"Super - you can almost hear David
Attenborough's voice as you are reading it"
"Yet another wonderful book!"
"a perfect gift for anyone from the
age of about 10 upwards"
Of Mammals by David Attenborough
There are over four and a half thousand different kinds of
mammals alive today. How many can you name? Many will not be entirely
clear about what it is that makes a mammal rather than a reptile or bird,
apart from egg laying. But then what about egg-laying mammals such as the
platypus and echidna? The Life of Mammals describes and illustrates
the remarkable diversity of mammals from the giant blue whale to the
miniscule pigmy shrew. The cachet of David Attenborough's name and
distinctive voice comes through clearly from the text and there's a
stunning selection of photographs, by the best wildlife photographers in
the world. The Life of Mammals is worth getting even if you just
like wildlife pictures, for there are many here that you will not have
seen before - the Brazilian tapir, the hairy rhino of Sumatra, the Pyrenean
desman and more.
Attenborough certainly has the knack of making good stories for the
general reader out of what, in other hands, can be rather dry science. He
manages to weave in a great deal about the evolutionary story behind the
success of the mammals over the last 65 million years since the dinosaurs
bit the dust. Also, because of all the careful research behind the TV
programmes, he is pretty well up to speed on many of the scientific
developments in our understanding of our biologically nearest if not
necessarily dearest relatives. This is especially true when the story gets
around to our closest primate cousins - the apes. All the recent
discoveries about tool use and culture are included too.
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