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The Life of Mammals

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  849 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Of marsupials, mice and men. Evolution, and Sir David Attenborough's 23-year sequence of books and BBC television 'Life' films, have culminated in the mammals and the explosion of awareness and intelligence. In the very short period of 100 million years - a mere blink in evolutionary time - the first mammals have arrived at world dominance.

This came largely from hair and
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published 2002 by BBC Books
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  849 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
Karen gives great gifts!!

She gave me this book along with a fox bookmark for my birthday last year, and it only took me about fifteen months to read through the book in its entirety! Here is my copy of the book and the bookmark:

I love this book so much!! and like most things I really love, I am terrible about bringing myself to enjoy them. Instead of just gulping it down I drag out my enjoyment, or think, "no, now is not the right time to dip into this book again, you'll enjoy it sometime more
Sophie Crane
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film-tv, animals
What is there to say. It's David Attenborough. That should say enough. The man is a cornerstone for those in my generation that got an interest in natural history.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a thorough and comprehensive look at the evolution of mammals and how this has controlled their diet and visa-versa. Each chapter looks at a different mammal group showing the interconnections between them, their diet and their surroundings. As ever Attenborough manages to make sure that no reader is left behind on this epic journey through the world of mammals, including us as animals too (hate to break it to ya, but we are). Not to mention plenty of amazing photographs throughout to ...more
Nov 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any non-expert lover of nature
Shelves: nonfiction
The Life of Mammals is not a difficult book. It took me two days to read it in my spare time, despite its 300+ pages and large size. It is extraordinarily rich in photographs: almost one for every two pages. It is very well-written and gosh, it's such a relief to find a book on animals that doesn't use complex scientific language!
It begins with a chapter titled, "A Winning Design", and discusses the origin and characteristics of mammals, followed by a pattern that will continue for the rest of
Of course I'm going to pick up a book with an Amur tiger on the cover...

I have not seen the 10 episode Discovery Channel series that goes along with this book, but let me tell you, the book stands on its own. The most diverse of the vertebrates, mammals include the largest animals on earth (blue whales), animals that fly (bats), and animals that can eat almost any type of food. The author makes sense of this diversity by dividing mammals into easily understandable groups and explaining how
Devilyn (Emily)
A book based on the TV documentary series by David Attenborough, it was a must have. And i wasn't disappointed. Easy to read and the beautiful pictures make it simple for children and enjoyable for anyone who likes or is interested in knowing anything about animals.
Mar 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Of all the people I've never met and would like to meet, David Attenborough is probably my all-time favorite. The pictures in this book are incredible (the BBC series even better). I immediately decided to buy this after seeing the photo of the pygmy anteater on page 217. It's amazing.
Cleo Logue
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous. Wonderful.
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about obscure mammals that I had never heard of. Definitely a very interesting book.
Ikhwanussafa Sadidan
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This beautiful book is filled with universal knowledge and understanding on Marsupials, mice and men which is brought vividly to life with the most stunning photographs. It is an explosion of awareness and intelligence that has been culminated through David Attenborough’s twenty three year sequence of books and BBC television ‘life’ films, that cannot fail to astonish and blow you away. This book and its accompanying series of remarkable films contain vision, enthusiasm, passion and the ability ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I originally got and started reading this book about fifteen years ago (when I was 13!!) as I had enjoyed the TV series of the same name. I didn’t get all that far through it, so for the better part of a decade and a half it has sat unread. I’m really glad to have read it now though. There are two main selling points to this book: 1. The photography is beautiful, and 2. You can hear David Attenborough’s voice in your head as you read it. It’s readable, interesting and informative. Those who ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Attenborough, a highly acclaimed TV documentary presenter and naturalist, lets his findings, and those of experts all around the world, flourish in this book on mammals - a written version of his nature documentary series with the same title. From the great blue whale to the tiny pygmy shrew, Attenborough's book covers many corners of mammals' lives (individually and collectively): adaptation, reproduction, social and foraging behaviour, evolution and more. Ultimately, we are led to question not ...more
Drew Pyke
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my first Attenborough book which was a really interesting read, although some chapters more than others. The facts about why mammals get big, hairy, get big ears, smaller noses, go different colours, lose their limbs or change shape because of the food they eat and the environment they live in is very detailed without being academic. The piece about how humans had an amphibious stage in our evolution was particularly extraordinary. Well worth reading, although not ideal for the train as ...more
Nathan Sinclair
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable read, and written in a way that makes it impossible not to hear Attenborough in my head as I read. But I was pretty surprised to see a fair amount of errors in the text, in terms of incorrect words and sentences that were difficult to make sense of. Stuff that should have been picked up in proofreading. I expected better, to be honest.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, science
A great, easy to read book about many types of mammals and their strategies for survival. These books are written as a possible guide for the "Life of Mammals" documentary series, but they boast a lot of added information and unique photographs. Besides all this, I love me some David Attenborough.
Chris Cousins
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
David Attenborough's books never cease to satisfy I watched the companion TV series for this book many years ago but only received the book a a present last year. Very detailed with wonderful photos. Highly recommended.
Leslie Green
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book if you love learning about animals. Attenborough discusses mammals, categorized by their diets, and gives a lot of interesting details in this book. Also has really beautiful photographs of most of the mammals about which he writes.
David Ward
The Life of Mammals by David Attenborough (BBC Books 2002)(599). David Attenborough’s years of work have led to this study of mammals. Evolution has bestowed the highest mental functioning to mammals; the author studies what this has wrought. My rating: 7/10, finished 2003.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: trade-books
This is a really great book to help teach children about mammals. I used this book to help make a lesson plan.
Darcy Shedden
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
David Attenborough at his usual best.
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Easy read, but interesting great animals
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book, amazing pictures, amazing facts
Wendelle So
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great
a tale of wonders from the legendary and archetypal naturalist-explorer Sir David Attenborough. it is very informative
P.S. Winn
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This author knows his stuff, if you like animals, are curious about animals or already know the author's other works, grab this special book.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Great book. Great pictures. Easy read. You can visualize how the animals evolved.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, tv-tie-in, 2010
Not to Attenborough's usual standard. The prose is rushed and the proof-reading poor. I suspect a rush-job made under a tight deadline, for TV tie-in purposes.
N.G. Habsburg
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great explanation of the different branches of Mammalia. Gives a good clear sense of how the branches relate to each other and why they share common features / habits.
Sandra Palmer
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I’ve read several of his books and this one (again) does not disappoint!!
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is very awesome.
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Sir David Frederick Attenborough is a naturalist and broadcaster, who is most well-known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, produced in conjunction with BBC's Natural History Unit. The series includes Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (about Antarctica; 1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), ...more