Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing some crucial information, June 4, 2007
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This review is from: Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal Life from Africa to Hawaii Exclusive of the Vertebrates (Paperback)
I relied on the previous reviews and brought this book with me on a recent trip to French Polynesia. I should have been more careful. One reviewer, for example, noted the inclusion of ten (though I see eight) "undescribed little octopi." How does he know that they're little? The book doesn't give size information. The first of the eight is described as large, then there is no size information for the next two, and then the fourth is "another small species." How small? How small is a small octopus, anyway? It's not something I know, but it is something I expect a guide to tell me. Also, the one octopus I spent most time watching changed color repeatedly, and I would have liked to have seen something about coloration possibilities.

I'm rating this book harshly became I see what more it could have been. It's also a heavy book, and weight is crucial on inter-island flights. Next time, I'm bringing Allen and Steene's Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide. It has fewer entries and devotes the plurality of its pages to fish, which are better covered elsewhere, but it's lighter weight and gives size information.

After a trip to Fiji in 2011, I wish to revise this review to rate the item more highly. I remain disappointed in the lack of size information, and I still wouldn't carry it with me. But I find that as I try to identify the reef animals of which I took pictures, I'm using the book. I still want the book to be better, but I'm giving it three stars rather than two. Three seems to better reflect my ambivalence.
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