NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY GUIDE TO MARINE MAMMALS OF THE WORLD

National Audubon Society, Author, Pieter A. Folkens, Illustrator, National Audubon Society, Manufactured by , illus. by Pieter Folkens. Knopf $26.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-375-41141-0

Among the most celebrated creatures on earth are the 120 species of water-dwelling mammals catalogued in this handsome and informative field guide, the latest in the National Audubon Society's family of nature publications. Photographs, drawings and paintings combine with maps, charts and essays to provide not only data but also insight into the behavior of these highly evolved and specialized animals. The book is sensibly arranged and easy to navigate, whether the reader is in an easy chair or on the open water. The introduction provides a general guide to marine mammals: their habitat, behavior, reproduction, diet and conservation status. The individual articles are packed with facts about each species and the best ways to find and identify them in the wild. The book is organized according to the four classifications of marine mammals: cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises); pinnipeds (seals and walrus); sirenians (dugongs, manatees); and polar bears and otters. The charts on each species specify size, weight and longevity. The maps show the reach of each type of animal while helping the reader to visualize its range and habitat. The articles also describe ways of identifying similar species whose ranges overlap. Among this guide's best features are the appendixes, which break down the species by region and offer a chart of species morphology and an illustrated glossary. This book is ideal for students and amateur animal watchers. Color illus. and paintings, maps. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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