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Crocodilians rank amongst the oldest surviving vertebrate groups, dating directly from the age of the dinosaurs. They practise a degree of parental care and social communication unrivalled in the lower vertebrates. At the very most, only six out of the 22 surviving species represent any danger to people. Learn more about these great and ancient reptiles.
Smithsonian Handbooks are the most visually appealing guides on the natural world in the book marketplace.
Dogs have been our closest animal companions since before the start of recorded history. They have traveled with us, fought with us, and saved countless lives. As society has changed over the course of millennia, so have dogs--a trend that is still apparent today, with dogs being kept increasingly for companionship rather than for working purposes. There is no universal system of breed classification for dogs but, generally, they are divided on the basis of their original function. Some categories such as the hound group are more natural than others, which may simply consist of breeds with diverse working ancestries. Not all breeds are recognized for show purposes, and recognition can vary between different organizations and countries.
This text explores the world of cats. It traces the evolution, distribution, and current status of cats from Africa to the Americas. Each species is discussed in detail, and information on distinctive features such as sight, hearing, hunting techniques, and locomotion is provided.
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