Reflecting the expertise and perspective of five leading mammalogists, the fourth edition of Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology significantly updates taxonomy, includes a new chapter on mammalian molecular phylogenetics, and highlights several recently described species.
There are close to 5,500 species in the class Mammalia, including the blue whale―the largest animal that has ever lived―and the pygmy shrew, which weighs little more than a penny. The functional diversity of mammals has allowed them to play critical roles in every ecosystem, whether marine, freshwater, alpine, tundra, forest, or desert.
Many mammal species are critically endangered and present complex conservation and management challenges. This book touches on those challenges, which are often precipitated by overharvesting and habitat loss, as well as emerging threats, such as the impact of wind turbines and white nose syndrome on bats and chronic wasting disease on deer.
Among the updates and additions to the fourth edition of Mammalogy are numerous new photos, figures, and cladograms, over 4,200 references, as well as
• A completely new chapter on mammalian phylogeny and genomics
• Current taxonomy―including major changes to orders, suborders, and superfamilies of bats and rodents
• An explanation of the recent inclusion of whales with terrestrial even-toed ungulates
• Updates on mammalian structural, functional adaptations, and fossil history
• recent advances in our understanding of phylogeny, biogeography, social behavior, and ecology
• A discussion of two new orders and thirteen newly recognized extant families
• Reflections on the implications of climate change for mammals
• Thorough examinations of several recently described species, including Durrell’s vontsira (Salanoia durrelli) and the Laotian rock rat (Laonastes aenigmamus)
• An explanation of mammalian biomechanics, such as that seen in lunge feeding of baleen whales
• Breakout boxes on unique aspects of mammals, including the syntax of bat songs, singing mice, and why there are no green mammals (unless we count algae-covered sloths)
Maintaining the accessible, readable style for which Feldhamer and his coauthors are well known, this new edition of Mammalogy is the authoritative textbook on this amazingly diverse class of vertebrates.