Acclaimed and coveted by both naturalists and lovers of wildlife illustration, Jonathan Kingdon's seven-volume East African Mammals has become a classic of modern natural history. This paperback edition makes Kingdon's remarkable artistic and scientific achievement—his hundreds of drawings and perceptive study of all the mammals in East Africa's species-rich fauna—available to the wide audience it deserves.
Volume IIB of East African Mammals is a study of some of East Africa's smallest and least conspicuous mammals, hares and rodents.
In each volume Kingdon combines his text with hundreds of finished drawings and quick sketches, the latter a form of field note that provides an incomparable description of the animal's movements and personality. Kingdom explains his drawings "as a wordless questioning of form. . . . The probing pencil is like the dissecting scalpel, seeking to expose relevant structures that may not be immediately obvious and are certainly hidden from the shadowy world of the camera lens." As an artist, Kingdon's achievement has been compared with Audubon's; as a scientist, his work has made these volumes indispensable to any serious student of East African mammals.
Many mammals like to dig in the dirt, but few call it home. Those that do, such as mole-rats, zokors, and tuco-tucos, have developed novel adaptations to their subterranean life, including bones and muscles modified for efficient digging and ways to "see" underground without using their eyes. These unusual traits, adopted independently by unrelated groups around the world, also make subterranean rodents fascinating subjects for biologists.
Life Underground provides the first comprehensive review of the biology of subterranean rodents. Arranged by topic rather than by taxon to facilitate cross-species comparisons, chapters cover such subjects as morphology, physiology, social behavior, genetic variation, and evolutionary diversification. Two main questions run throughout the book. First, to what extent has subterranean life shaped the biology of these animals, leading to similar adaptations among otherwise dissimilar species? Second, how have the distinct evolutionary histories of these groups led to different solutions to the challenges posed by life underground?
The second installment in a planned three-volume series, this book provides the first substantive review of South American rodents published in over fifty years. Increases in the reach of field research and the variety of field survey methods, the introduction of bioinformatics, and the explosion of molecular-based genetic methodologies have all contributed to the revision of many phylogenetic relationships and to a doubling of the recognized diversity of South American rodents. The largest and most diverse mammalian order on Earth—and an increasingly threatened one—Rodentia is also of great ecological importance, and Rodents is both a timely and exhaustive reference on these ubiquitous creatures.
From spiny mice and guinea pigs to the oversized capybara, this book covers all native rodents of South America, the continental islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean Netherlands off the Venezuelan coast. It includes identification keys and descriptions of all genera and species; comments on distribution; maps of localities; discussions of subspecies; and summaries of natural, taxonomic, and nomenclatural history. Rodents also contains a detailed list of cited literature and a separate gazetteer based on confirmed identifications from museum vouchers and the published literature.
How did rodent outbreaks in Germany help to end World War I? What caused the destructive outbreak of rodents in Oregon and California in the late 1950s, the large population outbreak of lemmings in Scandinavia in 2010, and the great abundance of field mice in Scotland in the spring of 2011? Population fluctuations, or outbreaks, of rodents constitute one of the classic problems of animal ecology, and in Population Fluctuations in Rodents, Charles J. Krebs sifts through the last eighty years of research to draw out exactly what we know about rodent outbreaks and what should be the agenda for future research.
Krebs has synthesized the research in this area, focusing mainly on the voles and lemmings of the Northern Hemisphere—his primary area of expertise—but also referring to the literature on rats and mice. He covers the patterns of changes in reproduction and mortality and the mechanisms that cause these changes—including predation, disease, food shortage, and social behavior—and discusses how landscapes can affect population changes, methodically presenting the hypotheses related to each topic before determining whether or not the data supports them. He ends on an expansive note, by turning his gaze outward and discussing how the research on rodent populations can apply to other terrestrial mammals. Geared toward advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and practicing ecologists interested in rodent population studies, this book will also appeal to researchers seeking to manage rodent populations and to understand outbreaks in both natural and urban settings—or, conversely, to protect endangered species.
Rodent Societies synthesizes and integrates the current state of knowledge about the social behavior of rodents, providing ecological and evolutionary contexts for understanding their societies and highlighting emerging conservation and management strategies to preserve them. It begins with a summary of the evolution, phylogeny, and biogeography of social and nonsocial rodents, providing a historical basis for comparative analyses. Subsequent sections focus on group-living rodents and characterize their reproductive behaviors, life histories and population ecology, genetics, neuroendocrine mechanisms, behavioral development, cognitive processes, communication mechanisms, cooperative and uncooperative behaviors, antipredator strategies, comparative socioecology, diseases, and conservation. Using the highly diverse and well-studied Rodentia as model systems to integrate a variety of research approaches and evolutionary theory into a unifying framework, Rodent Societies will appeal to a wide range of disciplines, both as a compendium of current research and as a stimulus for future collaborative and interdisciplinary investigations.