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Guide to the Mammals of Pennsylvania

Guide to the Mammals of Pennsylvania

HAL S. KORBER Photographer
DAVID M. ARMSTRONG Scientific Consultant
Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 448
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  • Book Info
    Guide to the Mammals of Pennsylvania
    Book Description:

    From the tiny shrew to the black bear, Pennsylvania's hills and valleys are teeming with sixty-three species of wild mammals. Many of these animals are rarely seen except when pursued by an interested biologist, mammologist, or nature photographer. Now, with the publication of this book, student, scholar, and nature lover alike will have a ready reference to distinguish between a deer mouse and a white-footed mouse, to identify raccoon tracks, and to learn about Pennsylvania's other inhabitants.

    An attractive backpack-size volume, written in lively prose, theGuide to the Mammals of Pennsylvaniaopens with a short introduction to Pennsylvania's environment and the characteristics defining a mammal. The bulk of the book consists of species accounts of the mammals grouped into families and orders. Each account includes a short list of data, a Pennsylvania range map, a North American range map, and a narrative of the physical, ecological, and behavioral characteristics of the species.

    Exciting photographs of each of the species in its natural habitat, 17 in color, and drawings of animal tracks are especially useful for identification, and a glossary and a bibliography provide definitions and references for the serious reader. Naturalists, whether amateur or professional, will find the book useful in the field; it will be an indispensable tool in the classroom.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7139-9
    Subjects: Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

    (pp. 3-26)

    The class Mammalia is composed of about 4,060 living species arranged in 138 families which in turn are grouped into 20 orders. Mammals range in size from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, weighing about 1.5 grams (0.05 oz.), to the massive blue whale, weighing up to 160,000 kilograms (180 tons).

    Compared with the five million or more kinds of animals living on Earth today, the variety of mammals is rather small. They make up less than 0.5 percent of all the animal species now known, whereas insects account for about 80 percent of the total. Although mammal species are greatly...

  2. Mammals of Pennsylvania

    • POUCHED MAMMALS: Order Marsupialia
      (pp. 29-38)

      The order Marsupialia is one of the most primitive orders of living mammals. It is first known from the Cretaceous Period in North America, some 130 million years ago. Because members of the order have remained structurally unchanged for the past 50 million years, they are commonly called “living fossils” of the class Mammalia.

      Marsupials range in size from the tiny, 5-gram (0.2-0Z.), insectivorous marsupial “mouse” of Australia to the huge, grasseating, great gray kangaroo, which reaches 2 meters (6.6 ft.) in height and weighs approximately 90 kilograms (198 lbs.). There are marsupial “moles,” “mice,” “flying squirrels,” “cats,” and rabbit-like...

    • SHREWS AND MOLES: Order Insectivora
      (pp. 39-78)

      The order Insectivora consists of a diverse group of mammals including shrews, hedgehogs, moles, and the tenrecs of Madagascar. Representatives of the order inhabit most of the land masses of the world except polar regions, Australia, and much of South America. Dating back to the Cretaceous Period, about 130 million years ago, this ancient order includes the earliest placental mammals.

      No single characteristic defines Insectivora. Instead, the uniqueness of the order is derived from a combination of many characteristics. Almost all insectivores have five clawed toes on each foot, a long snout, and tiny beady eyes. The fur of these...

    • BATS: Order Chiroptera
      (pp. 79-118)

      Bats are the only true flying mammals and date back to the Eocene Epoch about 50 million years ago. With 17 families, about 170 genera, and some 850 species, bats make up the second largest mammalian order in terms of numbers of species, second only to the rodents. Bats are divided into two distinct suborders: the Megachiroptera (flying foxes) and Microchiroptera (all other bats). The Megachiroptera inhabit the tropics and subtropics of the Old World, whereas the Microchiroptera are distributed throughout the world.

      The nameChiroptera,“hand-winged,” refers to the characteristic that makes bats unique: Since bats have wings, they...

    • RABBITS AND HARES: Order Lagomorpha
      (pp. 119-133)

      Lagomorpha is a very old order, derived from primitive placental mammals during Paleocene times, about 62 million years ago. The order comprises two living families, the Leporidae (rabbits and hares) and the Ochotonidae (pikas), and is represented today by approximately 12 genera and 62 species. Leporidae occur naturally on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. In Australia, the European rabbit,Oryctolagus,was introduced by humans, resulting in dire ecological consequences to the native fauna. Ochotonidae reside only in Asia and the mountains of western North America.

      The wordlagomorphais derived from two Greek words meaning “hare shaped,” which aptly...

    • GNAWING MAMMALS: Order Rodentia
      (pp. 134-240)

      Rodentia is one of the most successful orders of mammals, including approximately 40 percent of all living species. There are 30 modern families, with 1,620 species arranged in some 400 genera. Rodents are first known from fossils dating from the late Paleocene Epoch of North America, about 60 million years ago. Later, humans introduced the family Muridae (Old World Rats and Mice) to many parts of the world by bringing them along on explorations and during colonizations. Even without the aid of humankind, rodents were able to colonize Australia. Today, rodents are found throughout the world, occurring naturally on all...

    • CARNIVORES: Order Carnivora
      (pp. 241-310)

      The order Carnivora is a diverse group of mammals. Its members range from the tiny least weasel, weighing scarcely more than 28 grams (I oz.), to the gigantic polar bear, weighing over 800 kilograms (1,760 lbs.). Living carnivores are represented by 7 families, comprising some 92 genera and 238 species. Scientists do not agree on the taxonomic arrangement of the order Carnivora. Some include the pinnipeds (sea lions, seals, and walruses) in this order, whereas others choose to place these marine mammals in the separate order Pinnipedia.

      Carnivores are first known from the early Paleocene Epoch about 65 million years...

    • EVEN-TOED HOOFED MAMMALS: Order Artiodactyla
      (pp. 311-322)

      Artiodactyls are important members of a large, diverse group of mammals collectively called ungulates—a name derived from the fact that these animals walk on their ungules (“nails”), or hooves, with the sole and heel of the foot raised off the ground. Living ungulates are divided into two orders: Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla. Perissodactyla are odd-toed ungulates such as horses, zebras, asses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses. Artiodactyla are even-toed ungulates, namely pigs, peccaries, camels, giraffes, hippopotami, deer, pronghorns, and bovids (bison, buffalo, cattle, sheep, goats, and antelopes).

      The order Artiodactyla comprises nine living families of about 75 genera and 185 species first...

    • Species of Uncertain Occurrence
      (pp. 323-330)

      About the size of a small house cat, the marten weighs from 0.5 to 1.6 kilograms (1 – 3.5 lbs.) and has a long, slender body with short legs. Its bushy tail is about 165 to 240 millimeters (6.5 – 10 in.) long, about half the length of its body, which measures some 513 to 682 millimeters (20 – 27 in.). The soft, glossy coat ofM. americanais golden brown, grading to black on the tail and legs. Its throat and breast are pale buff. Males are slightly larger than females. An arboreal weasel, the marten has sharp, curved claws well adapted...

    • Extirpated Species
      (pp. 331-340)

      The gray wolf, the largest freeroaming canid, resembles a large German shepherd. It is distinguished from its close relative the coyote by its larger size, broader nose pad, shorter ears, and larger feet and claws. Further,C. lupuscarries its tail high when running, unlike the coyote, which carries its tail low.

      Although the coat of the gray wolf generally is grizzled gray, it shows great color variation ranging from black to nearly white, as in many arctic populations. Its long, bushy tail, which is marked with a black tip, is about onethird to one-fourth of its total body length:...

  3. Appendix: Observing Mammals in the Wild
    (pp. 343-380)