Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bovines of the world by Jose R Castello Book Review

 Bovines of the world by Jose R Castello Book review
 Princeton Press Field Guide.
It's not just Technology that I have an interest in, you may also have seen I review books too, not just zombie apocalyptic books, Im a girl who loves her natural history As a wildlife photographer I truly love all things Nature orientated .

Ive got so many books on animals and birds, British wildlife, moths, butterflies you name it I probably have a book on it; here are just a few Ive reviewed.
 But Bovines are something you just dont see many books on if any.
Many of us animal lovers have marveled on how magnificent Bison and antelopes are and we've ooed and arred at the stunning elegance of gazelles and the adorable Dik-diks yes it is a word I can assure you.

But what do you know of these, well Jose Castello has just published the "worlds first" comprehensive gorgeous chunky guide on Bovines of the world from Princeton Press

See more about this wonderful book on Bovids below...
"What are Bovids"? I here you say...yep I can hear you...well...Bovids are a diverse group of animals that have hooves and unbranched hollow horns.
That includes Antelopes, Gazelles, Cattle, Goats, sheep and others which you have to agree are among the worlds most spectacular horned animals.

The work involved in putting together such an incredible collection of animals and the information about each animal must have taken years, I cannot begin to guess how many hours Jose has put into collecting the data for such an impressive field guide. This is the one and only book you'll ever need on these animals.

Author Bio 
Jose R Castello lives in Madrid as a medical Doctor with a particular interest in zoology and biology, he is a member of the American Society of Mammalologists and the Spanish Society for Conservation and study of mammal's.

This specialized guide is for those of you that absolutely love your Natural history like me and also enjoy reading about it.

 Beautifully illustrated front cover.

 The back cover has a detailed explanation of whats inside this impressive book.

 Closeup so you can read this yourself.

So let me give you a run down of whats inside;
Its the first ever comprehensive guide of all 279 Bovid species; with 337 stunning colour plates of every Bovid. I can honestly say these images are beautiful.

Just checkout the thickness of this book, its not a pocket guide type, unless you have a very well reinforced pocket, it is heavy! The quality of  the paper and print is exceptional and you will notice the coloured sections these will help you find what your looking for using the sub index inside.

So the first part of the book has some fascinating biological info on size shape and colour of these animals. A really interesting section at the beginning is how they grow from calf to adult see the image above, then the skeletal differences between the Bovid species.

Then the antlers, well its what we all love these species of animals for, Jose goes on to show us the variety and types of horns, how they grow, what they are made of everything in detail and I do love detail.
Ive always had an interest in biology so anything with bones and skulls makes me happy.
At the back of the book it also shows some fantastic variety of skulls with these species; Im not showing too much as Ill give it all away but honestly its worth getting because of this, I find this absolutely fascinating.

He doesn't stop here this guide goes about depicting EVERY kind of Bovid with key IDs of horn morphology, distribution of that animal around the world, its habitat, and conservation plus what it eats, when it breeds, how long for, I could go on...and on...really I could.

So how can you use this book?
  1. Well firstly its perfect for the person wanting to accurately identify all known species and sub-species of Bovids. Using the gorgeous illustrations of the body, measurements and a super clever part being illustrations showing each species from calf to juvenile to adult, male and female as they can differ considerably....amazing!
  2. Then of course checkout the size, shape and colour of the horns its all there for you to ID your subject. As a photographer this is vital when labeling your photos correctly.
  3. Jose has structured this guide based on taxonomic classification of the family Bovidae into tribes, and is organized to provide a more ease of use for us as the reader. So basically its divided into antelopes, goats etc.This is made easier by colour ID as you can see from my image at the top margin of the book.
  4. So you turn to the section of family/tribe you think you saw then you can easily flick through looking at the accurate illustrations and break it down by area you saw it, what was it feeding on etc; till eventually you have accurately ID'd your Bovid. 
For an example Im using this Impala, it shows images from every view point, it's coloration (this can vary very slightly) its horn shape and general stance and the sometimes subtle differences between the sexes.
I would like to point out every species in this book is shown by actual photos as seen above.

Calf to juvenile and then a super clever idea the size in comparison to an average man; this is genius as its an instant visual measurement guide. Every species has this in the bottom left corner.

 Then we have a small map on the opposite page showing exactly where they can be found in the world.

Then of course all the info you could possible want to know about your Impala.
  • Subspecies.
  • Similar species (so you know where to look if this isnt your guy).
  • Reproduction.
  • Life span.
  • Behavior.
  • what it feeds on.
  • what time of day its more active etc.
  • Distribution across the world.
  • Its habitat.
 An excellent addition and highly important section is on Status;  where Jose explains if these animals are endangered and why, deforestation etc.

For me just the sheer variety of these magnificent animals is astounding; for example Brent Huffman who writes the foreword (with Colin Groves) explains the Asian wild water Buffalo is such a massive size contrast to the tiny Royal Antelope which is the size of a rabbit with almost a thousand kg in weight difference between them.

 I was so very impressed with the stunning images; check out bully the Bison here; isn't he just magnificent...!

I love the small clip of the cute.

 One of the most unusual species Ive discovered while looking through, was this Takin; they say ugly is a strange beauty; well I would tak-im home in an instant, I think he looks wonderful.

But my favorite tribe is the Antilopini and the Oreotragini like this little Klipspringer here; as they have the most adorable eyes and ears and are generally the smallest species around, about the size of a cat or small dog.

Im not going to show you guys anymore or this will be a very long review and I dont want to spoil the sheer magnificence of this beautifully illustrated book.

This stunning comprehensive field guide is one of the most thoroughly researched field guides I own and is a must for anyone who adores natural history; with 337 colour plates and 1500 photographs this is the first EVER comprehensive guide on Bovids.
Its ideal for the biologist and scientist who wants to know the details of certain species in minute detail or someone who is studying zoology. I studied zoology for many years and I would have loved this book to have helped with some of my studies. 
If your a traveler who follows wildlife throughout the world this will be an invaluable guide to ID these amazing species. Although not meant for the shirt pocket as its quite heavy despite being called a field guide.

There's nothing better than being able to ID an animal you've photographed and then find out what it likes to eat and more about its individual behaviors.
I think you will be amazed at the sheer diversity of these stunning animals, from their variety of horns; straight, curved, twisted, curly, small to large and majestic but all beautiful works of art.

I highly recommend this book, its probably not a book you will thumb through page to page to the very end...but if your like me you just cant help picking it up off your coffee table every day and discovering another new species for the first time like your a modern day Darwin.

You can get your copy of
from Amazon UK or directly through Princeton Press

I have to thank Princeton Press for kindly sending me this amazing book to share with you all.
All my views and opinions are my own and all photos are mine unless otherwise stated.

1 comment:

Make my day and say hi and I will take a look at your blog or site too!
Thanks XxX

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