on February 18, 2007
I purchased ten copies of "Mammals of North America", 4th edition as gifts for family, friends and myself this Christmas (2006). The book was a big hit, especially for families with children. My nieces and nephews seem to really love facts about animals- and what a great book to learn about the mammals that can live in their own backyards! The diagrams, the pointing out of special identification features, the skulls, the tracks, and photographs are excellent. What I love the best are the "species accounts" of the creatures. You can tell from the descriptions that the author is very fond of the creatures that she is writing about and her descriptions will entice you to pay careful attention to the behaviour of the creatures you observe to give you clues about their identity.
The book is easy to use, and more than just an identification aid. Where else can you learn about animated powder puffs (northern collared lemming), and mice that twitter, squeek and sing a churring song? By just reading the description of the House Mouse, an alien species, I knew that that was what I had in my basement and garage. However, the creatures living in the backyard were definitely something different- meadow voles- perfectly harmless.
As soon as I handed out the books at Christmas, the children and young adults had their noses in them, looking stuff up. My nephew Andrew pointed proudly to a Harbour Seal, and said, "I was 2 m from one of these last summer"!
Even if you are not a major nature nut, this book is really good reading. It will expand your appreciation of what we have out there!
on January 30, 2014
The plates are really well done, especially the skulls and footprints ones.
I bought this book for its information on bats, the descriptions are short but valuable, exactly what I was expected from a field guide. It compares aspects of the anatomy that could be misleading in the identification processus. The habitat of the species is described very briefly but precise enough to know where to look for them.
Everything you would be waiting from a great field guide!
A must have to anyone who wants to be able to identify mammals in North America.