The photographs by Lisa Watson are the first thing to catch your eye about this beautifully produced book. The majority are of museum specimens, which oddly is what makes the pictures so attractive: we're used to seeing high quality pictures of wildlife, but the displays here juxtapose many different beetles and have more impact than wildlife shots would. The pictures are beautiful but the text is high-quality too. The authors start by reciting some statistics on the number of beetle species. Linnaeus, two hundred and fifty years ago, described 654 species; and Fabricius added another 4,112 species between 1775 and 1801. By 1876 Gemminger and von Harold's catalog contained nearly 77,000 species; and when Junk and Schenkling's catalogue was completed, in 1940, it listed nearly 221,500 species. It's now estimated that there are 350,000 described beetle species. However, recent work by Terry Erwin, extrapolating from detailed studies of a small area, suggests that there are...
I have read large numbers of insect books, and this is my absolute favorite. Cover to cover, it is an interesting and informative book. The photography is simply stunning and amazing, and the text is easy to read and well planned to cater to the well informed entomologist and amateur alike. It describes all aspects of beetle lives, with special emphasis on how many beetles there are in the world and how they effect human cultures in ways we rarely notice. Anyone who has any interest in beetles, insects in general, or excellent photography should get ahold of a copy of this book. I assure you that you won't regret it!
If a single example of every living species, plant and animal, were lined up, every fifth organism would be a beetle! This amazingly beautiful book combines fascinating natural history about the most common form of life on earth with spectacular photographs. Brings the appreciation of beetles closer to the way many of us already feel about birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Look closely--beauty lies beneath our feet. This is a coffee table art book simply in a class by itself. It is rich in content as well as beauty
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