“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 evolution has shaped the lives of each of these groups of mammals. Attenborough discusses what makes a mammal a mammal, then goes on to discuss the varying lifestyles of mammalian species.
The text itself is very easy to read. The writing style is engaging and informative, and no previous knowledge of biology or zoology is needed to understand this book. Attenborough caters to a very broad audience, and does not try to confuse the reader with lots of scientific terminology. The Life of Mammals would be very good reading for anyone interested in animals and mammals in general.
From learning about the navigation methods of bats and the special habits of meat eaters to understanding the natural history of water mammals, this book provides a focus which contrasts environments and evolutionary processes, and makes for an important and innovative guide. Heavily illustrated with beautiful photographs, this is a terrific introduction to the wonders of our hairy, milk-producing relatives.”