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Mammals of China

Mammals of China

Andrew T. Smith
Yan Xie
Robert S. Hoffmann
Darrin Lunde
John MacKinnon
Don E. Wilson
W. Chris Wozencraft
Federico Gemma Illustrator
Wang Sung Honorary Editor
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Mammals of China
    Book Description:

    China's breathtaking diversity of natural habitats--from mountains and deserts to grasslands and lush tropical forests--is home to more than 10 percent of the world's mammal species. This one-of-a-kind pocket guide describes the characteristics, geographic distribution, natural history, and conservation status of all 558 species of mammals found in China. An up-to-date distribution map accompanies each species account, and beautiful color illustrations by wildlife artist Federico Gemma depict a majority of the species. The definitive text is written by leading specialists and follows the most current global standards for mammalian systematics.

    This field-ready pocket edition of A Guide to the Mammals of China makes the rich mammal fauna of China accessible to ecotravelers and naturalists like never before.

    The comprehensive pocket guide to all of China's 558 mammal speciesDescribes the physical characteristics, geographic distribution, natural history, and conservation status of every speciesFeatures up-to-date distribution maps and stunning color illustrations throughoutWritten by a team of leading specialists

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4688-7
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-5)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. 5-6)
  4. List of Maps
    (pp. 6-6)
  5. List of Habitat Images
    (pp. 6-6)
  6. Preface
    (pp. 7-7)
    Andrew Smith, Tempe, Xie Yan and Beijing
  7. Contributors
    (pp. 7-8)
  8. Introduction
    (pp. 8-18)

    China is a magnificent country and one of the most diverse on Earth. Its size ranks fourth among the world’s nations (9,596,960 km²), and it is home to over 1.3 billion people. The topography of China ranges from the highest elevation on Earth (Mount Everest, or Chomolungma; 8,850 m) to one of the lowest (Turpan Basin; 154 m below sea level). Chinese environments include some of Earth’s most extensive and driest deserts (the Taklimakan and Gobi) and its highest plateau (the Tibetan Plateau or “Roof of the World”). Habitats range from tropical to boreal forest, and from extensive grasslands to...

  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 18-19)
  10. [Maps]
    (pp. 19-21)
  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. 22-34)
  12. CLASS MAMMALIA—The Mammals

      (pp. 36-37)

      The elephants are unmistakable. There are two genera of elephants, one in Africa (Loxodonta) with two recognized species, and one in Asia (Elephas), the range of which includes China. The Asian Elephant is distinguished from the African forms by having smaller ears and a single lip on the end of its trunk, compared with two lips in African elephants. Dental formula: = 26 (but tusk usually absent in femaleElephas).

      HB 550–650 cm; SH 320 cm (male), 250 cm (female); T 120–150 cm; Wt 4,160 kg (male), 2,720 kg (female). Uniquely large mammal with long pro-boscis, large...

      (pp. 37-38)

      This order of large herbivorous marine mammals contains three families (one extinct) totaling five species and is characterized by paddle-like forelimbs, heavy bones, no hind limbs, and no dorsal fin. The dugongs (Dugongidae) can be distinguished from the other living family, the manatees (Trichechidae), by possessing an incisor (versus no functional incisors in manatees) and a notched tail (versus a spoon-shaped tail), and lacking nails on the flippers (versus flippers with nails in two of the three manatee species). The Chinese representative is in the monotypic Dugongidae.

      HB 240–400 cm; Wt 230–1,000 kg. Body fusiform, and hind limbs...

      (pp. 38-39)

      These squirrel-like animals are distributed across SE Asia. They possess large eyes and lack long vibrissae in the facial region. Dental formula: = 38. There are five genera and 20 species in the Scandentia; only a single species, one of 15 in the genusTupaia, occurs in China.

      HB 160–195; T 150–190; HF 36–45; E 12–20; GLS 41–49; Wt 110–185 g. Pelage olive green to dense brown; shoulder with faint vertical stripes. Tail bicolored, olive brown above and whitish underneath; tail hairs long, and overall the tail has the appearance of being flat....

    • ORDER PRIMATES—Primates
      (pp. 39-57)

      The order Primates includes humankind and its nearest relatives, including apes, monkeys, lemurs, and lorises. Most species have five digits on each limb, usually with an opposable first digit and mostly with flattened nails rather than claws. The brain is well developed. Only two pectoral mammae are present. Primates have two sets of teeth, the deciduous juvenile set being later replaced by permanent adult teeth. Upper canines, especially in males, are generally tusk-shaped. Molars have blunt cusps. There are two suborders of Primates, the Strepsirrhini, with seven families, one of which (Lorisidae) is found in China; and the Haplorrhini, with...

    • ORDER RODENTIA—Rodents
      (pp. 58-166)

      Rodents occur in nearly every habitat type present in China—from the high elevations of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau to tropical rain forests, grasslands, dry deserts, agricultural fields, villages, cities, and even ships in port. They exploit terrestrial, arboreal, subterranean, and aquatic habitats. Some rodents are strictly herbivorous, but most are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of plants, fungi, insects, and small vertebrates. Often highly fecund, most rodents have an incredible capacity to populate their environment. Altogether there are more species of rodents in China than any other group (192 of 2,277 species recognized worldwide), and their...

    • ORDER LAGOMORPHA—Pikas, Rabbits, and Hares
      (pp. 166-184)

      The most characteristic feature separating lagomorphs from rodents is the presence of a second, peg-like upper incisor that sits behind the large anterior incisor. Dental formula:–3/ = 26–28, with a long postincisor diastema. Lagomorph means “hare-shaped”—thus signifying a characteristic posture (more pronounced in leporids than pikas). They generally have large hind feet, large ears, and small tails. Produce two types of fecal pellets (round, hard and viscous, soft, dark), and engage in coprophagy of the soft feces. Lagomorphs are found worldwide, with the exception of Australia, Oceania, and S South America, although they have been widely...

      (pp. 184-189)

      Although previously included in the order Insectivora along with the moles and shrews, the hedgehogs and gymnures are now thought to represent a separate, distantly related clade—the Erinaceomorpha, represented by a single family, the Erinaceidae. The fore and hind limbs possess five toes (but some genera outside China have four toes); eyes and ears are well developed; habits are terrestrial. The hedgehogs belong to the subfamily Erinaceinae and are most easily recognized by a dorsal covering of protective quills. The gymnures, subfamily Galericinae, lack quills but have the ability to secrete an offensive scent for protection. The family Erinaceidae...

    • ORDER SORICOMORPHA—Shrews and Moles
      (pp. 189-217)

      Shrews and moles were formerly included in the order Insectivora, along with tenrecs, golden moles, solenodons, and hedgehogs, but recent evidence suggests this to be a paraphyletic clade. Taxa previously united within an all-inclusive Insectivora are now generally regarded as constituting three orders in two clades: an African clade including the tenrecs and golden moles (order Afrosoricida), and a Holarctic clade including the hedgehogs and gymnures (order Erinaceomorpha) and the shrews, moles, and allies (order Soricomorpha). The Soricomorpha comprises four families—Nesophontidae, Solenodontidae, Soricidae, and Talpidae; the latter two are represented in China. Shrews and moles are rarely observed in...

      (pp. 217-275)

      The order Chiroptera contains the only mammals capable of true flight. Characters include specialized forelimbs; phalanges especially elongated; radii longer than humeri; ulnae reduced; patagium between phalanges linked with hind legs; and hind legs and tail also linked by uropatagium that usually possesses cartilagenous calcaria, which function as stays. Most species are insectivorous, although a few species are frugivorous. Bats are nocturnal and possess highly developed ears. For most species the flight path and prey capture completely depend on emitting and retrieving ultrasonic vocalizations, but Pteropodidae rely on vision.

      The order is distributed throughout both Eastern and Western hemispheres except...

      (pp. 275-277)

      Body covered with scales that are arranged in overlapping rows, with sparse hairs between dorsal scales (Asian forms); venter and inner sides of limbs without scales, but covered with sparse hairs; each limb with five toes; claws long, claws on middle toes of fore and hind feet especially developed; claws of forefeet turning backward; usually walk on back feet; tail long and flat. Head small, and rostrum pointed, acute, and cone-shaped; without teeth. Behavior adapted to living on ants and termites. This order contains only one family, Manidae, and one genus,Manis. Pangolins are distributed in S Asia and tropical...

    • ORDER CARNIVORA—Carnivores
      (pp. 277-334)

      Many of the animals in this order are famous for preying on other animals—but not all. Some specialize in eating fruit, insects, bamboo, or shellfish. Although body forms and sizes differ among various species, all the mammals in this order are rather robust and vigorous, with a rather high development of sense organs (hearing, sight, sense of smell). All the terrestrial species have four or five toes with sharp, curved claws on each foot, and are generally quick and agile. Some species are very well adapted to aquatic lifestyles, and the seals rarely even come to land. Many species...

      (pp. 334-337)

      Perissodactyls are large animals possessing an odd number of toes, with hooves on the tip—essentially these animals support their body weight on the median third toe of their feet, and their locomotion is unguligrade. The skulls tend to be elongated. Unlike the artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates), they possess a third trochanter on their femur. All forms are herbivorous and have a simple stomach and large caecum. Once a flourishing order, the Perissodactyla are now represented by only three families, six genera, and 17 species. Only one family, the Equidae, occurs in China, although two species of rhinoceros (family Rhinocerotidae) come...

    • ORDER ARTIODACTYLA—Even-toed Ungulates
      (pp. 337-377)

      Artiodactyls comprise medium to large hoofed animals. All four legs possess an even number of toes, nearly equal in size, that are arranged around the axis formed by the highly developed third and fourth toes; the limb axis supports the body on these two toes. Toes two and five, or rudiments thereof, are smaller and face backward. Most species are strictly herbivorous (except the omnivorous pigs), fast running, and social living. Some species have horns or antlers growing from the frontal bone. Canines are reduced in most species that have horns or antlers and highly developed in those that do...

    • ORDER CETACEA—Whales, Porpoises, and Dolphins
      (pp. 377-381)

      The Cetacea are completely aquatic mammals. Both form and structure are highly adapted for aquatic life; body pisciform; neck inconspicuous; body surface with no hair or scales; forelimb (flipper) finlike; hind limbs absent; most have dorsal fins; tail very long, ending in two flat fins (flukes); both dorsal fin and fluke composed of connective tissue, without bone or fin ray; tail is the main locomotor organ; head without external ear; auditory sensation very developed; both smell and vision reduced; nostrils elevated, with valves that can open and close; eyes very small. All members of this group live in seas except...

    (pp. 381-384)
    (pp. 384-387)
    (pp. 387-388)
    (pp. 388-391)
    (pp. 391-396)