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Mammals of Alabama

Troy L. Best and Julian L. Dusi

Publication Year: 2014

Beautifully designed and sturdily bound for rugged field use, Mammals of Alabama is the first and only exhaustive guidebook to Alabama’s diverse and fascinating mammalian fauna.

European and American naturalists visited the territory that would become Alabama as early as the late eighteenth century and marveled at the breadth and variety of its flora and fauna. Yet until today scientists, scholars, and nature enthusiasts had no systematic guide to the state’s
mammals. Mammals of Alabama fills the gap.

Naturally occurring in the state are nine orders, twenty-two families, fifty-one genera, and seventy-two species of living mammals. Best and Dusi offer an engaging entry for each as well as additional species that have become extinct through natural processes or human extirpation.
Illustrated with maps and photos, each entry includes:
• Identification notes        • Dental formula
• Size and weight              • Distribution
• Ecology                            • Life History
• Behavior                          • Parasites and Diseases
• Conservation Status     • Notes and References

Ideal for backyards, hikes, libraries, and classrooms, Mammals of Alabama includes hundreds of professional, close-up color specimen photographs of both living animals in their natural habitats and skull plates, making identification of animals easy.

Best also offers fascinating and fun facts about Alabama mammals that will delight nature lovers of all ages, such as the surprising and excellent tree-climbing skills of the gray fox, the use in the past of mole skins to apply cosmetics, and the litters of identical quadruplets common to the nine-banded armadillo.

Published in cooperation with the Alabama Wildlife Federation

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Series: Gosse Nature Guides

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-xiv

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pp. xv-xvi

...This book is intended to provide an overview of the biology of wild mammals that have been documented to occur in Alabama, as well as extant species that previously...

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pp. xvii-xxii

...We are indebted to those who preceded us in studying the mammals of Alabama, especially A. H. Howell (1909, 1921) and D. C. Holliman (1963), for thorough reviews...

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pp. 1-4

...Although naturalists visited Alabama beginning in the late 1700s, there are few scientific assessments of mammals for the state. Bartram (1791) traveled in Alabama...

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pp. 5-16

...Because of the nocturnal and secretive nature of most mammals, researching them is often difficult and usually requires dedicated, highly motivated, and well-trained individuals, including personnel of management and regulatory...

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p. 17-17

...When we list characters that differentiate mammals from other organisms, we usually begin the list with the presence of hair and mammary glands. These characters...

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American Opposums

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pp. 18-22

...This order ranges from southeastern Canada to southern Argentina and contains 1 family, 17 genera, and 87 species. Usually, the braincase is small, the rostrum is long...

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Dugongs, Manatees, and Sea Cows

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pp. 23-28

...Sirenia is derived from the word siren, the sea nymph of mythology, and dugongs and manatees may have been the basis of myths regarding mermaids. Geographic...

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pp. 29-34

...Present only in North and South America, this order contains 1 family, 9 genera, and 21 species. Because members have low basal metabolic rates and poor thermoregulatory...

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pp. 35-156

...This is the largest order of mammals and includes 33 families, 481 genera, and 2,277 species. Rodents occupy a wide range of habitats and occur naturally worldwide...

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Hares, Pikas, and Rabbits

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pp. 157-174

...The 3 families, 13 genera, and 92 species of Lagomorpha are distinguished from Rodentia and other mammals by the presence of a second set of upper incisors located directly behind the first. The upper incisors of this second set are small...

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Shrews, Moles, Desmans, and Relatives

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pp. 175-206

...Soricomorpha includes 4 families, 45 genera, and 428 species. Members usually have a long and pointed rostrum, a low braincase that does not rise much above the dorsal surface of the rostrum, and eyes that are small relative...

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pp. 207-285

...extending from the sides of the body and legs and supported by elongated fingers on the forelimbs. There is usually an interfemoral membrane between the legs and tail...

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pp. 286-382

...The order Carnivora contains 15 families, 126 genera, and 286 species. Although the term carnivore implies an animal-eating diet, there is a great diversity of diets in this order. Also, numerous other orders of mammals contain animal...

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Even-toed Ungulates

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pp. 383-410

...Even-toed ungulates are represented by 10 families, 89 genera, and 240 species. Horns or antlers are present in 1 or both sexes of some species. Habitats are extremely...

Appendix 1: Cetaceans (Whales and Dolphins) that Occur, or May Occur, in the Gulf of Mexico and in Coastal Alabama

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pp. 411-412

Appendix 2: Metric to English Measurement Conversions

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pp. 413-414


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pp. 415-424


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pp. 425-448

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About the Authors

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pp. 449-450

...of eastern New Mexico. He attended public schools in Clayton, Clovis, Lovington, Portales, and Tatum, New Mexico. After graduating from high school in Clayton in 1963, he entered Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, where he completed B.S. degrees in biology, anthropology, and secondary...

Illustration Credits

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pp. 451-452


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pp. 453-496

E-ISBN-13: 9780817386801
E-ISBN-10: 0817386807
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817357498
Print-ISBN-10: 0817357491

Page Count: 520
Illustrations: 304
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Gosse Nature Guides