Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia
How to use this book (vol.1)
Cumulative Index (vol. 17)
Illustrations, maps, charts
Unlike A-Z encyclopedias, Grzimek’s organizes its volumes by classification of the various groups (phylum) of animals found on the planet. This is a very colorful encyclopedia, with many full color illustrations of the creatures described. Volume 1 is on lower Metazoans and lesser Deuterostomes (ie.,flatworms, box jellies, coral, anemones) Volume 2 discusses Protostomes (snail, slugs, octopi, and the residents of the seashells found at the beach) Volume 3 is Insects; Volumes 4-5 discuss fish; Volume 6 Amphibians; Volume 7 Reptiles. Volumes 8-11 describe birds and volumes 12-16 mammals with volume 17 being a cumulative index for the entire set. Each entry describes the evolution and structure of the phylum, its physical characteristics, distribution, habitat (usually with accompanying map), behavior, feeding habits, reproductive biology and conservation status. Of particular interest is the section “significance to humans” where one learns that the yellow boring sponge is a pest to oyster growers and the porcupine is used by some for food with its quills sometimes being used in artwork.
The general description of the Phylum is following by descriptions of many of the individual species found within each group. Grzimek’s is considered the standard reference for the animal kingdom, and each article has suggestions for further reading in both books and articles. If you are looking for information on any member of the animal kingdom and its significance to humans, or colorful pictures to illustrate papers on any aspect of the animal world, start here.