Editor Shoshani has collected a wide variety of expert authors--in fact, more than 30--to present this very fine addition to the spate of elephant books. Unlike the others, this volume covers elephant evolution and biology in far more detail, discussing early relatives such as the mastodon and mammoth. The experts have contributed informative essays on birth, communications, and other aspects of behavior and environment. A section on elephants and humans covers topics such as the use of the animals in war, work, and entertainment. A section on conservation and management includes contrasting viewpoints on culling current elephant populations and gratifying information on the crumbling ivory trade. Providing perspective, depth, and facts, this highly recommended volume will also be an especially useful companion to any of the more pictorial and less encyclopedic works by Boyd Norton ( The African Elephant: Last Days of Eden , LJ 11/1/91), Ronald Orenstein (ed., Elephants: The Deciding Decade , LJ 11/15/91), or Roger L. DeSilvestro ( The African Elephant: Twilight in Eden , LJ 12/91).
Publisher: Weldon Owen