Mammals of North America: Temperate and Arctic Regions

Overview

An invaluable reference — comprehensive, readable and filled with stunning color photographs.

This landmark reference by award-winning nature writer Adrian Forsyth includes scientific names, descriptions and behavioral information for the wild mammals of North America, but is much more than a field guide. In engaging language, the author delves into the reasons the animals live and act the way they do, ...

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Overview

An invaluable reference — comprehensive, readable and filled with stunning color photographs.

This landmark reference by award-winning nature writer Adrian Forsyth includes scientific names, descriptions and behavioral information for the wild mammals of North America, but is much more than a field guide. In engaging language, the author delves into the reasons the animals live and act the way they do, explaining for example:

  • Why some predators are highly social while others live alone
  • Why shrews no bigger than a thimble eat more than their body weight each day
  • How a bat can pick a small insect off the surface of a leaf in total darkness
  • How a squat prehistoric pig-like animal evolved into the pronghorn antelope, one of the world's fastest creatures.

The text is illustrated with exquisite color photographs by some of North America's foremost wildlife photographers, making Mammals of North America an important nature reference for the entire family.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
The text is clear and easy to comprehend. The illustrations will capture the attention of both the nature lover and the casual browser. It is a fascinating book that will be useful in junior-high-school, high-school, and public library collections.
American Reference Book Annual - Shannon M. Graff
Mammals of North America is much more than a field guide. It allows the readers insight into the lives and history of the animals featured. With its beautiful photographs and well-written text it will be welcome in both school and public libraries.
Science Books and Films - Norma Ames
One marvels at the extent and excellence of the author's research, interpretation, and condensation of topics for the interest and edification of today's readers.
Audubon
A nicely illustrated, technically excellent, and reader-friendly reference that would make a fine addition to any amateur naturalist's library.
Canadian Field-Naturalist - R. Sander-Regier
This is a book any naturalist would be proud to have on his or her bookshelf. Highly readable, visually stimulating with outstanding photographs gracing nearly every page, and filled with fascinating information, it's a resource I know I'll consult again and again ... I was fascinated, from cover to cover.
Green Teacher
A tremendous educational resource.
Washington Post
Adam Forsyth writes knowledgeably and succinctly about his subjects ... The photographs in this book are nicely variegated — a mountain lion with mouth agape in a growl, a lazy seal with half-open eyes, a hoary marmot poised on a rock to take an alpine sniff.
Chicago Tribune - Lynn Van Matre
A valuable reference book, "Mammals of North America" also makes for engaging reading about everything from gorilla harems to ground squirrels' dust-bath grooming regimens.
Seattle Times - Vince Kueter
Mammals of North America is a beautiful and well-written book.
Indianapolis Star - Rich Gotshall
Several full-page photos, especially of baby animals, are stunning.
Salem Statesman-Journal - Dan Hays
A celebration of mammals in text and dream-inducing color photographs. There is a transcendent beauty in the creatures of the world, and you will find it in the pages of this book.
St Paul Pioneer Press - Mary Ann Grossman
This reference book belongs in every local library.
Harrowsmith Truly Canadian Almanac 2008
A gorgeous coffee-table book... No mere photo essay, this is an easy-to-read, yet encyclopedic look at 150 species by an eminent biodiversity scientist who, though working at the Smithsonian now, was born and raised in Ottawa. Bottom Line: Learn a lot and like it.
Audubon
A nicely illustrated, technically excellent, and reader-friendly reference that would make a fine addition to any amateur naturalist's library.
— March/April 2000
Norma Ames
One marvels at the extent and excellence of the author's research, interpretation, and condensation of topics.
Science Books & Films, May/June 2000
Seattle Times
A beautiful and well-written book. Did you know that individual members of a species often tend to get larger as they extend to the colder regions of their range and that this pattern is called Bergmann's Rule? Neither did I. This book will be a hit with animal lovers, if only for the big, beautiful color photographs.
Washington Post
Adam Forsyth writes knowledgeably and succinctly about his subjects ... The photographs in this book are nicely variegated -- a mountain lion with mouth agape in a growl, a lazy seal with half-open eyes, a hoary marmot poised on a rock to take an alpine sniff.
Richard Gotshall
Several full-page photos, especially of baby animals, are stunning.
Indianapolis Star
Audubon
A nicely illustrated, technically excellent, and reader-friendly reference that would make a fine addition to any amateur naturalist's library. (Audubon, March/April 2000)
Shannon M. Graff
Mammals of North America is much more than a field guide. It allows the readers insight into the lives and history of the animals featured. With its beautiful photographs and well-written text it will be welcome in both school and public libraries.
American Reference Book Annual 2000
Children's Literature - Joan Carris
At 350 big pages packed with dynamite pictures, this hefty reference title would be an asset in any home or library. Many of the photographs inspire a renegade urge to cut them out and frame them. Check out the sly, debonair arctic hare on page 67 and you'll ache for a bunny of your own. When Forsyth tells you that "rodents have chewed, chiseled, and gnawed their way to the top of all the mammal orders," you know you must read on. Full of intriguing facts, this book still reads beautifully--a true treasure.
Library Journal
This book provides information on over 150 species of mammals organized by taxonomic classification. Although the focus is on Canada and the northern United States, many species have ranges extending far to the south. Forsyth, a biologist with the W. Alton Jones Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, furnishes the usual details about anatomy, habitat, diet, gestation, and range for each species, but the emphasis is on animal behavior--particularly why animals behave the way they do. He also covers some subjects that usually fall outside the realm of field guides, such as animal welfare, pollution, and the effects of human interaction. Whereas The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals (LJ 11/15/99) covers twice as many species, it is geared toward a more scholarly audience. Forsyth's book, with its accessible style of writing and useful index, is more easily approachable for the lay reader who may not know the scientific classification of a species. The currency of the material is questionable, however, as this work duplicates to a large extent Forsyth's earlier Mammals of the American North (1985. o.p.), the primary differences being the reversed order of the chapters and new photographs. Libraries should therefore choose the more comprehensive and authoritative Smithsonian book over Forsyth's.--Teresa Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From The Critics
This 41/4-pound, 1/4 91/4-inch book is not a field guide and may be a bit cumbersome for some coffee-table-book readers. The temperate and arctic regions contain fewer species than the tropical and subtropical areas. The vastness of those first regions in North America, however, includes so wide a variety of habitats, that adequate coverage of all their mammalian species requires a large book or more than one volume. This would be so even if the producers of this one-volume book had not chosen the heavy, coated paper stock and protectively armored cover stock that the outstanding and numerous photographs richly deserve.

One forgives, therefore, the likelihood that the necessarily small size of the range maps produces some inaccurate generalizations. Instead, one marvels at the extent and excellence of the author's research and at Forsyth's good selection, interpretation, and condensation of topics for the interest and edification of today's readers. An example is the summary of contrasting theories about pack sizes in coyotes and wolves. While the specialist might wish for further details and specific citations, the general reader will likely perk up with "I hadn't known or thought about that!"

A standardized tabulation for each species describes the animal and gives information on its name, the meaning thereof, and its measurements, reproduction, diet, habitat and predators. The index, while very good, might cause one to miss interesting points, such as the differing interpretations of the opossum's scientific name, Didelphis, or "double womb," on page 13 (one womb, plus a pouch as a secondary womb) and page 14 (two actual uteri). That, however, would be quibbling and does notdetract from the excellence of this excellent book. Highly Recommended, Grades 7-College, Teaching Professional, General Audience. REVIEWER: Norma Ames (retired, Mexican Wolf Recovery Team)

Lynn Van Matre
A valuable reference book, Mammals of North America also makes for engaging reading about everything from gorilla harems to ground squirrels' dust-bath grooming regimens.
—Lynn Van Matre, Chicago Tribune
Dan Hays
A celebration of mammals in text and dream-inducing color photographs. There is a transcendent beauty in the creatures of the world, and you will find it in the pages of this book.
—Dan Hays, Salem Statesman-Journal
Mary Ann Grossman
This reference book belongs in every local library.
—Mary Ann Grossman, St Paul Pioneer Press
Wildlife Activist
Filled with the wonderful text and color photographs that are the hallmark of Firefly's books.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072330
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Forsyth is a specialist in animal behavior and the author of numerous books, including Portraits of the Rainforest and Exploring the World of Birds. A co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Association and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

MARSUPIALS
Didelphimorphia

  • New World Opossums
INSECTIVORES
Insectivora
  • Shews
  • Moles
BATS
Chiroptera
  • Plain-nosed Bats
PIKAS, RABBITS and HARES
Lagomorpha
  • Pikas
  • Rabbits and Hares
RODENTS
Rodentia
  • Mountain Beaver
  • Squirrels
  • Pocket Gophers
  • Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice
  • Beaver
  • Mice,
    Rats and Voles
  • Jumping Mice
  • Porcupine
MEAT EATERS
Carnivora
  • Foxes and Wolves
  • Bears
  • Eared Seals Walrus and Hair Seals
  • Raccoon
  • Weasels, Badgers and Otters
  • Skunks
  • Cats
WHALES, DOLPHINS and PORPOISES
Cetacea
  • Gray Whale
  • Rorquals
  • Right Whales
  • White Whales and Narwhal
  • Dophins
  • Porpoises
  • Beaked Whales
  • Sperm Whales
CLOVEN-HOOFED MAMMALS

Artiodactyla

  • Deer
  • Pronghorn
  • Oxen, Goats and Sheep

Bibliography
Index
Photo Credits

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