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Hawaii's Fishes : A Guide for Snorkelers and Divers Paperback – September 1, 2007
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From Scientific American
This little book is bursting at the seams with good, solid information.... Some of the photos will leave you gasping in disbelief--surely no fish could be so vivid!
From The New Yorker
All in all, it's hard to imagine more useful information in such a small book, and useful to both residents and visitors alike.... The color printing is gorgeous. How Mutual Publishing can deliver this much color at the price is a mystery.
Top customer reviews
A word of caution, though. Unlike many of the birder and similar books I've seen this book is not set up to lead the reader to an identification by process of elimination. You don't start with size, then shape, then color, then distinguishing features, (or a similar scheme), on your way to an identification. Rather, the book is set up with a chapter on each genus, with a variety of species addressed in each chapter. So, we start with "Angelfishes", and then identify the Bandit, Fisher's, Flame, Potter's, and Masked Angelfish. After that we move to Barracudas, Bigeyes, Blennies, and so on.
What that means is that for any particular fish that you see or photograph you have to have a general idea of which chapter to start with. That's not as hard as it sounds since once you've paged through the book once or twice you'll have a good general sense of what there is to see, and a sense of whether something might be a puffer fish or a surgeon fish.
Once you narrow down the search to the proper chapter you will be in good shape. Every fish description is accompanied by a sharp, full color closeup photo with dimensions around 2.5" x 3". There is a detailed text description of the fish's physical characteristics and then a bit about the habits, history, or other distinguishing features of the fish.
So, with about 250 species represented this book proved to be a thorough and entertaining reference. After seven days of snorkeling a variety of beaches we found that almost everything we saw was identified in this book. Can't ask for much more than that.
This books is also a great reference for getting the right colors in children's coloring books like: The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book, and Coral Reef Coloring Book (Naturencyclopedia Series)