More than half of the world's vertebrates live wholly or largely in an aquatic environment and all the classes of animals commonly found in zoos include aquatic species. Whether vertebrate or invertebrate, forms are found which are beautiful, grotesque, graceful, frightening, fascinating, amusing or unusually intelligent. Seals and sealions, otters, penguins and puffins spring to mind as the zoo-going public's delight but to these can be added an extraordinary variety of fishes, from sharks to tetras, and a host of strange and intriguing invertebrates. The 29 papers in this section amply illustrate the exciting and instructive approaches that can be made to the aquatic world, ranging from the multi-million dollar deep-sea aquarium to the simple but effective educational display that can be duplicated by the zoo's own work force in a conventional aquarium tank. Beginning with a fascinating review of work with living corals the section describes a number of beautiful simulated coral reefs, and continues with tidepools and pelagic environments which house algae and invertebrates as well as fishes. The jungle waterways of the Amazon are represented by an impressive exhibit in Vancouver, while an equally impressive facility at San Diego recreates the contrasting environment of the Antarctic penguin using tonnes of real snow. The various displays designed for penguins show how much can be done to improve the housing and effective exhibition of this popular group of birds, while the move to provide habitat displays for other seabirds is welcome. Exhibits for Polar bears, otters and pinnipeds cater for the mammals. The several papers on the care of particular species include an affectionate description of the difficult but endearing octopuses and practical advice on breeding, amongst others, the strange foureyed fish, the Wolf-eel, Arafura file snake, Emperor penguin and European otter. The great wealth of information included in this section reflects not only the enthusiasm and dedication of all those who work with aquatic species but also how important for our appreciation of the land is an understanding and respect of the seas and rivers.
New developments in the zoo world:
Recent approaches, observations and researches into the care of animals in captivity are described in the 24 papers of section 2. Among the successful breeding reports are those for the Tuatara, Eurasian water shrew and Volcano rabbit, all rarely bred in captivity, and, a considerable achievement, second-generation Aardvarks reared by their mother. An important research breakthrough is the development of a diagnostic test for pregnancy in the elephant. A detailed study of the food intake and growth of Cassowary chicks should prove valuable to the keepers of ratite birds, and interesting and useful data have been recorded on birth and development in the Koala, the Prehensile-tailed porcupine and Rocky Mountain goat, to name but a few. Among the papers on primates are two of exceptional interest; the first is on the development and management of a captive Chimpanzee colony based on a natural grouping and the second is on observations of wild Gorillas and their relevance to captive management.
Includes a 74 page directory of zoos and aquaria around the world together with an index of zoo names and a list of new buildings and exhibits completed and occupied between 1983 and 1984; a taxonomic list of vertebrate species bred in captivity in 1984 and census of rare animals in captivity on 1st January 1985 (136 pages) is followed by an up-to-date list of authorised studbooks and world registers. Author and subject indices to Volumes 22--26 conclude the volume.