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Behavior of North American Mammals

Series: Peterson Reference Guides

By: Mark Elbroch and Kurt Rinehart

374 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Hardback | Oct 2011 | #195338 | ISBN-13: 9780618883455
Availability: Usually dispatched within 7 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.50 $39/€36 approx

About this book

This new addition to the Peterson Reference Guide series is highly readable and full of curious facts. For example, did you know that when an opossum plays dead it isn't pretending? Opossums actually do enter a catatonic deathlike state. Or look at armadillos, who sequester air in their guts, blow up to twice their normal volume, and paddle across the water. A guide not for identifying mammals, but to understanding what they do, "Behavior of North American Mammals" provides detailed information on more than 70 species of mammals and includes illuminating and attractive photographs and drawings. Comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible, the book includes information on daily and seasonal activity, food and foraging, home range and habitat, communication, courtship, and mating, development and dispersal of young, interactions with their own species, and interactions with other species.

"[...] Peterson Reference Guide to the Behavior of North American Mammals is essential to anyone who enjoys watching mammals. I would also highly recommend it to birders and others whose primary interest in nature is something other than mammals. Aside from the fact that mammal behavior is a fascinating subject, this reference guide will help you interpret behaviors that you’re bound to see in the field."
- Grant McCreary (14-10-2013), read the full review at The Birder's Library


How to Use This Book 4

Order Didelphimorphia
Family Didelphidae
Virginia Opossum 16
Order Sirenia
Family Trichechidae
West Indian Manatee 20
Order Cingulata
Family Dasypodidae
Nine-banded Armadillo 25
Order Lagomorpha
Family Ochotonidae
American Pika 31
Family Leporidae
Eastern Cottontail and Allies 36
Order Soricomorpha
Family Soricidae
Northern Short-tailed Shrew,
with Notes on Water Shrew and Allies 43
Family Talpidae
Star-nosed Mole and Allies 49
Order Chiroptera
Family Molossidae
Mexican Free-tailed Bat and Allies 53
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Bobcat and Canada Lynx 60
Cougar 68
Family Canidae
Coyote 76
Wolf 85
Common Gray Fox, with
Notes on Kit and Swift Foxes 94
Arctic Fox 100
Red Fox 105
Family Ursidae
American Black Bear 112
Brown Bear 121
Polar Bear 129
Family Odobenidae
Walrus 136
Family Phocidae
Northern Elephant Seal 141
Family Mustelidae
Sea Otter 146
North American River Otter 152
Wolverine 158
Fisher and American Marten 163
Weasels and Black-footed Ferret 170
American Mink 177
American Badger 182
Family Mephitidae
Striped Skunk, with
Notes on Spotted Skunks 187
Family Procyonidae
Raccoon 193
Order Artiodactyla
Family Tayassuidae
Collared Peccary 198
Family Cervidae
Moose 203
White-tailed Deer and Mule Deer 210
Elk 222
Family Antilocapridae
Pronghorn 231
Family Bovidae
American Bison 237
Mountain Goat 244
Bighorn Sheep 250
Order Rodentia
Family Aplodontiidae
Mountain Beaver 256
Family Sciuridae
Eastern Gray Squirrel, Eastern
Fox Squirrel, and Allies 260
Red Squirrel and Douglas's Squirrel,
with Notes on Flying Squirrels 266
Black-tailed Prairie Dog 275
Yellow-bellied Marmot and Woodchuck 281
Uinta Ground Squirrel and Allies 291
Eastern Chipmunk and Allies 298
Family Castoridae
American Beaver 304
Family Heteromyidae
Desert Kangaroo Rat and Allies 310
Family Cricetidae
Meadow Vole and Allies 316
Common Muskrat 321
Woodrats 328
North American Deermouse,
with Notes on California Deermouse 335
Family Erethizontidae
North American Porcupine 342

Acknowledgments 352
Glossary 354
Selected Bibliography 357
Index 371

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Mark Elbroch is author and coauthor of several guides to natural history. He is currently leading cougar projects in Southern Chile and the United States.

Kurt Rinehart is a professional wildlife biologist. He lives in Vermont with his wife and children.

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