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Mammals Of Kentucky

Mammals Of Kentucky

Roger W. Barbour
Wayne H. Davis
Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Mammals Of Kentucky
    Book Description:

    Because of its central situation in the Eastern United States and the variety of habitats to be found within its borders, Kentucky has an interesting mixture of mammals, including some characteristic of the Deep South, the West, and the North. All 63 species native to the state are described and illustrated in this volume, the fifth in a series of guides to the wildlife of Kentucky.

    The book is conveniently arranged by orders, families, and species, and identification is facilitated by illustrated keys and by a series of dramatic color photographs. In the account of each species, the authors describe its distinguishing features, similar species with which it might be confused, its habitat, range, characteristic behavior, and life history. Much of the information in these accounts is drawn from the authors' personal observation of the animals in the wild and, in some cases, in captivity.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5647-7
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xi)
  4. Table of Equivalents
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    About 200 years ago the land that is now Kentucky was invaded from the east by a population of light-skinned, scant-haired, bipedal mammals that have, in the short time they have been here, brought about more, and greater, changes in the fauna and flora than had ever been wrought by any combination of circumstances in any comparable period since the area last emerged from the sea.

    We have no precise listing of the mammals inhabiting this area when white men first came, but we know that some species, common then, are no longer here. The bison, elk, gray and red...

  6. Class Mammalia:: Mammals

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 17-19)

      Mammals are the most highly developed of all animals and therefore are placed at the top of our system of classification. They are characterized by a number of features, most prominent of which are the presence of hair and of milk-secreting glands.

      The term animal is frequently incorrectly used as a synonym for mammal, as in the expression “animals and birds.” Birds are also animals, of course, and what is meant is “mammals and birds.” Mammals are animals, but so are all other living things on this earth save plants and some organisms that belong to the shadowy worlds between...

    • ORDER MARSUPIALIA: Marsupials
      (pp. 19-26)

      Marsupials constitute one of the most primitive of mammalian orders, and they have a number of unique characteristics. The young are born in an extremely underdeveloped state and require, at first, the protection of a pouch on the abdomen of the mother.

      These peculiar mammals are largely confined to Australia and adjacent islands, but a few forms are found elsewhere. There are several species in South and Central America, and one species is distributed widely across the United States. The order is represented in Kentucky by a single family, Didelphidae, and a single species.

      Recognition:Total length 650-835 mm; tail...

    • ORDER INSECTIVORA: Insectivores
      (pp. 26-53)

      All our insectivores have a long, pointed snout, tiny eyes, and a skull that either lacks a zygomatic arch or has the arch much reduced. The teeth are sharp and pointed, and the canines are little differentiated from the premolars. The incisors project forward, and those of the upper and lower jaws, working together, form an excellent pair of forceps, admirably suited for picking up insects and the like. Prominent scent glands are present in most species.

      This order is widely distributed over the earth; the only extensive land areas that lack representatives are Australia and southern South America. It...

      (pp. 53-120)

      Bats are the only mammals that possess forelimbs highly specialized for flight. The phalanges (finger bones) are much elongated and are connected by a leathery membrane, forming an efficient wing. Other outstanding characteristics of the order are the backward direction of the knee and the presence of a cartilaginous process, the calcar, arising from the ankle joint and providing support for the interfemoral membrane.

      The ears generally are large and extremely acute. Our flying bats detect obstacles in their path by echolocation: they emit supersonic notes, hear the reflected sound, and thus are able to accurately place the reflecting object....

      (pp. 120-132)

      The lagomorphs differ from rodents in many respects, but the easiest way to distinguish them is by the presence of 4 upper incisors; there is a second, peglike pair immediately behind the front upper pair. The maxillary tooth-rows are farther apart than the mandibular rows, and only one pair of rows is capable of opposition at a time. The facial portion of the maxillary bone is incomplete. The body is well furred, and the tail is very short.

      The order is native to all of the world’s major land masses except Australia and southern South America, and it has been...

    • Color Plates
      (pp. None)
    • ORDER RODENTIA: Rodents
      (pp. 133-237)

      The rodents are the most abundant wild mammals in Kentucky, both in number of species and number of individuals. In form and habits they are extremely diverse, but all have chisel-like incisors and no canine teeth. The absence of canines leaves a conspicuous gap in the line of teeth, between the incisors and the molars.

      This, the largest mammalian order, is cosmopolitan in distribution. It is represented in Kentucky by 19 genera in 5 families.

      1. a. Tail densely hairy: SCIURIDAE, squirrels, p. 134

      b. Tail essentially scant-haired or naked: 2

      2. a. Tail broadly flattened and naked: CASTORIDAE, beavers,...

    • ORDER CARNIVORA: Carnivores
      (pp. 237-281)

      Members of this order show the greatest diversity in size seen in any order of Kentucky mammals: from the least weasel, which is smaller than a chipmunk, to the brown bear. The order is characterized by teeth adapted to cutting or tearing flesh. The canines are long and pointed. Most carnivores possess specialized cutting teeth in the upper and lower jaws—the carnassial teeth. As the names implies, most carnivores are meat-eaters, but many of them—notably the skunk, raccoon, and fox—also eat considerable quantities of vegetable matter. Many of the carnivores are of considerable importance in the fur...

    • ORDER ARTIODACTYLA: Even-toed Ungulates
      (pp. 281-291)

      Members of this order have the main axis of the foot passing between the third and fourth toes. In most, there is complete suppression of all other toes, leaving but these 2; in the others, the inner (first) digit only is suppressed, leaving 4 functional toes. The molars are broad-crowned; they differ from the premolars in having 2 crowns. Artiodactyls usually are of large size, and most of them are strictly herbivorous. The order is essentially worldwide in distribution (absent from the Austra-lian region). There are about 170 species, arranged in 9 families. The 2 species in Kentucky are members...

  7. Appendixes

    • APPENDIX I Dental Formulae of Kentucky Mammals
      (pp. 292-295)
    • APPENDIX II Key to the Skulls of Kentucky Mammals
      (pp. 296-304)
    • APPENDIX III Mammals of Problematic or Relatively Recent Occurrence in Kentucky
      (pp. 305-309)
  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 310-318)
  9. Index
    (pp. 319-323)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 324-324)