"Words are our tools, and, as a minimum, we should use clean tools. We should know what we mean and what we do not, and we must forearm ourselves against the traps that language sets us."
-- The Need for Precise Terminology, Austin (1957, 7–8)
It follows that, for effective and efficient communication, people should have, or at least understand, the same precise terminology. Such terminology is crucial for the advancement of basic, theoretical, and applied science, yet too often there is ambiguity between scientific and common definitions and even discrepancies in the scientific literature.
Providing a common ground and platform for precise scientific communication in animal behavior, ecology, evolution, and related branches of biology, Animal Behavior Desk Reference, A Dictionary of Behavior, Ecology, and Evolution, Third Edition contains more than 800 new terms and definitions, 48 new figures, and thousands of additions and improvements.
Using a dictionary format to present definitions in a standard, easily accessible manner, the book’s main body emphasizes conceptual terms, rather than anatomical parts or taxonomic terms, and focuses on nouns, rather than verbs or adjectives. Term hierarchies are handled with bulleted entries and terms with multiple definitions are included as superscripted entries. All sources are cited and most are paraphrased to conform to uniform style and length.
The dictionary also includes nontechnical and obsolete terms, synonyms, pronunciations, and notes and comments, as well as etymologies, term originators, and related facts. Appendices address organism names, organizations, and databases.
Devoted to the precise and correct use of scientific language, this third edition of a bestselling standard enables students and scientists alike to communicate their findings and promote the efficient advancement of science.
"This excellent resource by Barrows (Georgetown Univ.) brings together valuable information on animal behavior, ecology, and related areas. [It] features more than 800 new terms and definitions, nearly 50 additional figures and a wealth of updated entries. Readers learning the definitions, pronunciations, and related material will benefit from extensive see references that assist with finding the more common terms. Annotations are thorough and easy to read, and the reference list provides access to further information. References are appropriately current, and the three appendixes are an excellent addition. … Summing Up: Recommended."
—B. C. Thomsett-Scott, University of North Texas in CHOICE, April 2012 Vol. 49 No. 08
"As in other standard dictionaries, definitions are drawn from cited references (completely provided in an important bibliography at the end of the book), giving more specialized conceptual terms in animal behavior, evolution, ecology, genetics, biogeography, systematics, and statistics. In this completely revised and updated edition, there are … many additions and improvements Different useful appendices are also given about (1) names of living organisms; (2) organizations and societies concerned with animal behavior, animal welfare, conservation, ecology; evolution, and related subjects; and (3) computer databases. This book is a valuable resource for teachers at colleges or universities, students, and anyone interested in animal science. It is recommended that libraries get it."
—MAMMALIA, Vol. 76 No. 4, 2012
Praise for previous editions:
"This dictionary departs from other standard dictionaries… in that every definition is drawn from a cited reference; many have several. This allows readers who want to see how these terms were used in the context of a scholarly article or monograph to find the full citation in the bibliography at the back of the book and to retrieve the reference in a library. Definitions are, however, complete enough to give readers the full meaning of terms…. Highly recommended for all college, university, and public libraries."
—R. G. Sabin, Rice University, CHOICE
"Having the opportunity to field lots of questions from docents, keepers, curators, etc. has made me appreciate references that are easy to use and provide answers to their questions. This book, the second edition from CRC Press, does just that…. Educators, docents, keepers, curators and librarians will find this book useful. Highly recommended for zoos and aquariums."
—Thane G. Johnson, Library News for Zoos and Aquariums
"... serves a more important purpose than just supplying meanings and definitions…. By providing the entire range of usages, definitions, and meanings of terms, it strips them of political and cultural baggage…. In attempting to effectively convey the now multi-disciplinary field of animal behaviour, Barrows has made his book relevant to a wide audience, including students, teachers, and others interested or active in biology."
—Kartik Shanker, Centre for Herpetology/Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Marine Turtle Newsletter
"This reference is a tremendous undertaking in thoroughly researching the terminology and citing references for additional clarification of concepts and phrases."
—Sandra L. Jex, DVM, Animal Lab News