Top critical review
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Noah took two of everything?
on January 25, 2006
Author Karl P.N. Shuker certainly is more liberal than I in assessing the legitimacy of strange animal sightings, myths, and legends. However, he is also much more conservative than others claiming Bigfoot exists behind every door!
Shuker, in his book The Beasts That Hide from Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals, tries to ferret out the truth when it comes to purported sightings or knowledge of mysterious beasts, such as the Mongolia Death Worm. From giant birds to sea serpents, he works to uncover connections between what IS known with what MAY be. For example, he reviewed what is known about giant birds, and discussed theories as to why a few very large eggs have been uncovered in Australia. Clearly he takes his investigations seriously.
It is very easy to be critical of this search for ..."the World's Last Undiscovered Animals." I have stuffed in my copy a review of a book discussing the "rediscovery" of cougars in Michigan and an article on cougars in Illinois (see pages 276-277 in The Beasts That Hide from Man), and articles about scientists discovering a new species of monkey in Africa, the highland mangabey, and a new rodent discovered in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (25 cm long... and found in a food market). There are animals waiting to be discovered!
I wish Karl P.N. Shuker was more critical in his approach to crytozoology. However, as I said above, he is more critical, and demanding of evidence, than most cryptozoologists. As far as this book, a number of the artist renditions were of poor quality, and the book would have been well served with Shuker partnering with an artist to develop new sketches. For these reasons, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.
I look forward to using examples from this book to get budding naturalists to observe well, report accurately, and think critically. And if you've seen ANYTHING out of the ordinary, I suspect Karl P.N. Shuker would like to know.