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Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animals on the cover of Java & XML, Second Edition are lions (Panthera leo). These great cats differ from other solitary felines in that they form family groups, called prides. Prides consist of as many as 30 to 40 lions, most of which are females and their offspring. The lifespan of a lion is approximately 3-4 years. Full grown males can grow up to 10 feet in length; the only cat larger is the tiger. The lion's eye is particularly sensitive to movement, and it can detect the movement of its prey from a great distance. Special receptor cells in the cat's eye give it exceptional night vision.

Lions live in eastern and southern Africa, although some subspecies of the African lion are endangered. The Asiatic lion (P.l. persica) once lived throughout India, the Middle East, and Southern Asia. Today, its population has been reduced to approximately 290 animals, which can be found in the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, western India. The Barbary and Cape lions are extinct.

Lions are carnivores and prey on large herd animals. They are at the top of the food chain, the apex predator of their environment. The females are the hunters, while the males' role is to protect the pride from other aggressive males. Lions are not as fast as other big cats, such as the cheetah. As a result, they concentrate on heavier, less agile animals, and hunt from ambush by driving prey toward concealed members of the hunting group. They use coordinated, cooperative techniques that enable the group to hunt with more success than an individual could. African lions eat wildebeest, zebra, antelope, gazelle, impala, and giraffe.

Colleen Gorman was the production editor and copyeditor for Java & XML, Second Edition. Emily Quill was the proofreader, and Catherine Morris and Jane Ellin provided quality control. John Bickelhaupt wrote the index.

Ellie Volckhausen designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from Grosvenor Prints in London. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.

Melanie Wang designed the interior layout, based on a series design by Nancy Priest. The heading font is Bitstream Bodoni, the text font is ITC New Baskerville, and the code font is Constant Willison. Neil Walls and Anne-Marie Vaduva converted the files from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker 5.5.6 using tools created by Mike Sierra. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Jessamyn Read and Rob Romano using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6.

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