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Richard Weigl:

Longevity of mammals in captivity; from the Living Collections of the world

A list of mammalian longevity in captivity

2005. 214 pages, 21x30cm, 900 g
Language: English

(Kleine Senckenberg-Reihe, Band 48)

ISBN 978-3-510-61379-3, paperback, price: 29.80 €

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Keywords

longevitymammalcaptivityliving collection

Contents

Content Description top ↑

This publication contains many data of historical and present longevities of captive mammals, some of the data was never published before as well as many of extinct or very rare species and subspecies. 3398 taxa of 25 mammalian (all orders except Shrew-opossums, Order Paucituberculata) have been exhibited in zoos and other institutions. The records provide exact dates of arrival, birth, movement out of the collection or death dates, showing day, month and year. Anecdotal records have not been included.

Announcement in EAZA News 54, 2006 top ↑

This publication contains many data on historical and present longevities of captive mammals. Some of the data have never been published before, and many extinct or very rare species and subspecies are included. All of the 3,398 taxa of 25 mammalian (all orders except shrew opossums, order Paucituberculata) have been exhibited in zoos and other institutions. The records provide exact dates of arrival, birth, movement out of the collection or death dates, showing day, month and year. Anecdotal records have not been included.

EAZA News 54, 2006 (EAZA - European Association of Zoos and Aquaria)

Review: International Zoo News Vol. 53, No. 5 (2006), pp. 291-292 top ↑

Critics of zoos are frequently reminded that most wild animals in managed care at least live longer than their brethren in the jungle, desert, wherever. Their natural enemies are obviously out of bounds, and most animals in the better zoos probably enjoy superior health care to most humans. But how old do individual mam mals actually get? Until now we could look up Lee Crandall's Management of Wild Mammals in Captivity (1964), but that's hopelessly out of date. The Guinness Book of Animal Records gives longevity records for a couple of dozen animals but the most recent issue was published in 1995. And then we have the occasional article on the subject by the late Marvin L. Jones in the International Zoo Yearbook and Der Zoologische Garten, of which the most recent one on mammals, on ungulates, was published in 1993. Lee Crandall quoted Marvin Jones as a source on longevity 70 times in his Management tome. Most recently, in collaboration with Richard Weigl, a German animal keeper at Frankfurt Zoo, he published a paper on Philippine eagles in IZN 47:8 (2000), giving, of course, information on that species' life-span as well. The collaboration apparently worked out well enough that the two took up the exhaustive task of compiling a list of longevity records for all wild mammal (and a few domestic) species for which precise, and not just anecdotal, evidence exists. Although Mr Weigl alone gets author credit for the new Longevity of Mammals in Captivity, special assistance by Marvin L. Jones is acknowledged on the title page, and those who had the privilege to be Marvin Jones's friends and to have received his unpublished lists over the decades, will be aware of the massive contribution he made to the compi- lation. For in fact, the book is not so much written as compiled: the heart (or the 'beef', to use an American expression) is a 180-page list of almost 3,400 species and subspecies of mammals, their individual dates and places of birth or arrival and death, and the age the longevity record-holders for each species or subspecies attained (taking into consideration an assumed age at arrival in the case of wild-caught specimens).

Such a list could presumably have been published in almost any language, provided the Linnaean names were included, but Mr Weigl and his German publishers settled on English instead of German, which should help sales jump a language barrier that in this case would be more psychological than real. The Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt financed publication, a rare example of museums promoting zoos.

Richard Weigl himself has, as he writes in his preface, been collecting longevity records since the 1980s, and first published on the subject in the annual report of Frankfurt Zoo in 1993. It's an interesting coincidence that apparently the first publication on animal life-spans ever issued, in the Proceedings of the Zoological society of London (Vol. 21, pp. 299-319 L880), was based on data from Frankfurt too and compiled by Max Schmidt, its director at the time. Since 1974, the International Species Information System ISIS) has been collecting information on longevity, and Weigl and Jones have in many cases now been able to correct errors, especially of identification. Their mass of intelligence on all the subspecies is especially impressive. Both have been going through as many zoo archives around the world as zoos themselves have permitted them, in the case of Marvin Jones since the 1950s. I know that time and again Marvin Jones, at least, was on the phone to update or corroborate this detail or that. Both had begun to work together on a complementary volume on longevity of birds in captivity when Marvin Jones died suddenly in April of this year (see Richard Reynolds's obituary in IZN 53:3, 130-132). One can only hope that Mr Weigl will be able to complete the task without his active support, and that it will be as comprehensive and reliable as the present work. Longevity of Mammals in Captivity is a real must in the library of every zoo and of anyone interested in the management of wild mammals. And as a book it's frankly handier than any website could be.

Herman Reichenbach

International Zoo News Vol. 53, No. 5 (2006) pp. 291-292

Bespr.: Der Zoologische Garten 76/4 top ↑

In der sogenannten kleinen Senckenberg-Reihe ist die vorliegende Abhandlung als Nr. 48 erschienen. Der Autor RICHARD WEIGL, Tierpfleger im Zoologischen Garten Frankfurt, sammelt seit 1979 Lebensalterdaten und Haltungsdauern von Säugetieren in Menschenhand. Er tritt damit in die Fußstapfen von MARVIN L. JONES, dem amerikanischen Zoohistoriker und langjährigen Mitarbeiter der Zoologischen Gesellschaft San Diego, der vielfach zu Lebensdauer von Säugetieren in Zoologischen Gärten publiziert hat, u. a. auch in dieser Zeitschrift (s. JONES, M. L. 1982: Zool. Garten N. F. 52, 113-128). Viele der hier von RICHARD WEIGL zusammengetragenen Daten stammen aus dem Archiv von MARVIN JONES. Der Autor hat die einzelnen Angaben in systematischer Reihenfolge beginnend mit den Kloakentieren und abweichend von der HALTHENORTschen Säugetiersystematik endend nach den Paarhufern mit Schuppentieren, Nagetieren, Hasentieren und Rüsselspringern. Jede Angabe enthält die wissenschaftliche Bezeichnung für Art bzw. Unterart, den englischen Namen, das Geschlecht des entsprechenden Individuums und die Haltungs- bzw. Lebensdauer mit Nennung des entsprechenden Zoos. Dieses mündet dann in der Aussage der Lebensjahre und -monate. Wenn die Individuen einen Ortswechsel mitgemacht haben, ist dies angegeben. Gerade die Ortsangaben sind eine wertvolle Ergänzung des durchforsteten Materials vieler Zoologischer Gärten. Eine Liste der Zoologischen Gärten, die in die Untersuchung mit einbezogen werden konnten, ist ebenfalls lobend hervorzuheben. Allein 52 deutsche Tiergärten sind vertreten. Neben europäischen Angaben finden sich auch Daten aus Japan, Australien, Kanada, den Vereinigen Staaten usw. Lange Lebensdauern von Tieren in Menschenhand gelten zurecht als ein Kriterium für sachgemäße Pflege. Auch in dieser Hinsicht ist die vorliegende Abhandlung besonders wertvoll, zeigt die doch auf, welche Haltungserfolge in unseren Tiergärten verzeichnet werden können. Daß neben Großsäugern wie Huftieren, Großkatzen, Bären und Menschenaffen genauso die vielen eher unscheinbaren und kleineren Arten wie Nagetiere, Flattertiere, Insektenfresser, Beuteltiere etc. ausführlich behandelt werden, muß betont werden. RICHARD WEIGLS ,,Longevity of Mammals in captivity" wird jeder, der sich mit der Historie von Tierhaltung beschäftigt, gerne zur Hand nehmen. Auf jeden Fall ist das vorliegende Werk ein Muß für jede Zoobibliothek!

B. BLASZKIEWITZ, Berlin

Der Zoologische Garten 76/4

Content top ↑

Foreword 2
Preface 3
Contents - List of Mammals 4
Introduction 19
Longevity of Mammals in Captivity;
from the Living Collections in the World 21
Acknowledgements 200
Institution List 202
References 210
Index 211