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5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary installment., July 6 2004
By 
J. Connor "film and book fanatic'." (Palm Desert, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
The Audubon Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes is used for identifying brightly colored fish that are most likely to found in the open ocean or on reefs. This guide is different from its predecessor, "Audubon Guide to Fishes" in many ways. First off, the range is quite different, containing a wider variety of fish. This book also takes up where "Fishes" left off. There were so many species to cover that there needed to be more explanation in a second book, "Tropical Marine Fishes".
So, this is the correct field guide to take along on a scuba trip to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, or other places that the guide covers. Since it is much smaller than "Reef Fish Identification" by Paul Humann, it is much easier to carry along in a smaller pack, and one does not have to worry about the bulkiness of other guides.
Now for the content: There are over four categories of fish, including : bass like fishes, sharks & whales, and Eels. The butterflyfish and damselfish are the most colorful part of the entire guide. There are a nice amount of frequently seen sharks talked about here, but not as many as in "Audubon Guide to Fishes, Whales, and Dolphins", which is a follow up. So, if you basically want a straightforward guide to saltwater fish, take a look at this and the original Guide to Fishes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best one out there, Jan. 20 2002
By 
Scott Slora (San Juan, PR USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
This is the best book I've seen for identifying fish in this region when snorkeling, diving, or tide-pooling. I own & use several, but if you're only going to buy one guide, this is the one to get.
The illustrations alone would make this better than anything else on the market. Most guides rely on artists' renderings or studio photographs of dead fish. This book illustrates each of over 400 species with a close-up color photograph of a live fish in the water. Incredible.
The lay-out is good for identification; fish are grouped together by shape. That means you don't have to know much about fish to quickly look up something you saw. You can then cross-reference it to a complete description.
The physical manufacture of the book is also a plus. Its small size and flexibility make it almost unnoticable in luggage or a beach bag. It's also a little water-resistant: my copy has seen more than its fare share of dunkings, and still acts like a book instead of a soggy mess.
Of the few criticisms I have of this book, one would be that the index isn't too good (if Rainbow Runner isn't listed under "R", then where is it?). This isn't too much of a shortcoming, though, given that a field guide is usually used to identify species by appearence, not the other way around.
If you plan on observing fish in this region, I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, June 1 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
This book contains wonderful photographs of many tropical marine species. Some of the descriptions of the species, though, use complicated terminology and can be confusing. Other than that, all the features are excellent. After the description of each family of fish, there is a list of genera in that family and information on those genera. Also, each species has its own range map. Species that do not have a photograph are also described briefly. A pretty good book, especially since it has information on so many fish including sharks, rays, eels, and others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, June 1 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
This book contains wonderful photographs of many tropical marine species. Some of the descriptions of the species, though, use complicated terminology and can be confusing. Other than that, all the features are excellent. After the description of each family of fish, there is a list of genera in that family and information on those genera. Also, each species has its own range map. Species that do not have a photograph are also described briefly. A pretty good book, especially since it has information on so many fish including sharks, rays, eels, and others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indespensible, Jan. 13 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
As a diver and as a hobbyist of home reef systems, I find this book to be indispensible in identifying various reef fishes located in our Eastern waters. The book provides and focuses on distiguishing characteristics and certain behaviors that a diver or a hobbyist might see in encounters with these fish. Contains a great full-color plate section as well as basic outlines/silhouettes and of course brief yet detailed descriptions. An excellent work, now if I could just find its companion for corals....
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4.0 out of 5 stars divingnut, May 16 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda (Vinyl Bound)
I did find this book very useful, however it is slightly cumbersome to use if you are in a hurry (on the dive boat between sites) so be sure to write down your description of what you saw and look it up later in your hotel. The photos are fairly good (some are a little dark for my taste) and really useful for a beginning diver or snorkler. I would buy it again and plan on getting the campanion Coral Reefs.
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National Audubon Society Field Guide to Tropical Marine Fishes: Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Bahamas,  Bermuda
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