Beautifully illustrated and magnificently comprehensive, The Penguins is the most authoritative guide on the subject available. Restricted to the Southern Hemisphere (but abundant in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions), the Penguins are highly specialized marine divers, spending much of their lives at sea. Penguins have shown an amazing ability to adapt physiologically, behaviorally, and ecologically to often extreme environments, ranging from the snow and ice of Antarctica to the hot, desert-like islands of the equatorial Galapagos. Living in colonies containing thousands and even tens of thousands of other penguins, they are highly social on land, using elaborate visual and vocal displays in courtship and breeding. The first part of the book provides an overview of the family as a whole, describing their origins and evolution, distribution, breeding biology and moult, foraging ecology, behavior, and conservation. The second part features 17 species accounts, each of which contains a complete description of the bird in its natural state. Each account is based on the best information available and the author's own research. This volume--as with others in the Bird Families of the World series--will be indispensable to professional and amateur ornithologists alike. Bird Families of the World is a new multivolume series of handbooks that will prove indispensable to both the professional scientist and the ever-growing body of amateur ornithologists. Each volume will provide a comprehensive synthesis of current knowledge on one bird family or several related families. In each book the reader will find: six to nine general chapters on the biology, feeding ecology, breeding behavior, evolutionary relationships, and conservation of birds in the family; specially commissioned color plates by a leading artist; black-and-white illustrations of anatomy and behavior; descriptions of each species that cover appearance, weight, measurements, field characters, voice, habitat, food, breeding behavior, life cycle, range, and status (with distribution map). Together they provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date species-level information available.Busby, John is the author of 'Penguins: Spheniscidae' with ISBN 9780198546672 and ISBN 019854667X.