Many books have been published on African mammals. Some are purely
technical, such as checklists of species found within a particular area, with
their scientific names and range; others deal with only one of the African
countries. They are of invaluable help for the scientist, but less useful for
the layman.
However, there has been no Field Guide to the mammals of the whole
continent south of the Sahara, and the need for one has often struck us
while walking or driving through different regions of Africa. Hence this
book. We felt that such a book would be useful at a time when more and
more people are interested in African wildlife and travel, and when there
is so much concem over the fate of African mammals, the last great
community of large animals in the world. So we started work with
But we soon found that we had seriously underestimated the task. So
little is known about large animals apparently familiar to man for decades
and even centuries. The systematics of many antelope and primates need
to be thoroughly revised. The status and distribution of many other groups,
such as the smali carnivores, are largely a matter of guesswork. Large
areas of Africa have still to be investigated thoroughly, particularly in
Ethiopia and West Africa. And in spite of ali the information gathered by
hunters and traveliers, and ali the biological research of recent years,
relatively little is known about the habits of most African mammals.
This book is not a work of systematics. We have tried to follow the
modem trends of c1assification-but not too rigidly: ease of identification
sometimes seemed to require a modified order. Nor is it a work of bio-
geography. The maps are mere sketches to show the broad lines of
distribution as known today. And it is certainly not a comprehensive book
on mammals, with fuli descriptions of the animals, their coat, homs, skull
and teeth, their ecology and behaviour. We have limited its scope to
species which a mammal watcher can identify in the field, south of Tropic
of Cancer. We have ignored all those smaller mammals which are difficult
to observe and impossible to identify-except by specialists holding a
specimen in the hand or through an examination of the skull and teeth.
It is meant primarily as a practical book for recognition.................
Jean Dorst & Pierre Dandelot
A Field guide to the larger Mammals of Africa
070 Giornalismo, Editoria, Giornali
Studio a tema
Copertina rigida azzurra con immagine con costola azzurra con scritta nera e bianca