256 pages, 120 col photos, 756 illustrations
The divide between Europe and Africa is only a few short miles and the two continents support an extraordinary array of animal life across huge distances. Narwhals live in the northern seas of the Arctic Ocean, chamois bound up the steep rocky slopes of the mountainous areas of Europe, great crested newts inhabit the ponds of Britain and central Europe, spitting cobras hide inside termite hills in eastern Africa, indris jump between tree trunks in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar, and bat-eared foxes live in the open country of southern and eastern Africa.
This book is a comprehensive visual guide to over 575 major species from the Arctic Circle through to Britain, mainland Europe, the full length and breadth of Africa, and Madagascar. Animals are grouped for easy reference according to their related types: salamanders, frogs and toads, turtles and tortoises, lizards, crocodiles, snakes, cats, hyenas, civets and genets, dogs, small carnivores, mongooses, rodents, rabbits, bats, insectivores, apes, monkeys, lemurs, elephants, hoofed animals, seals, dolphins, whales and sirenians. From familiar animals, such as reindeer, hippopotamuses and great apes, through to less familiar animals, such as Malagasy leaf-nosed snakes, fossas and aye ayes, all the animals are accompanied by a lively description of their physical characteristics and behaviour. Easy-to-read information panels detail distribution, habitat, food sources, size, life span and conservation status, and additional information about the less common species is presented in at-a-glance panels throughout the book.
An authoritative natural history section examines the diversity of life in the vertebrate kingdom, answering questions about what constitutes an animal, how different species have evolved and how they survive, and what conservationists are doing to protect threatened wildlife. Each African and European habitat is examined in depth, from oceans and freshwater rivers and lakes to mountains, forests and even human settlements.
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