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5.0 out of 5 stars If you are wild about animals, this is your book!
This book arrives in a cardboard box type cover to protect your investment.
Once you open up the box, you will find one of the most beautiful books on animals you have ever seen. Not only is the photography superb, the details are fascinating. The contents are divided into eight sections:
Introduction, Habitats, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes and...
Published on Oct. 26 2001 by Rebecca of Amazon

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Pictures
I ordered this book after reading the other comments about it. After I received the book I was not satisfied with the purchase. It has a lot of beautiful pictures, but it does not give enough information about each animal. Therefore I have returned the book. If you are wanting to know what different animals look like, then this is the book for you.
Published on Jan. 24 2002


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4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very pretty, but ..., Jan. 22 2002
By 
Keith Thomas (Cambridge UK (temp from:Canberra, Australia)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
I heartily endorse all the glowing praise of other reviewers for the layout and the fine grain of the spectacular photographs. Design excellence.
I know personally one of the editorial panel and, yes, he is among the world's leading authority in his field. From that I assume the others are, too.
BUT, for all the science and thought that has gone into the book it has two critical flaws.
(1) it suffers from "vertebrate chauvinism". Most of the world's animals are not vertebrates, but most of this book is devoted to vertebrates. Biodiversity depends on far, far more than the vertebrates.
(2) it omits one of the planet's most populous species, a species which, by its spread, has changed the lives of most other species and is causing many of them to become extinct. I refer to the human species. Can you believe it is not listed!
How can a book which appears to be otherwise so scientifically sound, in the twenty-first century, get these two things so wrong?
Despite these fundamental flaws, the book is a gem. My copy is prominent in our house and everyone dips into it almost daily. A feast!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you are wild about animals, this is your book!, Oct. 26 2001
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
This book arrives in a cardboard box type cover to protect your investment.
Once you open up the box, you will find one of the most beautiful books on animals you have ever seen. Not only is the photography superb, the details are fascinating. The contents are divided into eight sections:
Introduction, Habitats, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes and Invertebrates. An Index helps you find the animal you are looking up super fast.
As a reference, this is outstanding, clear, comprehensive and thought-provoking. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you will enjoy the photographic portraits of each animal. Each species profile is supported by symbols showing habitat, size, population and conservation status.
An introduction to the animal world helps to explain classification. The animal groups are listed and there are four pages to summarize the classification scheme used in this book.
The Habitats section is especially interesting as it describes how animals survive in grasslands, deserts, tropical forests, temperate forests, coniferous forests, mountains, polar regions, freshwater, oceans, coral reefs and even urban areas. Each page shows the habitat and then pictures of the animals living there.
The rest of the book is set up in a similar way for each section. First there is an introduction for the CLASS (Mammalia, etc) and then there is a introduction for each ORDER (Marsupialia). Then the families and species with detailed information. There is a map next to each animal picture showing where they live, their social unit, status, length, weight and pertinent information.
The Glossary helps to explain terms like species: a group of similar organisms that are capable of interbreeding in the wild and of producing offspring that resemble themselves.
The section on cats was especially beautiful, however in reality, cats really need their own book. >^..^<
This book is just gorgeous!
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING PICTURES; AMAZING TIME SPENT ON AMAZING BOOK!, Dec 13 2001
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
(...) It has the most stunning lay-out, the greatest detail (so famously done by the Eyewitness people from Dorling Kindersley) and the most fascinating information! Every page that talks about the creatures has mini maps of the world colored in so you can get the idea where the creatures live. You will be so knocked out as to how much DETAIL this heavy book can supply you! When you open the front of the book there is a neat spread of fish swimming out at you...close the book and the side where all the pages come together make a beautiful rainbow of color. I cannot express how amazing the pictures and photography are and how much information is in this book... The book also comes with a nice, sturdy slipcase made of cardboard with a picture exactly like the cover of the book for the cover of this slipcase. (...) you cannot miss this one!! A+++++++++!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves 10 stars!, Dec 13 2001
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
"Animal" is probably THE book to have if you want to have a reference to animal life on earth. Awesomely designed, stunningly photographed, meticulously organized, this book is an absolute treasure house. Visually it's unbelievably gorgeous; the design and organization are inspired; the photographs are breathtaking; it's easy to read and fun to browse through. It's hefty (over 8 pounds)and packed with references to most of the known animal genera on this planet. As beautiful as it is, this is no "coffee table" tome designed for show; "Animal" is an extremely valuable reference that will be used and explored over and over again... And at Amazon.com's price (...) it's the book bargain of the decade. This is one book you'll want to share with your family for generations to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!, Aug. 29 2002
By 
David J Range (Columbia, MO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
This book is simpy outstanding. Few books can rival the wide scope offered by Animal on a vast range of organisms which include invertebrates, birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and amphibians. The book is adorned with magnificent color photos of each organism and a compact description that provides adequate amounts of info on the organism. Although some common species are excluded, it more than makes up for this with the amount of species covered. For every common species excluded, I ran across three new species I had never heard of. This book is an extraordinary guide to the vast array of wildlife in the world. There are few books that I have found as informative and enjoyable to read as Animal. It truly is a definitive guide to the world's wildlife and I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, Oct. 30 2001
By 
Gavin Scott (Sunnyvale, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
I ordered this book on a whim after Amazon used it as one of the examples of their new feature that lets you look at pages of a book online before ordering it. It arrived today and I really am impressed. It's a large format, boxed, hardcover edition... It weighs a little over eight pounds.
This book is just amazing. DK have been making "pretty" books for a long time that haven't impressed me too much as far as the content goes, but this one shows that they are starting to get very good at it. The book looks quite comprehensive and the pictures are just gorgeous.
I'm probably going to order a few more copies as holiday gifts, since this looks like something that kids would love, and (all together now) it's educational!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent piece of work!!, Feb. 5 2002
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
A beautiful visual book. The photography is captivating to say the least, the text though short is very informative , the layout is something else and very well designed : easy access to general information. Some have objected to the fact that there is no mention of the human species; to those I say that the book's cover does say: The definitive visual guide to the world's WILDLIFE. I do admit that since invertebrates form 97% of all the known animal species,the chapter concerning them was a bit lacking and too short. One may not find enough research material for any specific animal, but nevertheless it is nothing short of stunning, it's the kind of book the whole family will enjoy and every household should have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible--- A must for any animal lover or student., Feb. 2 2003
By 
Giana (Maywood, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
This book is unbelievable from cover to cover. It's both a spectacular learning tool and a book that you'll keep forever and always refer to. It's been extremely helpful to me already as I continue through school toward a job working with animals and docenting at the zoo, and it would be equally as helpful to anyone of any age who shares this interest. The pictures are real and breathtakingly beautiful, and the book's organization couldn't be any easier or more perfect. I highly recommend this book as a reference or simply as a good read, because it is just as interesting and helpful either way. Animal is now the most beautiful book I own, and packed with interesting and vital information.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!, Nov. 1 2001
By 
Sandra D. Peters "Seagull Books" (Prince Edward Island, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
(...)If you are an animal lover, or want to use the book as a reference guide, this book will appeal to you. (...) To date I have seen no other book quite like it on any book shelf. Every fact and aspect of animal life is included here and the photographs are absolutely out of this world! Classification, behaviour, habitat and everything you wanted to know about each species in the animal kingdom is contained here and it is quite in-depth. What a wonderful gift this would make for that special animal lover on your list, and it would also make an excellent coffee table book for yourself.
(...) Highly recommended and worth a million stars in rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Photography is Astounding, April 24 2002
By 
P. Zrimsek "zrim" (Northfield, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smithsonian Animal (Hardcover)
The main reason to obtain this book is for the photography. Otherwise the information that is presented is mostly encyclopedic. Lots of info, but nothing too in depth and nothing new or novel. But the photography is the best I have seen! Each page (about 600) is packed with wonderful photos of all sorts of animals from the proud and majestic orangutan to the creepie crawlies of the non-vertebrate phylum. A great coffee table book or maybe a neat birthday present for the budding zoologist. Anyone who loves animals would certainly appreciate having this book.
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