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This and the companion volume describe and illustrate more than 2000 species, form selected protozoans to fishes, found in the coastal waters of the British Isles and north-western Europe. They cover all benthic habitats, from the intertidal zone to approximately 30 metres depth, and also includes representatives of estuarine and supralittoral faunas. Each major animal group is briefly introduced, with notes on the morphology, biology, and ecology of representative species, together with suitable techniques for their collection and study. Short bibliographies list the most important specialist literature for each group. Identification is facilitated by dichotomous keys, first to families, and then to genera or species. Short diagnostic accounts are given for each family and higher taxon; descriptions of all species treated are followed by notes on their ecological and geographical distribution. All species are illustrated by line drawings, with related species grouped together to facilitate comparisons.
The two volumes comprise the most comprehensive account of the marine fauna of British and adjacent waters ever produced. It is intended as a bench work for both the professional and amateur marine biologist, as well as for undergraduate and postgraduate students. It is essentially a practical work; taxonomic and synonymic detail is deliberately kept to a minimum, with emphasis given to identification procedures.
List of contributors
List of illustrators
- P.J. Hayward: Introduction
- F.T. Banner, E.W. Knight-Jones, and J.M. Wright: Protozoa
- P.E.J. Dyrynda and E.A. Dyrynda: Porifera
- P.F.S. Cornelius, R.L. Manuel, and J.S. Ryland: Cnidaria
- R. Gibson and E.W. Knight-Jones: Platyhelminthes and Nemertea
- A. Nelson-Smith, P. Knight-Jones, and E.W. Knight-Jones: Annelida
- E.W. Knight-Jones and J.S. Ryland: Sipuncula, Priapulida, Echiura, Pogonophora, and Entoprocta
- M.J. Issac and J. Moyse: Crustacea I: Entomostraca
- M.J. Issac, P. Makings, E. Naylor, G. Smaldon, and R.G. Withers: Crustacea II: Malacostraca Peracarida
- J. Moyse and G. Smaldon: Crustacea III: Malacostraca Eucarida
- P. Elliott, P.E. King, C.I. Morgan, P.J.A. Pugh, A. Smith, and S.L.A. Wheeler: Chelicerata, Uniramia, and Tarigrada
Edited by P. J. Hayward and J. S. Ryland, both in Marine, Environmental, and Evolutionary Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University College of Swansea
"An invaluable and much recommended aid [...] A useful starting point for non-specialists and beginners."
– European Journal of Protistology
"A unique collection of keys, in two volumes, covering all major animal taxa, from protists to fishes, likely to be encountered intertidally or in shallow waters around British coasts [...] The editors have achieved a remarkably consistent style and quality of presentation [...] The editors, authors, and publishers are to be congratulated on producing a text of the highest quality. It will be a standard reference for many years to come."
– Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
"Truly admirable! One cannot but admire the tenacious industry of the authors, editors, artists, and publishers of these volumes in holding to their intention of producing a high-quality (well-indexed typo free) identification guide to the commoner marine animals of N W Europe."
"a unique collection of keys, in two volumes, covering all major animal taxa, from protists to fishes, likely to be encountered intertidally or in shallow waters around British coasts [...] the editors have achieved a remarkably consistent style and quality of presentation [...] Abundant line drawings are exquisitely done and, together with the high quality of printing, make the volumes a joy to possess and to browse through. The editors, authors and publishers are to be congratulated on producing a text of the highest quality. It will be a standard reference for many years to come."
– R.N. Hughes, University of Wales, Bangor, Fish Biology and Fisheries, Volume 1, Number 2, 1991
"Very rarely, [...] a book on marine biology is published which is so beautifully produced, so superbly illustrated, and so authoritative in the text [...] For such a multi-authored work, it has a wonderful unity due to the vast editorial experience and scholarship of these two gifted marine biologists. The book is remarkable also for the excellence of the illustrations, which combine scientific details with delicate artistry and flair, making the volumes true works of art [...] This scholarly and important book [...] will be welcomed by all marine biologists. It is certain to become the standard text and we may never see the likes of this classical venture again."
– Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
"All readers will appreciate the publication of this up to date and comprehensive guide to the marine fauna of the seas around the British Isles, at a price that they can afford [...] the definitive identification guide to all the common species of British marine invertebrates [...] The illustrations are excellent line drawings, so thorough that they can be used to separate species that are almost identical [...] The first chapter gives an excellent introduction to aspects of the marine environment [...] The concise guide is highly recommended and should be regarded as essential reading and the first choice on your Christmas list. It should also be on the shelf of every Public Library as it is clearly the leading book on the subject."
– Glaucus (British Marine Life Study Society Magazine) Summer/Autumn 1995