Mammals of South America, Volume 1: Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats

University of Chicago Press
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The vast terrain between Panama and Tierra del Fuego contains some of the world’s richest mammalian fauna, but until now it has lacked a comprehensive systematic reference to the identification, distribution, and taxonomy of its mammals. The first such book of its kind and the inaugural volume in a three-part series, Mammals of South America both summarizes existing information and encourages further research of the mammals indigenous to the region. Containing identification keys and brief descriptions of each order, family, and genus, the first volume of Mammals of South America covers marsupials, shrews, armadillos, sloths, anteaters, and bats. Species accounts include taxonomic descriptions, synonymies, keys to identification, distributions with maps and a gazetteer of marginal localities, lists of recognized subspecies, brief summaries of natural history information, and discussions of issues related to taxonomic interpretations.Highly anticipated and much needed, this book will be a landmark contribution to mammalogy, zoology, tropical biology, and conservation biology.
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About the author

Alfred L. Gardner is Wildlife Biologist (Research), of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, stationed at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, where he is Curator of North American Mammals.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Sep 15, 2008
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Pages
690
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ISBN
9780226282428
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Mammals
Travel / South America / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From a modest beginning in the form of a little shrew-like, nocturnal, insect eating ancestor that lived 200 million years ago, mammals evolved into the huge variety of different kinds of animals we see today. Many species are still small, and follow the lifestyle of the ancestor, but others have adapted to become large grazers and browsers, like the antelopes, cattle, rhinos, and elephants, or the lions, hyaenas, and wolves that prey upon them. Yet others evolved to be specialist termite eaters able to dig into the hardest mounds, or tunnel creating burrowers, and a few took to the skies as gliders and the bats. Many live partly in the water, such as otters, beavers, and hippos, while whales and dugongs remain permanently in the seas, incapable of ever emerging onto land. In this Very Short Introduction T. S. Kemp explains how it is a tenfold increase in metabolic rate - endothermy or "warm-bloodedness" - that lies behind the high levels of activity, and the relatively huge brain associated with complex, adaptable behaviour that epitomizes mammals. He describes the remarkable fossil record, revealing how and when the mammals gained their characteristics, and the tortuous course of their subsequent evolution, during which many bizarre forms such as sabre-toothed cats, and 30-tonne, 6-m high browsers arose and disappeared. Describing the wonderful adaptations that mammals evolved to suit their varied modes of life, he also looks at those of the mainly arboreal primates that culminated ultimately in Homo sapiens. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Numbering 92 species worldwide, members of the order Lagomorpha are familiar to people throughout the world, and yet their remarkable diversity and ecological importance are often underappreciated. In this book, Andrew T. Smith and his colleagues bring together the world’s lagomorph experts to produce the most comprehensive reference on the order ever published, featuring detailed species accounts, stunning color photos, and up-to-date range maps. Contributors highlight the key ecological roles that lagomorphs play and explain in depth how scientists around the globe are working to save vulnerable populations.

Thematic introductory chapters cover a broad spectrum of information about pikas, rabbits, and hares, from evolution and systematics to diseases and conservation. Each animal account begins with the complete scientific and common names for the species, followed by a detailed description of appearance and unique morphological characteristics, including a range of standard measurements of adult specimens. Subsequent sections discuss known paleontological data concerning the species, the current state of its taxonomy, and geographic variation. Each account also includes dedicated sectioins on habitat and diet, reproduction and development, ecology, behavior, and management.

The definitive work on lagomorphs, this book is an invaluable reference for naturalists, professional biologists, and students. It will also be beneficial for those conducting biodiversity surveys and conservation throughout the world.

Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalist went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. The result is Marching Powder.

This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted.

Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account of infiltration into the South American drug culture.

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