BOOKS: Wild Horses, Swans, & Frogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1995:

Wild Horses: A Spirit Unbroken, by Elwyn Hartley Edwards.
112 pages, $24.95 hardcover.

Swans, by Dafila Scott.
72 pages, 50 color photos, $14.95 hardcover.

Frogs, by David Badger, with photos by John Netherton.
141 pages, $35.00 hardcover.
All from Voyageur Press (123 North 2nd St., Stillwater, MN 55082-5002), 1995.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
on November 24 announced a fall flight of
149 trumpeter swans, the biggest since the
birds were first federally protected in 1940.
Zoologist Dafila Scott must have smiled.
The daughter of Sir Peter Scott, founder of
the World Wildlife Fund, and the granddaughter
of Antarctic explorer Robert
Falcon Scott, she records in her volume
S w a n s just about everything most of us
would ever want to know about swans, one
of the oldest traceable avian species.
As comprehensive as Scott’s treatise
on swans is, Badger’s work on frogs is
more so, covering a wider range of creatures
and including an index. If you ever
need to learn a lot about frogs in a hurry,
here’s your source.
Most of us at tend to picture mustangs
when we think of wild horses, but
despite the high profile of mustangs in the
American west, they are only one example
of many. Wild and feral horses persist in
remote places around the world. Elwyn
Hartley Edwards misses including perhaps
the oldest variety of all, the Riwoche horses
reported November 10 by French ethnologist
Michel Peissel and team, after a sixweek
exploration of northeastern Tibet––but
those horses apparently hadn’t ever been
seen before by westerners. Otherwise,
Edwards offers a thorough coffee table
introduction to wild equines from ass to
zebra; the only other omission quickly evident
is a much-needed index.
––M.C.

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