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The Encyclopedia of Mammals (Facts on File Natural Science Library)(3 Volume Set) Hardcover – August, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—MacDonald refines his authoritative, cladistically arranged 2001 resource (Facts On File) to incorporate both current thinking about evolutionary relationships among mammals and the results of recent research into mammalian traits and genetics. Volume one opens with several overview essays ("What Is a Mammal?"), then covers monotremes, marsupials, and insect eaters; elephants and relatives; rodents; and lagomorphs. The second volume deals with primates, tree shrews, and colugos; shrews, moles, and hedgehogs; bats; pangolins; and carnivores. The third volume continues the coverage of carnivores, followed by sections on hoofed mammals and whales and dolphins. It also includes lists (in challengingly tiny type) of every species not described earlier and a set index. Each chapter is prefaced by general observations and includes occasional essays on intriguing discoveries ("Sex Ratio Manipulation in Red Deer," "Lemur Dialects"). The profiles are much enhanced by the title's most enticing feature: a huge array of big, sharp color photos of individual animals and groups and breathtaking shots of nature in action and graphics, including species distribution maps and drawings of animals. Though humans get barely a mention and the lively text is laid out in such dense blocks that less-motivated readers may quickly feel bogged down, the set provides an unusually inviting bridge to high-level research. Not an essential replacement for collections that already include the earlier edition, but a significant addition for those that don't.—John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal

This comprehensive encyclopedia, expanded from one to three volumes and updated to include the latest scientific developments since the 1984 edition, should reach a broad audience. The information is presented in a consistent format, and color photographs, maps, and sketches make the set visually appealing. At the same time, each entry is authoritative and informative enough to be useful to students. The three volumes are divided into carnivores and sea mammals; primates and large herbivores; and marsupials/insect eaters/small herbivores. Mammals are subdivided first by order, whose common features are highlighted in a general essay, and then by family. Each family receives its own chapter, which begins with an overview of the characteristics of the family, including form and function, social behavior, distribution, and conservation and environment. Lesser-known species are treated as a group, with a brief description of each species. Each chapter includes a "Factfile" sidebar that gives a quick summary of the family's habitat, distribution, diet, breeding, longevity, and status. Families with many species have longer entries, which are supplemented by additional articles labeled "special feature." The third volume includes a complete species list and comprehensive index. As a three-volume set, this work is obviously more comprehensive than the single-volume Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife (LJ 11/1/01), covering approximately 4600 species; however, Animal's 2000 species include nonmammals. Editor MacDonald, a respected scholar in the study of mammals and an award-winning filmmaker, has combined both skills to produce an excellent resource. Recommended for all libraries needing a comprehensive, up-to-date animal reference, though small libraries or those with limited budgets should get Animal. Debby Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Facts on File Natural Science Library
  • Hardcover: 930 pages
  • Publisher: Facts on File; 2 edition (August 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816064946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816064946
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 10 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,337,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I've been a docent at a zoo for several years, and this book has been invaluable. It presents the material clearly and consistently. The pictures are fantastic. It's also a book that my family keeps hauling off the shelf to answer "that animal question."
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Format: Hardcover
This book is informative enough to be a professional reference text, yet accessible and beautiful enough to be a coffee table book or even a picture book for older children. It presents a comprehensive overview of all the mammals, organized by taxonomical group. The text is supplemented with excellent photographs that allow the readers to "see the animals" for themselves and learn much the text does not say.
It was used as a textbook for my college mammalogy class, and it served the purpose better than any standard text. The authors and editor, top mammalogists, do a good (albeit slightly conservative) job of bringing together what is known about mammalogy and condensing it into one large volume. Each section summarizes one species or group of animals. Special spreads describe details such as the songs of the gibbons and the responses of voles to the scent of their predators. It was very engaging, and I highly recommend it even as a popular science reference.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Encyclopedia Of Mammals" is a wonderful book. BN offered a one-volume edition with over 930 pages until sometime in 2003 for under $50. The book covers all the mammals in the world in full color with comprehensive text and weighs about 12 lbs. The current offering is a 3-volume edition by Facts On File Natural Science Library at about $300.

Biology (BN 357/2)
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By A Customer on September 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
For years I have keep this book close by my side. I'm amazed by the number of times I have consulted it while watching a nature show or after a discussion of wildlife. The coverage of mammalian families is comprehensive and the photographs are beautiful. A must own for any naturalist
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By A Customer on June 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
After acquiring the Encyclopedia of Mammals, I went out and bought the others in the series. A great thing about the Facts on File animal encyclopedias is the excellent color photos - I am amazed they can give so many photos at such a low price; each page is packed!
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Format: Hardcover
I will admit right away that I am not a biology major, and that I bought this huge volume for personal love of animals and all the wonderments of the world. Sometimes, the author of this tome gets a little excited, and forgets that not everyone who reads this book is in the research field, but even that can be over-looked, because as long as you are willing to except that you may have to look up a term or two occasionally, you won't be sorry you bought this. Not only does it cover over 5,000 species of mammals (all known to date), but it has wonderful pictures that I look at with my daughter. It has an entry on every mammal you can think of, and has several longer articles on subjects as varied as why whales sing, to studies on friendships in certain Primate species, to Reindeer Migration and Bat Blood Donors. This is engrossing, intelligent, spectactular. I am currently writing a novel on sea mammals, and this book is certainly a help! One warning: It is very heavy and a little clumsy because of the vast knowledge it holds. By the way, this is the 2006 version I'm speaking of, I don't know what the reviewers of 3 and 1 star are talking about unless they have the wrong edition or a different book entirely. MacDonald is brilliant and passionate!
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Format: Hardcover
I had the second edition of this book, published in 2001. There are so far 3 editions, First edition 1984; second edition 2001; third edition 2006. This review is under the second edition. The latest edition was published by Oxford University, in the end of 2006. The price is much lower than this second edition. I am not sure why amazon.com lists the expensive second edition first, not the latest third edition.

I checked the 3rd editon, and it seems to me there are lots of update. Almost all the chapter titles have been changed ..

I bought the second edition for my kids from Borders under 10 bucks in the bargain section. My kids like it very much.

The best book about mammals....

If you cann't find a good bargain, buy the latest edition published by Oxford University Press, not this 3-volume second edition. It's way over priced..
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have an older edition of this book, just found this 2001 edition (new) at a book sale at Barnes & Noble for only $20.00! As a Docent at a local wildlife facility, this is an excellent resource book, as well as good reading material. Super illustrations, with easy-to-understand text makes this a "must-have" for anyone interested in the Mammal world.
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