July 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 13)


Strong Points: Useful info on mammalian species
Weak Points: Bizarre organizational scheme

I’m a little puzzled by this site. The material itself isn’t really confusing. It is in fact pretty straightforward—a summary of our current understanding of the biology of an individual species. What is ambiguous, however, is the way in which the designer of the page chose to organize things. As you will see, the webpage has a nice, systematic, taxonomically organized list of species in the left frame of the opening page. Clicking on a hyperlinked order brings up a listing of family info in the right panel. The family data is not linked to anything though. On the other hand, if you click on PDFs at the top of the right panel on the opening page, you get a listing of PDF files full of
information about over 700 species. The problem is that these files are organized not in any systematic way but rather by year. I’m not sure what the year referred to is about nor why anyone in their right mind would look for info about species this way. The PDFs, though, are informative, but be prepared to look for a needle in the haystack if you’re searching for info on a particular species.

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