Friday, May 13, 2011
1) Hutchins, Ray. Apes: Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans and Gibbons. 2011. Merlin Publications. Hardbound: 80 pages. Price: GBP 12.99 (about $21.04 U.S.).
SUMMARY: Excellent, well-illustrated introductory guide to all species and subspecies of gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan and gibbon, which would also serve as an educational resource. Preliminary sections explain how the apes are related and provide information on biology, ecology, life history, behaviour and physiology.
The bulk of the book is devoted to species accounts: 7 species of Great ape in 4 genera and 16 species of Lesser ape in 4 genera. Each species account contains information on appearance, distribution, population size, conservation, breeding biology and ecology. Each account is laid out as a 2-page spread for easy cross-referencing.
It is the artwork that makes the book stand out. Ray Hutchins brings his skills as an artist to produce attractive, accurate images of all the species.
The title has been endorsed by the Jane Goodall Institute and The Orangutan Foundation.
RECOMMENDATION: A good introduction to our closest living relatives that will be most useful to the general public, especially school children!