The Big, Bad Book of Beasts by Michael Largo
Largo has created a modern day bestiary. It is an encyclopedia of animals both real and legend. It is full of fascinating, fun facts about animals of all kinds.
I have no idea how Largo picked the animals that he put in the book. It runs from ants and bears to extinct animals like the dodo and the tyrannosaurus rex, there are myths and legends like the phoenix and trolls and cryptids like the chupacabra and the Jersey devil. There is a little bit of everything. There are animals I am familiar with and ones I have never heard of before. I learned a lot of new things even about the animals I thought I knew well. You get from a few paragraphs to a few pages about each animal. There is information like life span and habitat and more specific information like how many times a woodpecker will bang his head against a tree in one day. He explores were myths about animals (even real ones) started and what animal might have been misidentified to start rumors of nonexistent animals. If you are doing some kind of research I don’t know how much this would help you. But if you just like to learn about animals it is a great book to visit off and on and read an entry or two.