We all use field guides. We take them for granted. But what is actually involved in putting one together? Can it really take two long days to produce a single distribution map? Does it really matter if you describe an animal’s colour as bluish-grey or greyish-blue? Do you really have to read 23 scientific papers just to calculate a species’ population size (which is basically four words – ’world population 60,000-70,000’ – in a book of 200,000 words? And then there’s all the artwork – three wildlife artists sitting on their own in their studios, day and night, week in, week out, slowing going mad, producing more than 1,000 pieces of original artwork.

In this hilarious moan chat, Mark offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s been like to work on a comprehensive field guide to the world’s whales, dolphins and porpoises for the past five years. It was supposed to be two years – the publisher’s original deadline has been lost in the mists of time – but it seems to have taken quite a bit longer than expected.

And, along the way, he raves about some of some of his favourite – and some of the most extraordinary –  animals on the planet.

Date(s) - 17/08/2018
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

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