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By Bob Goemans
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Aquariums: Windows to the World

Authored by: Leighton Taylor

A book review by Bob Goemans

TITLE: Aquariums: Windows to the World

AUTHOR: Leighton Taylor

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Inc.

ISBN 0-671-85019-9

PAGES: 170

PRICE: $35.00

Want something quite different for your library shelf? Then you may find "Aquariums: Windows to the World" just that. If you have ever dreamed about visiting some of the many public aquariums throughout the world, then this book has much to offer. Written by Leighto Taylor an aquarium expert ( as a place and not that little closed system in your living room), it traces the history of aquariums from their beginnings in Victorian England to the current, very sophisticated displays, e.g., Sea World, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Steinhart Aquarium and the Japan's Osaka Ring of Fire Aquarium to name just a "very" few. Numerous color photographs compliment this work of art.

Chapter one is titled - The Nature of an Aquarium: History, Architecture, and Design. It takes you through who invented aquariums, what makes an aquarium an aquarium, how big is a big aquarium, how are aquariums created and where do aquariums get the money to operate. Chapter two is titled "From Fishbowl to Contained Ocean: The Technology and Design of Aquarium Systems and Exhibits. It gives you insight into the amazing technology that is required to house these animals. Chapter three, "Who feeds the Fish?: Economic and management Issues" and contains some interesting chit-chat about Bruce Carlson, Director of the Waikiki Aquarium. The next chapter, Nature under Glass: Profiles of Special Animals, contains sections devoted to corals, jellyfish, chambered nautiluses, sharks, fishes, aquatic birds, sea otters, whales and dolphins. Chapter five, "A Traveler's Guide to the Aquariums of North America and Beyond" provides a list of aquariums which the author feels should be high on your list to visit. The book closes with a twelve page "Directory Of World Aquariums."

I found this book to be well written. Yet, I somehow had the feeling when I first picked up the book that I was about to see many beautiful color photos of actual entire exhibits from the worlds best aquariums. Even though there are some pictures of current aquariums and their displays in general, most of the photographs are of individual animals. Even though I was slightly disappointed in this respect, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and came away much better informed on public aquariums and with a renewed desire to try and visit as many as I can, specially the one's recommended by the author. All-in-all, an informative work on public aquariums and would make an excellent addition to any aquarium society library

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