organizations are also listed with contact information and Web sites, if applicable.
A number of reference works offer A-Z coverage of individual animals but without the more comprehensive animal science perspective. This useful set geared to high-school and undergraduate students would serve junior- or senior-high-school, general undergraduate, and public libraries well. RBB
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This illustrated encyclopedia is a major revision and update of the six-volume Magill's Survey of Science: Life Science, published in 1991. The contributors come from a variety of disciplines in the life sciences, and most are affiliated with academic institutions. There are 385 signed main entries, ranging in length from 1000 to 3000 words each; 108 articles are updates from the previous edition, while 277 are new entries. The entries cover a wide variety of topics related to animal life and include articles on subjects such as biodiversity and defense mechanisms as well as those on specific species or individual animals. Each entry begins with ready-reference information and a list of principal terms with definitions. Species entries include a sidebar listing basic facts such as classification, geographical location, habitat, life span, and the anatomical features that make the species unique. The arrangement is strictly alphabetical, which means that specific animals or animal groups are intermingled with general topics, issues, and concepts; "cloning" is followed by "cockroaches," for instance, and "elk" by "embryology." This arrangement functions well for the intended audience of high school, undergraduate, and general readers but could prove frustrating for the younger student preparing a report on a specific animal. The illustrations consist of black-and-white photographs and are neither as numerous nor as exciting as those in Facts on File's three-volume The Encyclopedia of Mammals or DK's one-volume Animal, either of which is a better choice for libraries needing an animal encyclopedia only. The strength of the Magill's set is its comprehensive coverage of animal life science generally, not just individual animals. A worthwhile purchase for libraries needing this type of reference.
Deborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Salem Pr Inc, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1587650193
Book Description Salem Press, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1587650193
Book Description Salem Pr Inc, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 1820 pages. 7.00x11.00x9.25 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk1587650193