Complete Survey of the Animal Kingdom

Producer: Educational Images, Ltd.

This exhaustive, award-winning multimedia review of the great variety of animal life found on Earth provides in one encyclopaedic package a library full of carefully organised information. There are 10 programs on 10 CD-ROMs, containing thousands of images – eye-stopping photographs of live animals augmented by graphics where appropriate. Each program is available individually or as part of a series. Scientific names are provided.

Complete Survey of the Invertebrates

•    Part I: Sponges, Anemones, Corals and Flatworms. By surveying the protozoa and parazoa and introducing the most primitive metazoans, this program presents the transition from simple unicellular animals, to colonial forms, to complex multicellular creatures. Photographic coverage includes volvox, euglenas, amoebas, ciliates, numerous sponges, Cnidaria, nematocysts, anemonies, jellyfish, hydras, man-of-war, corals, flatworms, tapeworms, round worms, rotifers, bryozoans and brachiopods.

•    Part II: Molluscs, Segmented Worms and Minor Phyla. Presents detailed coverage of such molluscs as chitons, abalones, limpets, cowries, periwinkles, conches, cones, whelks, murexes, nudibranchs, sea hares, land snails, slugs, bivalves, octopuses, nautiluses and squids; segmented worms such as featherduster, myxicola, earthworm and leech; and tardigrades or waterbears.

•    Part III: Insects. Illustrates the great range and variety of insect adaptations, elaborately details their development and anatomy, and portrays their great diversity. Photographic coverage of live insects is very comprehensive and wide-ranging. Among the many insects and insect stages covered in this program are beetles, silverfish, springtails, caddisflies, dragonflies, mayflies, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mantis, walking stick, termites, lice, true bugs, cicadas, aphids, ladybird, dobsonfly, long-horned pine sawyer beetle, dung beetle, moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, maggots, horsefly eye, fleas, bees, egg, larva, pupa, cocoon and caterpillar. Differences in development and types of metamorphosis provide the basis for insect classification into subclasses. These variations are presented here as well. In addition, the physical and functional differences that occur in social insects like termites, ants and bees resulting in castes, are also detailed.

•    Part IV: Non-insect Arthropods and Echinoderms. This program surveys the remaining 11 classes of arthropods. There are about 88,000 species of non-insect arthropods. Some are aquatic, some terrestrial, but unlike the insects, none can fly. These include: krill, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, crabs, spiders, scorpions, mites, ticks, millipedes, centipedes and some less well-known groups. The program also examines the phylum Echinodermata, which includes: starfish, sea cucumbers, brittlestars, crinoids, sand dollar and sea urchins.

Complete Survey of the Vertebrates

•    Part I: Urochordates and Craniata (Vertebrata) through Fish. This informative 40-minute multimedia presentation traces the evolutionary transition from urochordates to fish, the first true vertebrates, and provides extensive coverage of the modern bony fish. It introduces the subphylums Urochordata and Cephalochordata (the tunicates and lancelets which have vertebrate characteristics for only part of their life cycles), then explores the three classes of fish: jawless fish such as the lamprey (this is the class to which the first vertebrates belong); cartilaginous fish, the sharks and rays; and bony fish, the most highly evolved and diverse class of fishes. Individual species examined include tunicate, lamprey, hagfish, sharks, rays, paddlefish, sturgeon, tarpon, moray, gar, bowfin, shad, trout, salmon, pike, pickerel, muskellunge, electric eel, piranha, goldfish, catfish, cod, molly, seahorse, scorpionfish, mullet, bass, dolphinfish, barracuda, remora, puffer, coelacanth, lungfish, and many more. The presentation includes an examination of the rare and unusual coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish thought to share a common ancestry with the first terrestrial vertebrates.

•    Part II: Amphibians and Reptiles. In-depth coverage is provided of the three amphibian orders (Gymnophiona or Apoda, caecilians; Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, newts and salamanders), and the four reptile orders (Rhynchocephalia, tuataras; Chelonia, tortoises and turtles; Squamata, snakes; and Crocodilia, crocodiles and alligators). Poikilothermic temperature regulation is described in detail, as is the larval stages, respiration, reproduction, significance of amniotic eggs, evolution and adaptation. Animals portrayed include salamanders, newts, frogs, toads, turtles, tortoises, boas, pythons, coral snakes, African mambas, cobras, rattlesnakes, tropical banded sea snakes, geckos, chameleons, iguanas, gila monsters, tuataras, alligators, crocodiles, Komodo dragons, and even the thorny devil or Moloch from Australia.

•    Part III: Birds – Ostrich through Guinea Fowl. This 35-minute multimedia presentation provides a comprehensive introduction to the class Aves, the birds of the world. The living members of this class are generally grouped into 27 orders and 155 families. This program presents the first 13 orders, illustrated by 31 families. (A companion program, Part IV: Birds – Cranes through Passerines,  presents an additional 12 orders and 59 families, so that together a total of  25 of 27 orders and  90 of 155 families are covered.) Beginning with the large flightless ratites, ostriches, emus, rheas and cassowaries, the program then covers such diverse aquatic birds as penguins, loons, grebes, albatrosses, pelicans, cormorants, darters, frigate birds, egrets, bitterns, storks, ibises, spoonbills, flamingos, ducks, geese, and swans. Birds of prey such as condors, vultures, hawks, eagles and falcons are presented in detail, as are various fowl , including chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl.

•    Part IV: Birds – Cranes through Passerines. This 40-minute multimedia presentation completes the comprehensive introduction to the class Aves – birds of the world. It picks up where the previous program (Part III: Birds – Ostrich through Guinea Fowl) ends, presenting 12 additional orders, illustrated by 59 families. Among the many birds pictured are cranes, coots, sandpipers, puffins, gulls, terns, doves, parrots, roadrunners, owls, whip-poor-wills, swifts, hummingbirds, kingfishers, toucans, woodpeckers, larks, swallows, waxwings, wrens, nuthatches, wood warblers, tanagers, jays, crows, finches, sparrows, blackbirds, orioles, and such thrushes as the robin and mountain bluebird.

•    Part V: Mammals – Echidna through Whales. This 45-minute multimedia presentation, and its companion program (Part VI: Mammals – Canids through Sheep) provide a comprehensive introduction to the world’s mammals. Together they detail mammals’ relationships to the other classes of vertebrates, explain the different reproductive and developmental process of the three main groups, and describe the behaviours and mechanisms that have enabled mammals to be so successful and widespread. The animals presented include the monotremes (echidna, platypus), marsupials (Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, opossums), and placentals. Placentals include the Insectivora (moles, hedgehogs and shrews), Chiroptera (bats – the second largest group of mammals), Primates (lemurs, monkeys, great apes and humans), Edentata (sloths, anteaters and armadillos), Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares and pikas), Rodents (the largest group of mammals, including prairie dogs, squirrels, beavers, rats, hamsters, porcupines, muskrats, agoutis, etc.), and Cetacea (whales, dolphins and porpoises).

•    Part VI: Mammals – Canids through Sheep. In this 40-minute multimedia presentation, the study of mammals started in its companion program (Part V: Mammals – Echidna Through Whales) is completed, beginning with the order Carnivora (the meat eaters, such as badgers, bears, foxes, wolves, raccoons, mongooses, lions, tigers, etc.), continuing with the Tubulidentata (aardvark), Pinnipedia (sea lions, seals and walruses), Proboscidea (elephants), Hyracoidea (hyraxes), Sirenia (manatee), and ending with the Perissodactyla (horses, rhinos and tapirs) and the Artiodactyla (okapi, camels, hippos, pigs, sheep, etc.), the odd and even-toed hoofed mammals.


Medium: CD-ROM
System requirements: Windows, Macintosh
Price: US$49.95 (individual programs); US$149.95 (lab pack of 5, same title); US$174.95 (Invertebrates series, 4 CD-ROMs); US$274.95 (Vertebrates series, 6 CD-ROMs)