The significant published literature on the neobiology, paleobiology, and ethnobiology of the mammalian orders Sirenia and Desmostylia is exhaustively cataloged in approximately 4590 main entries alphabetized by author. Both technical and popular works are included, and many entries are annotated. The earliest work cited is a letter by N. Syllacio published in 1494 or 1495, describing Columbus's second voyage to the New World. The effective closing date of the bibliography was 1 May 1994.
Six appendices list serial publications devoted to Sirenia, additional sources for history of sirenology and sirenian conservation, coins and postage stamps depicting sirenians, a comprehensive classification and synonymy of sirenians and desmostylians, a summary of the nomenclature of the Recent species of sirenians, and an alphabetical list of the species-group names that have been applied to sirenians and desmostylians.
An extensive index is provided, employing 1059 subject headings and cross references; the subject headings include all Linnaean names and combinations ever employed for sirenians and desmostylians, as well as names of all reported sirenian food plants and parasites. More than 40% of the main entries are fully indexed, and many others are partially indexed, yielding a total of over 13,950 index entries. Each complete index entry includes author and date of the work cited, a brief annotation describing the content of the work as it pertains to the indexed subject, and a page reference for the material pertaining to that subject.