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Costa Rican Natural History Paperback – September 15, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0226393346 ISBN-10: 0226393348 Edition: 1st Edition.

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Costa Rican Natural History + A Neotropical Companion + The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 823 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1st Edition. edition (September 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226393348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226393346
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
It's hard to stop reading this fascinating book.
Martin Pruimers
An amazing reference; everything you need is here, from species accounts to detailed narratives.
Daedelus
I found this hyper-detailed book to be absolutely invaluable while I was in Costa Rica!
noname

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Alex Filipkowski on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
In this biological bible of Costa Rica, Janzen leaves no stone unturned. From evolutionary history to weather patterns to animals and trees, he covers all facets of basic natural science. This book is a must for anyone pursuing biological study or ecolgical interest in Costa Rica or anywhere in the New World tropics
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Martin Pruimers on April 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish every book about the natural history of a country were as thorughly compiled as this one. The only drawback is that it's too hefty and too slack to read in bed or in the hammock - you have to sit upright, but that's a small sacrifice for the great amount of easy accessible information. It's hard to stop reading this fascinating book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By noname on May 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this hyper-detailed book to be absolutely invaluable while I was in Costa Rica!
A book I found equally indispensable, which I read BEFORE I got there, was "Costa Rica: The Last Country the Gods Made." Both books should more than adequately prepare you for a trip around 1 - 3 weeks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EWP on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the cover and the description, one would think that this is an excellent guide to the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, it's a scholar's book only. While it has some pictures, there are none in color and those that are present are not that hot. High cost and lots of text, but not the kind of guide one wants when trying to identify flora or fauna seen on the ground. I sent it back in favor of more picturesque guides.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Phelps on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
At a hefty 800 plus pages (with 174 contributors, no less!), this collection has something for everyone--and manages not to skimp on the essentials or pad itself with filler. Though it would serve well as an introduction, "Costa Rican Natural History" is even better as a companion (especially to my favorite book on the country, "Costa Rica: The Last Country The Gods Made").
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sharpe on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Janzen's book is over twenty years old but remains an encyclopaedia of tropical America. The 174 authors, all experts in their fields, have penned over 800 fascinating pages. The final product is a milestone, since much of the information presented was previously unpublished.

Introductory chapters cover the history of field biology in Costa Rica, biogeography, climate, geology and soils. The information presented is a thorough background for Costa Rica and provides a wealth of references for those who want to have more detail. These chapters are a useful aid to understanding the biology of any area in the northern Neotropics.

The bulk of the book comprises species accounts grouped systematically with an additional section on agriculture. At the start of each chapter, a well-written introduction gives an overview of the Costa Rican group in question and a taxonomic checklist for the country. However, the meat of the book is the species accounts themselves. Written by a large number of authors, they range from a brief few paragraphs to a couple of pages with two dozen references, depending on the amount of information available. Monochrome photographs illustrate the accounts.

Not surprisingly, Janzen's tome has found its way into universities, research stations and personal libraries throughout the American tropics. For the tropical naturalist who wants to know more than the identity of an animal or plant, this is the book to go for, especially for a trip to Costa Rica. Highly recommended.
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