Cover image for Mammals
Gould, Edwin, 1933-
Publication Information:
New York : Gallery Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
240 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm
General Note:
At head of title: Encyclopedia of animals
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL701.2 .M35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
QL701.2 .M35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
QL701.2 .M35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL701.2 .M35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Oversize
QL701.2 .M35 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

These four volumes provide extensive information about their subjects, and follow the same basic format, beginning with a general introduction; an explanation of the classification system; a historical overview; a look at habitats, adaptations, and behavior; and a section about endangered species. The major portion of the text is devoted to kinds of birds, fishes, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians arranged by orders. Each entry has been authored by an expert in the field, so readers are provided with accurate and detailed information. The various contributors include scientists and curators from universities and museums around the world. Chapters generally include a "key facts" box that contains a "conservation watch"; a distribution map; sidebars ("Why do whales run aground?"; "Sex reversal in parrotfishes and wrasses"); and text that describes the various families. Length ranges from one page for lanternfishes to nearly 40 pages for snakes. The text is informative but not too technical. The books are highly illustrated, with a mix of full-color photographs and detailed drawings, often taking up more than half the page. The birds volume, as an example, has more than 200 photographs and more than 150 original paintings, diagrams, and maps. Changes from the first editions, which were published in Australia, include updated statistics, new conservation information, and redrawn distribution maps. The text has been revised to reflect the latest taxonomic classifications. Though not as comprehensive as the standard Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (now unfortunately out of print), these four volumes provide more up-to-date information. Another recent title, The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of Animals [RBB O 15 98] attempts a comparable breadth of coverage in a single volume, but has less detail. Marshall Cavendish's Wildlife and Plants of the World [RBB Mr 1 99] is arranged alphabetically instead of according to scientific classification, and is suitable for a younger audience. Older students who need detailed information for reports will find a complete and accurate investigation in the volumes under review, but their particular strength is the splendid illustrations. High-school, public, and academic libraries needing to fill out their collections on animals will want to consider one or more of these attractive and affordable books.

Library Journal Review

Billed as ``a comprehensive illustrated guide by international experts,'' this book does have an impressive list of 19 contributors, many of whom also contributed to The Encyclopedia of Mammals , ed. by David W. Macdonald (Facts on File, 1987). The text is divided into two parts, which are logically organized. Part 1 covers the characteristics of mammals; how they are classified; how they evolved; their habits, adaptations, and behavior; and endangered species--giving causes and five examples. Part 2 covers the individual species grouped by orders and provides photos by leading wildlife photographers, as well as color drawings. The index is by Latin name and by common name, which will prove helpful to general readers; distribution maps for the orders will be useful to students. While the information given appears to be accurate, one mislabeled photo calls a spotted hyena a brown hyena. The most obvious lack is that the entries for the individual species are brief; e.g., there is only one paragraph on lions. As with Macdonald's book, this is aimed at general readers and young adults. Macdonald's is the better book, though it is more expensive ($65).--Edell Marie Peters, Brookfield P.L., Wis. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Gould and McKay do not attempt a comprehensive list of each species of mammal but concentrate on evolution, diet, habitat, physiology, reproduction, and behavior, using selected examples. First published as Mammals, ed. by Edwin Gould and George McKay (1990), this second edition gives a nontechnical summary intended for general readers of the current state of knowledge. There are 101 illustrations and 223 photos, the latter sharper than those in Encyclopedia of Mammals, ed. by David Macdonald (CH, Jan'85), which is still in print. After introductory chapters, each order of mammals is presented clearly and consistently in signed authoritative articles. Sidebars show for each order largest and smallest, habitat types, distribution maps, and a list of endangered species. Tree shrews, flying lemurs, hyraxes, elephant shrews, and the aardvark each receive two pages, while carnivores have 22. Two pages of further readings are up-to-date; more than a third are dated 1990-99. For all college, high school, and community libraries. R. Steeb; New Mexico State University