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Guide to Microlife (Science: Life and Environmental Science) Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Science: Life and Environmental Science
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin Watts; 1 edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531112667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531112663
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up. This useful, well-organized guide is divided into four sections: monerans (bacteria), microfungi, protists, and microanimals. Each organism is identified by its taxonomy, physical features, behavior, and environment. Drawings, color photographs of slides, and tips on how to view with a microscope are additional aids for each example. Appendixes provide a wealth of information about using microscopes, collecting specimens, preparing slides (safety precautions abound), and even an interesting, but brief look at filming images. Most of the featured organisms are readily available in homes, yards, woods, streams, and puddles, but a list of biological supply companies is also provided. A good resource for classrooms, this colorful volume is packed with information. For the hooked and truly adventuresome, move on to Werner Nachtigall's Exploring with the Microscope (Sterling, 1995).?Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 7^-12. Although the authors follow the familiar color-coded, specimen-numbered format, this handbook is more than just a field guide to microscopic organisms. Besides thorough descriptions of seven microhabitats and an extensive, beautifully photographed, and well-written catalog of specimens, this also includes projects, six informative appendixes on topics ranging from collecting techniques to slide preparation, and a detailed bibliography of adult and children's resources. The "Microlife Catalogue" is the heart of the guide. Divided into sections on monerans, microfungi, protists, and microanimals, it provides introductory information on each group and descriptions of individual organisms. Each entry includes a clear color photograph that will be invaluable to student researchers. The hefty price is worth noting, but this belongs in both library collections and life sciences classrooms. Chris Sherman

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
64%
4 star
21%
3 star
14%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 14 customer reviews
Good colour photos make identification fairly easy and stimulate further exploration.
Dr R.Hunter
If you want to know exactly what you are looking at under the microscope, this book is for you.
sabhus@hotmail.com
I highly recommend this book for amateur naturalists or resource for science classroom.
kfuji

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Brenna E. Lorenz on April 17, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those of us who love looking at critters under a microscope definitely needed a book like this, a field guide to freshwater microfauna. This book provides stunningly beautiful photographs, useful hints on how and where to find the organisms and how to prepare them for observation, and so-so pen-and-ink sketches of the organisms. My main complaint is that the book doesn't go far enough and doesn't tell us enough. This is mainly noticeable in the tables where "Other Information" is provided along with each organism pictured. The information given is usually only the size of the organism, which is moderately useful (my microscope has no measuring device attached and I imagine most amateurs have the same problem), and occasionally another comment. Much more information should go here. For example, under Dero, the common freshwater Oligochaete, there is no mention of its ciliated anal gills, one of its most distinctive characteristics. A few comments about how to distinguish organism A from similar organisms B, C, and D would be very useful. In the planarian section, the drawings and information provided are too sketchy to be helpful. I have found about five freshwater turbellarians in the water here on Guam that I would love to identify, and I found I couldn't use this chart at all. So, this book is a good start, a good beginning, and in the next edition I would like to see a lot more organisms and a lot more information about the organisms!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I teach biology but my background is not micro. I loved this book because it allowed me to help students identify 90% of the specimens found in pond water. It has a "where to look for" and "what to look for" section for each organism and also interesting facts. Another useful section is the appendix describing collection techniques. I recommend it for teachers of secondary students.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on October 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
The "Guide to Microlife" by Kenneth G. Rainis and Bruce J. Russell could have been a better book. The color photos and general format promises a lot, but to me the book somehow does not quite deliver on that promise. Perhaps this is in part because it is apparently aimed at middle to high school students only and (at least in spots) this makes the book somewhat unsatisfactory to an amateur (or even high school student) who might want to go somewhat beyond this level. This tendency really comes across in the discussion of instruments with which to examine microscopic life. In addition to the rather simplified discussion of the microscope I found a few factual errors. For example I was irritated by the implication that 2000X is a reasonable high power for light microscopes. Except with very expensive equipment and/or some electronic means you would be hard pressed to use such magnification effectively. Commercial microscopes advertised with such high powers are usually junk. The highest usable magnification in even high quality light microscopes is generally 1000X (oil immersion). Higher powers or any power much above 500X used dry are simply empty magnification. Cheaper instruments should never magnify much over 50-100X. Generally, higher powered objectives have to be highly corrected to function well and are thus fairly expensive.

On the positive side the photos are good and generally well selected and the descriptions, while a bit short, are adequate to introduce the subject. The "Did you know..." sections contain some very interesting facts and the classification is reasonably up to date. Thus this book may serve as a reasonably solid short lived introduction to the subject.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr R.Hunter on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
An excellent book for the amateur scientist or middle/high school students. Good colour photos make identification fairly easy and stimulate further exploration. One major omission is a description of the habits of the various species. `What does it feed on ?` Enquiring students want to know, and it would be helpful to have all the basic information in a single book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin L. Miller on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
After getting my Celestron 44340 LCD Digital LDM Biological Microscope I needed a photographic inspiration and a good guide to the microlife I would be finding. Many of the microscopic creatures were unknown to me, and this book helped identify what I'd found. The book has colorful, detailed photos and I identified a number of diatoms & algae, bursaria, scenedesmus, peranema, flatworms, rotifers, copepods, ostracods, amphipods, fairy shrimp, vorticella, and tardigrades.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J Reitinger on September 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I went looking for a good reference book for teaching my high school students about the "lower" Kingdoms (Monera, and Protista). This is an exceptional book for just that purpose. The organization is good, there are lots of excellent photos and diagrams to assist students with identifications. The simplicity of the book in terms of "just enough information" is what makes it such a valuable reference. I would highly recommend it for any science classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stanaforth T. Hopkins on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully organized, indexed, drawn, and explained for a serious beginner. I too wish a little more explanation was given for each species and some guidance on buying a microscope.

An indispensable identification guide to the microscopic world!
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