Saturday, 7 December 2013

Review: 'Mammals of Britain and Europe' by FH Van Den Brink

Mammals of Britain and Europe by FH Van Den Brink, Translated and Edited by Hans Kruuk and HN Southern, Illustrated by Paul Barruel, 1986, The Easton Press, $17.94, hardbound, 221 pages. Category/Genre: reference. Cover: elegant. Where we got it: bought it. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

This guide showcases 177 species, some of whom are quite rare. Some species who are extinct in the wild have also been included, either because some specimens still exist in captivity, or because domesticated races are being bred to recreate the species, or because the species still exist elsewhere, and it is desirable that they be reintroduced. 

Barruel's handsome illustrations accompany the text and help the reader in identifying the many species included. The guide is divided into ten main parts: Insectivores; Bats; Apes; Rabbits, Hares, and Pikas; Rodents; Carnivores; Odd-Toed Ungulates (Horses); Even-Toed Ungulates (Pigs, Deer, and Bovines); Toothed Whales; and Baleen or Whale-Bone Whales. There are 20 coloured plates and 12 black- and-white plates. 

A brief description is given on each Order, and then details are listed for each species, including measurements, physical description, habitat, range, habits, and similar species. There are maps, notes on how to take measurements, a word on the study and protection of mammals, and an explanation of the symbols used in the book. 

Also included are taxonomic notes and dental formulae. 

If you like this one, try: Mammals of Britain and Europe (Collins Field Guide), by David McDonald and Priscilla Barrett. 

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