Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: A Field Guide to Mammals of North America

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: A Field Guide to Mammals of North America

Article excerpt

Review: A Field Guide to Mammals of North America By Fiona A. Reid Reviewed by Kathy Piselli Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, USA Fiona A. Reid. A Field Guide to Mammals of North America, 4th ed, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. 592 pp. ISBN: 0-395- 93596-2 (Trade Paper). US $20.00.

The 4th edition of this guide is a much-expanded revision of the 3rd edition published in 1976. As expected, species classifications, maps depicting ranges, and other information have received an update. The 4th edition is expanded in many other ways.

Illustration: While the plates for the 3rd edition were the same as those for the 2nd, those for the 4th are completely new. The Species Accounts section is sprinkled throughout with National Geographic-quality photographs, with captions that aid in identification.

Reid's illustrations are the highlight. Trained in biology at Cambridge University in England, Reid "slipped into scientific illustration work without any formal training" according to her website (http://www.hopscotch.ca/fionareid). She works today in the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the incomparable Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and is a worthy successor to the 3rd edition's illustrator, Richard P. Grossenheider. Larger animals are drawn with a little background, which is an identification aid: The Bighorn Sheep is depicted on high rocks while the wild boar walks on forest leaves (look up for a jaguar). The 3rd edition expressed habitat for some animals with some line drawings. The 4th edition pays particular attention to expanding listings of the smaller mammals.

References: the 4th edition uses color photos of skulls instead of the sometimes shadowy black and white photos (or line drawings of marine mammals) found in the previous edition. …

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