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cheap books on Natural History

Discussion in 'TV, Movies, Books about Zoos & Wildlife' started by Chlidonias, 3 Oct 2012.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I looked yesterday and found publication dates for 2016 and 2017. I couldn't figure out if it just keeps getting delayed or if it is different versions being published.
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    You should check Subbuteo as well for books. Their "special offers" category has lots of titles (a few pounds cheaper than NHBS for your above picks, although I don't know how their postage charges compare). And you can choose price ranges on the left of the page.
    Special Offers | Subbuteo
     
  3. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    A little cheaper but my order was already locked in with NHBS and their postage seems really good. After a little deliberation I added two more books: Bradt's Chinese Wildlife (dirt cheap, and hopefully the sort of thing I can offer friends as an 'intro' guide), and Reef Fishes of South-east Asia, which although I don't dive much, should give me at least some idea of what I'm looking at down there, as my aquatic knowledge base is pretty much zero.
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I have read that in years past and remember it as being a good book - but I honestly cannot recall if it actually was useful or if it was one of those books that looks good but doesn't really say much that is helpful. I think the information was pretty general overall.
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    My books arrived today (after three weeks!).

    Primates of the World is a beautiful book to look through. The artwork is amazing. However it isn't a complete catalogue of the world's primates, which is what I was expecting. Instead it covers all the families with only selected species illustrated and described. Annoyingly (from my pedantic mind-set viewpoint) for each family it will state the number of species in the family, but not actually list what they are. As far as I can tell there isn't a checklist of species anywhere in the book. The species are also arranged geographically which generally doesn't matter, but it does mean that, for example, the Barbary Macaque is located well away from the Asian macaques in the book.

    Having said all that, I would recommend it as a purchase. Just don't expect a full "primates of the world" treatment.


    The other book, "A Naturalist's Guide to the Primates of Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent" is really good. Paperback, quite small, published 2017. The species accounts are quite short and basic. It is very splitty, but every species is illustrated with photos, most of which are excellent. Most of them are of wild animals but there are a few captives of the rarer species. The Shortridge's Langur illustrated in the book is the same individual I've seen at Yadanabon Zoo in Burma. My only criticism is simply that there is no information about where to see any of the species, other than covering their distributions. There is a very brief chapter on primate-watching but it is extremely general.
     
  6. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    That's quite bad news about Primates of the World to be honest. If I had known it wasn't exhaustive, I'm not sure I'd have bought it.
    What's my best bet if I don't want to spend £185 on a Mammals of the World volume?
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I just had a look at the book to give some examples of actual species numbers versus the number of species featured in the book.

    Some groups come out really well, which might reflect the artist's interests (?) - for the callitrichids, six out of six Callithrix, ten out of fourteen Mico, sixteen out of seventeen Saguinus.

    But then you've got examples like only four out of twelve Cebus, three out of seven Tarsius, three out of seventeen Microcebus, three out of twenty Galago, seven out of twenty-four Lepilemur, five out of twenty-nine Callicebus, etc.

    Oddly, there are five inclusions for only two species of Varecia (i.e. the book includes three subspecies of V. variegata plus hybrid V. variegata X V. rubra). Both subspecies of Indri are considered desirable enough for inclusion.


    It is a book of beautiful illustrations, but not quite what I was expecting. I wouldn't say I was disappointed, as such, but not entirely happy. I had been very surprised by how slim it was when I opened the package - I had been expecting a weighty encyclopaedic tome.
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not aware of any other exhaustive primate books - but there are several options for specific groups of primates which you could collect together to form a (possibly) complete set of books.

    I have this one on Callithrichids, for example: Marmosets and Tamarins: Pocket Identification Guide

    It is a small folded guide but has a spine so can be placed on a shelf and look like a real book. It isn't at all a reference work (for actual information) but it illustrates all the species. I'm sure it was mentioned in the HMW thread that the Callitrichids in that volume are taken directly from the pocket guide? And I think there are similar versions for other groups like Cercopithecids.
     
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    This book is the definitive volume where lemur taxa are concerned; the only caveat is that it is 8 years old now and as such is not 100% up to date with the latest taxonomic discoveries.

    Lemurs of Madagascar

    However, I nonetheless strongly recommend it.
     
  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    I found this on the NHBS website: All the World's Primates

    Hardly a major saving but it's probably more up to date than MotW.

    How many Cercopithecus species are in Primates of the world??
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    That looks good - 1500 photographs! - although a bit pricy for me.


    For Cercopithecus, Primates of the World says there are 25 species total. It depicts 23 species, but with 31 altogether (several species show two or three subspecies). They are depicted over seven plates. Not sure why the missing two species couldn't be included. So that genus is pretty complete - and the paintings are superb.
     
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  12. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw that when I was looking at the other title earlier. The blurb says "234 species of primates". The book @FunkyGibbon was looking at has "all 505 species". That's a huge increase, mostly due to splitting.
     
  14. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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    From the same series:

    Primates of West Africa: A Field Guide and Natural History (Conservation International Tropical Field Guides) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1934151483/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_xsxDAb17WWH35

    (Obviously a good bet if Cercopithecus is your thing.)
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    It might be worth noting that the book is sort of a hard-copy version of a database. It's not free-access, but it is cheaper than the book itself. Also you can't put it on your bookshelf.

    All The Worlds Primates – Purchase All the Worlds Primates
    "If you are on a budget. The All the World’s Primates website alltheworldsprimates.org is updated annually and has more information, references, photos, video and audio. For a donation to PCI of $39.95 you will receive access for the life of the website. For a donation of $19.95 you can access the website for 5 months (one semester)."
     
  16. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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    As much as I loved this book at the time, I've just leafed through it for the first time in many years.

    The earliest days of the splitting era are covered (two species of orang-utan and gorilla, for example) but it's now woefully out of date on lemurs (three mouse lemurs!) and New World primates.
     
  17. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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    I've only just spotted that Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates and All The World's Primates are both the work of Noel Rowe. I suspect the latter is the natural successor to the former.

    I have a horrible feeling that this thread about "cheap books" is about to cost me £142.99!
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    @FunkyGibbon's fault!!
     
  19. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    I saw this one, but the illustrations on the front are a bit off-putting.

    And you can think of £140 as £7 a year for the next twenty years, or 2p per day. What a bargain!
     
  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    But in twenty years the number of Primate species will have increased to over 1000!