North American Tree Squirrels

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Overview

Uniquely adapted for life in the treetops, tree squirrels are a common sight throughout North America, often entertaining to watch yet sometimes judged as nuisances by their human neighbors. Their sharp incisors, ideal for opening hard seed casings, never stop growing, and their hind feet can rotate 180 degrees, allowing them to scamper head first down tree trunks. They belong to an ancient mammal family of rodents, and their form and structure have been so unchanged over the past five million years that ...
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Overview

Uniquely adapted for life in the treetops, tree squirrels are a common sight throughout North America, often entertaining to watch yet sometimes judged as nuisances by their human neighbors. Their sharp incisors, ideal for opening hard seed casings, never stop growing, and their hind feet can rotate 180 degrees, allowing them to scamper head first down tree trunks. They belong to an ancient mammal family of rodents, and their form and structure have been so unchanged over the past five million years that biologists call them living fossils, yet they remain one of the least understood groups of wild mammals.

Written with clarity and wit by two top scientists, North American Tree Squirrels illuminates the everyday lives of gray and fox squirrels, the two most dominant types of tree squirrels of the eastern United States. Drawing on more than twenty years of research, Michael A. Steele and John L. Koprowski detail the behavior, reproduction, diet, physiology, and habitat use of these engaging rodents, as well as their complex interdependent relationships with seed-producing trees. The authors compare and contrast tree squirrels with other members of their family, including ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs. In addition to scientific revelations, the authors describe their fieldwork, from the pitfalls of patrolling forests at night in order to check nest boxes to the challenges of fitting squirrels with radio-tracking collars.

Both professional biologists and curious amateur naturalists will find North American Tree Squirrels entertaining, useful, and informative.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A fascinating and authoritative account of some of the most common mammals found in North America. Whether you love the squirrels you see in the park or hate the ones that raid your bird feeders, this book will help you understand their habits and biology.”—Pittsburg Post-Gazette
From The Critics
The authors, university-affiliated wildlife biologists and squirrel enthusiasts, illuminate the everyday lives of Eastern gray and fox squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis and S. niger), the two most common types of tree squirrels of the eastern US. The authors detail the behavior, reproduction, diet, physiology, and habitat use of these engaging rodents, as well as their interdependent relationships with seed-producing trees. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588341006
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 9/19/2003
  • Pages: 201
  • Sales rank: 605,672
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Why Squirrels? 1
2 The Squirrel Body Plan 11
3 The Habitat 23
4 The Diet 37
5 Patch Use 51
6 The Cache 65
7 Of Seeds and Squirrels 83
8 Reproduction 105
9 Social Behavior 121
10 Population Ecology 133
App An Overview of the Tree Squirrels of North America 143
References 153
Index 195
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    This is a scholarly book on two species, the Eastern Gray and th

    This is a scholarly book on two species, the Eastern Gray and the Fox Squirrel. The authors present a fascinating glimpse into the mysterious lives of tree squirrels and their methodologies of how they accomplished their research. It should appeal to anyone with an interest in tree squirrels.

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