The biology of small mammals

by Merritt, Joseph F.

Format: Print Book 2010
Availability: Available at 1 Library 2 of 2 copies
Noncirculating (2)
Location Collection Call #
Carnegie Museum of Natural History Vertebrate Paleontology QL703 .M457 2010
Location  Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Collection  Vertebrate Paleontology
Call Number  QL703 .M457 2010
Carnegie Museum of Natural History Mammals QL703 .M457 2010
Location  Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Collection  Mammals
Call Number  QL703 .M457 2010

2010 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine

The Biology of Small Mammals is the first exploration of the lives of small mammals undertaken in decades. Mammalogist Joseph F. Merritt offers an engaging, in-depth discussion about a diverse array of small mammals, from the rare Kitti's hog-nosed bat of Southeast Asia to the bizarre aye-aye of Madagascar to the familiar woodchuck of North America.

Small mammals include those mammals weighing under five kilograms (approximately eleven pounds). Merritt introduces the various species that fall under this heading, then follows with chapters that cover such topics as behavior, modes of feeding, locomotion, habitat use, reproduction, and coping with heat loss.

Animals of this size face different physiological and ecological challenges than larger mammals. Merritt describes in rich detail how mammals across the globe have adapted to compensate for their small stature, showing how they contribute to and survive in diverse environments in many fascinating ways. For example, arctic foxes, weighing just 3 to 4.3 kilograms, are champion survivors in the cold. They cope with their harsh environs by decreasing activity, seeking shelter in temporary dens and snow burrows, growing a lush winter fur, and undergoing complex physiological changes to insulate themselves from chilling temperatures.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, The Biology of Small Mammals provides a valuable and updated reference on nature's more diminutive creatures.

Introduction. What is a small mammal? ; Advantages and disadvantages of being a small mammal ; The protagonists. Monotremes and marsupials ; Afrosoricida, Erinaceomorpha, Soricomorpha, Macroscelidea, Scandentia, and Dermoptera ; Chiroptera ; Primates ; Carnivora ; Rodentia ; Lagomorpha ; Hyracoidea
Modes of feeding. Insectivory. General characteristics ; Terrestrial insectivores ; Arboreal insectivores ; Semiaquatic and fossorial insectivores ; Subterranean insectivores ; Aerial insectivores
Herbivory. General characteristics ; Granivores ; Frugivores ; Nectarivores ; Gummivores ; Folivores ; Case study
Carnivory. General characteristics ; Flesh-eating carnivores ; Piscivores ; Sanguinivores
Omnivory. Omnivorous carnivores ; Mycophagy ; Case studies
Environmental adaptations. Endothermy
Heterothermy. Torpor ; Hibernation
Coping with cold. Insulatory changes ; Countercurrent heat exchange : the miraculous net ; Reduced level of activity ; Reduction of body mass (Dehnel's phenomenon) ; Fat tails ; Social thermoregulation ; Increased heat production
Coping with heat and aridity. Conserving water ; Dietary water intake ; Evaporative cooling ; Pelage insulation ; Behavioral avoidance of heat
Ecogeographic rules. Modified size of appendages (Allen's rule) ; Seasonal color dimorphism (Gloger's rule) ; Body mass and latitude (Bergmann's rule) ; Case studies)
Reproduction. Reproductive variations. Delayed fertilization ; Delayed implantation ; Delayed development ; Embryonc diapause
Mating systems and reproductive strategies. High fecundity ; Monogamy, housekeeping, and mate guarding ; Absentee maternal care ; Lek behavior ; Eusociality ; Semelparity : breeding and sudden death
Population cycles : lemmings and snowshoe hares.

Additional Information
Subjects Mammals.
Mammals -- Adaptation.
Mammals -- Reproduction.
Publisher Baltimore, Md. :Johns Hopkins University Press,2010
Language English
Description xvi, 313 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 267-295) and index.
ISBN 9780801879500 (hardcover : alk. paper)
0801879507 (hardcover : alk. paper)
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