Predatory and Foraging Behaviour of Brown Hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea (Thunberg, 1820)) at Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus Schreber, 1776) Colonies.
Diss. Uni Hamburg. 210 Seiten.
The predatory and foraging behaviour of brown hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea) was observed at mainland Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) breeding colonies in the southern Namib Desert. The objectives of this study were to
(1) assess the availability, condition and accessibility of seals for brown hyenas,
(2) evaluate the importance of the coast for brown hyena abundance, movement and energy budget,
(3) determine factors influencing the foraging related time budget of brown hyenas,
(4) assess feeding preferences, and
(5) examine the consumption of prey.
Behavioural observations were conducted at the Van Reenen Bay seal colony and seal pup mortality data was recorded at the Wolf Bay seal colony.
GPS collars were fitted on coastal brown hyenas to determine their movement. Live seal pups were available for brown hyenas all year round, but their increasing size, mobility and activity, as well as the attendance pattern of adult females may influence the brown hyena’s foraging behaviour. Many dead pups were available to scavenge during the pupping season and represented an easy and safe way to obtain food.
In general, predators and prey are mutually influenced by each others behaviours. In Chapter 4 the anti-predator strategies of Cape fur seals towards brown hyenas were reviewed and assessed with regard to their influence on the hyena’s foraging strategies. Although Cape fur seals showed a near complete lack of anti-predator behaviour, the predator-prey system is possibly donor-controlled (Chapter 5) and the usual depensatory effect on prey populations that face novel or exotic predators is not expected (see Sinclair et al. 1998). The numerical response of predators to increased prey numbers as predicted by Holling (1959, 1965) could not be seen in this study (Chapter 5), and seasonality in the availability of seal pups, therefore, may limit brown hyena population growth, and may contribute to the maintenance of large home ranges despite localised food sources. However, coastal brown hyenas’ daily movements were less than that of inland ones, they have a lower field metabolic rate, and hence may consume less food.
Brown hyenas preferred to kill seal pups despite the availability of carrion (Chapter 6). The predation rate was unrelated to carrion availability, but the absolute number of kills was positively correlated to seal pup density. Increasing seal pup density led to an increase in brown hyena capture rate and hunting efficiency. Furthermore the overabundance of easy and vulnerable prey led to surplus kills. However, brown hyenas foraged opportunistically by scavenging, killing and caching seal pups in proportion to their occurrence at the colony (Chapter 7 and 8), and hence, caused an additional impact on seal pup mortality by not only choosing the doomed surplus. The killing of seal pups seemed to be unrelated to hunger, and surplus killing occurred throughout the study period. Brown hyenas preferred to consume larger and heavier prey, but a large proportion of the brown hyena’s prey was only partially consumed (Chapter 8). Selectivity increased with seal pup density, and feeding and handling times per prey item were reduced. Brown hyenas showed a preference for brain tissue, and the consumption of brain tissue may quickly satisfy the brown hyena’s metabolic requirements, or may be important to keep a positive water balance. Although black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) outnumber brown hyenas and are their main competitors at seal colonies, they did not influence the brown hyena’s foraging strategy.
Brown hyenas, therefore, behave opportunistically regarding their feeding preferences and optimally regarding the consumption of seals. Seal pup density influences the brown hyena’s predatory and foraging behaviour, and seasonality in seal availability may limit brown hyena abundance and influence their movement patterns. Future observations of foraging brown hyenas outside the pupping season and at night could yield additional interesting information about adaptations in predatory and foraging behaviour to changes in seal behaviour, abundance and attendance.
The control of dingoes in New South Wales in the period 1883-1930 and its likely impact on their distribution andabundance.
Australian Zoologist 31 (3): 432-442
The sheep grazing industry has been an economic mainstay of New South Wales from the early period of European settlement. The dingo quickly established itself as a predator of sheep and a pest of the pastoral industry. In the latter decades of the nineteenth century, a system was established under which bounties were paid on a wide range of species, but bounties paid for dingoes were far in excess of those paid for other species. In addition,an exclusion fence was built, spanning 5'614 km and three States, to prevent dingoes from reinvading south-eastern Australia. This level of control effortreflects the importance of the dingo as a pest of the sheep industry. In the period between 1883 and 1930, over 280,000 bounties were paid for dingoes in New South Wales. At the beginning of this period. dingoes appeared to be distributed throughout New South Wales. By 1930, dingoes were scarce in all but the north-eastern corner of the State. The highest numbers of sheep were grazed in the areas that showed the most rapid decline in dingo numbers, while relatively low numbers were grazed in the areas where dingoes remained common.
No relationship was observed between the value of bounties offered and the number of scalps submitted. The main incentive for the destruction of dingoes by humans is likely to have been the protection of stock, rather thanthe monetary reward of the bounty payments.
An updated description of the Australian dingo (Canis dingo Meyer, 1793)
Journal of Zoology, 292 (3). https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12134
A sound understanding of the taxonomy of threatened species is essential for setting conservation priorities and the development of management strategies. Hybridization is a threat to species conservation because it compromises the integrity of unique evolutionary lineages and can impair the ability of conservation managers to identify threatened taxa and achieve conservation targets. Australia's largest land predator, the dingo Canis dingo, is a controversial taxon that is threatened by hybridization. Since their arrival <5000 yBP (years Before Present) dingoes have been subject to isolation, leading to them becoming a unique canid. However, the dingo's taxonomic status is clouded by hybridization with modern domesticated dogs and confusion about how to distinguish ‘pure’ dingoes from dingo-dog hybrids. Confusion exists because there is no description or series of original specimens against which the identities of putative hybrid and ‘pure’ dingoes can be assessed. Current methods to classify dingoes have poor discriminatory abilities because natural variation within dingoes is poorly understood, and it is unknown if hybridization may have altered the genome of post-19th century reference specimens. Here we provide a description of the dingo based on pre-20th century specimens that are unlikely to have been influenced by hybridization. The dingo differs from the domestic dog by relatively larger palatal width, relatively longer rostrum, relatively shorter skull height and relatively wider top ridge of skull. A sample of 19th century dingo skins we examined suggests that there was considerable variability in the colour of dingoes and included various combinations of yellow, white, ginger and darker variations from tan to black. Although it remains difficult to provide consistent and clear diagnostic features, our study places morphological limits on what can be considered a dingo.
Der Marderhund - Ein etablierter Neubürger in Deutschlands Wildbahn.
PDF, 19 Seiten, 11 Abbildungen.
Gesellschaft für Haustierkunde (GfH) e.V. - Eberhard Trumler Station.
1. Neozoen – Neubürger in unserer Tierwelt
2. Der Marderhund
2.1 Herkunft und Körpermerkmale
2.2 Neuer Besiedlungsgebiete
2.4 Lebensweise und Ernährung
2.5 Sozialverhalten, Fortpflanzung und Welpenentwicklung
2.6 Krankheiten und Parasiten
2.7 Hat der Marderhund einen unerwünschten Einfluss auf die heimische Tierwelt?
3. Nutzung als Pelztier
3.1 Haltung in Pelztierfarmen
3.2 Der Marderhund und seine Bejagung in Deutschland
6. Anhang Buchbesprechung: TRUMLERs Wilde Freunde
Fauna Argentina 52.
Brosch., 32 Seiten mit Farbfotos, Strichzeichnungen und Verbreitungskarten.
Centro Editor de América Latina, Buenos Aires.
Der Waschbär - Lebensweise und Ausbreitung.
124 Seiten, 6 Tabellen, s/w-Bildtafeln, 29 Strichzeichnungen, umfangreiche Bibliographie.
Verlag Dieter Hoffmann, Mainz. ISBN-10: 3873410370; ISBN-13: 978-3873410374.
Entdeckung und Namensgebung - Beschreibung Die Lebensweise und Ausbreitung hier kritisch betrachtet - die Populationsdynamik - Wohngebiete - natürliche Feinde - Krankheiten - und die unaufhaltsame Verbreitung - nicht nur in Europa -
Mammalian Species No. 580:1-9.
3 Verbreitungskarte und 2 weitere Abbildungen. Veröffentlicht am 1. Juni 1998 durch die American Society of Mammalogists
Building large trees by combining phylogenetic information: a complete phylogeny of the extant Carnivora (Mammalia).
Biol. Rev. (1999) 74: 143-175.
One way to build larger, more comprehensive phylogenies is to combine the vast amount of phylogenetic information already available. We review the two main strategies for accomplishing this (combining raw data versus combining trees), but employ a relatively new variant of the latter : supertree construction. The utility of one supertree technique, matrix representation using parsimony analysis (MRP), is demonstrated by deriving a complete phylogeny for all 271 extant species of the Carnivora from 177 literature sources.
Beyond providing a "consensus" estimate of carnivore phylogeny, the tree also indicates taxa for which the relationships remain controversial (e.g. the red panda; within canids, felids, and hyaenids) or have not been studied in any great detail (e.g. herpestids, viverrids, and intrageneric relationships in the procyonids). Times of divergence throughout the tree were also estimated from 74 literature sources based on both fossil and molecular data. We use the phylogeny to show that some lineages within the Mustelinae and Canidae contain significantly more species than expected for their age, illustrating the tree's utility for studies of macroevolution. It will also provide a useful foundation for comparative and conservational studies involving the carnivores.
ZIEGLER, S., GEBAUER, A., MELISCH, R., SHARMA, B. K., GHOSE, P. S. CHAKRABORTY, R., SHRESTHA, P., GHOSE, D., LEGSHEY, K., PRADHAN, H., BHUTIA, N. T., TAMBE, S. & SINHA, S. (2010)
Sikkim – Im Zeichen des Roten Panda.
Z. Kölner Zoo 53: 79-93
Der Populationsstatus des Roten Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in freier Wildbahn ist weitgehend unbekannt. Im Jahr 2006 hat der WWF in Zusammenarbeit mit der Abteilung für Forst-, Umwelt- und Wildtiermanagement der Regierung von Sikkim eine Studie initiiert, die darauf abzielt, die Ansprüche dieser Art an ihren Lebensraum sowie ihr Vorkommen im indischen Bundesstaat Sikkim zu bestimmen.
Die Ergebnisse der Studie führen zu dem Schluss, dass in Sikkim 1'341 km potenziell geeigneter Lebensraum für Rote Pandas zur Verfügung steht, obgleich 49 % der Waldfläche keine geschlossene Kronendecke aufweisen und vermutlich nicht von der Art genutzt werden. Schätzungen zum Bestand des Roten Panda in Sikkim ergeben zwischen 225 und 378 fortpflanzungsfähige Individuen. Die ökologische Störung der Wälder ist auf die steigende Bevölkerungszahl, Überweidung sowie die wachsende Nachfrage nach Brennholz in Kombination mit der lückenhaften Umsetzung von Waldschutzgesetzen zurückzuführen. TRAFFIC, das gemeinsame Programm des WWF und der IUCN zur Analyse des Handels mit Arten und Ressourcen aus der Wildnis untersuchte gleichzeitig die Handels routen und unterstützt den Vollzug von Artenschutzbestimmungen im östlichen Himalaja. Die kürzliche Wiedereröffnung von Handelsrouten nach China hat Sikkim in das Rampenlicht des illegalen Handels mit bedrohten Arten gestellt. Konzertierte Naturschutzmaßnahmen sind nötig, um der weiteren Degradierung des Lebensraums der Katzenbären Einhalt zu gebieten und die Wirksamkeit des Artenschutzvollzugs zu verbessern. Darüber hinaus kann die internationale Zoo-Gemeinschaft durch Ex-situ-Zuchtprogramme eine wichtige Rolle spielen, um dem Rückgang der Wildbestände des Roten Panda entgegen zu wirken.
Handbook of the Mammals of the World.
Vol. I - Carnivora.
728 Seiten, 36 Farbtafeln, 561 Farbforos und 258 Verbreitungskarten.
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1.
Veröffentlicht in Zusammenarbeit mit Conservation International und IUCN.
Mit einem Vorwort von Russell A. MITTERMEIER und eine Einführung in die Klasse der Säugetiere von Don E. WILSON
Behandelte Familien und Autoren:
Nandiniidae: Philippe Gaubert
Felidae: Mel E. Sunquist & Fiona C. Sunquist
Prionodontidae: Philippe Gaubert
Viverridae: Andrew P. Jennings & Geraldine Veron
Hyaenidae: Kay E. Holekamp & Joseph M. Kolowski
Herpestidae: Jason S. Gilchrist, A. P. Jennings, G. Veron, & P. Cavallini (Coordinator)
Eupleridae: Steven M. Goodman
Canidae: Claudio Sillero-Zubiri
Ursidae: David L. Garshelis
Ailuridae: Fuwen Wei & Zejun Zhang
Procyonidae: Roland Kays
Mephitidae: Jerry W. Dragoo
Mustelidae: Serge Larivière & Andrew P. Jennings
Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Volume 2: Hoofed Animals.
WILSON, D. E. & MITTERMEIER, R.A. eds. (2011)
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-96553-77-4.
Handbook of the Mammals of the World -Volume 3: Primates.
MITTERMEIER, R.A., RYLANDS, A.B. & WILSON, D.E. (2013)
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-96553-89-7.
Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 4 - Sea Mammals.
614 Seiten, 30 Farbtafeln, 667 Farbfotos, 147 Verbreitungskarten.
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-96553-93-4.
Mit einem Sonderkapitel über den Schutz von Meeressäugern von Roderic B. MAST, Nataly CASTELBLANCO-MARTÍNEZ und Arlo H. HEMPHILL.
Marine mammals include some of the most fascinating animals on Earth. Large, majestic whales and stunning, playful dolphins have provided mysterious companionship to humans at sea for hundreds of years. These magical creatures, along with the equally fascinating manatees, dugongs, seals, sea lions, and walrusses, have developed a completely different set of adaptations from their terrestrial ancestors and relatives. Volume 4 of the HMW series provides complete accounts of all species and families in these important groups. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs showing different behaviours of all of them, the text contains the latest up-to-date information on all families of sea mammals.
Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Volume 5: Monotremes and Marsupials.
WILSON, D. E. & MITTERMEIER, R. A. ed. (2015)
800 Seiten, 44 Farbtafeln, 717 Farbfotos, 375 Verbreitungskarten.
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN-13: 978-84-96553-99-6.
Volume 5 of the Handbook of Mammals of the World (HMW) covers 21 families in eight orders. Monotremes and Marsupials have been grouped together traditionally, and we continue that by treating them together in this volume. Monotremes retain primitive characteristics such as egg-laying and are traditionally placed in a separate subclass of mammals, Prototheria. As with much of mammalian phylogeny, monotreme taxonomy is in a state of flux and some would split the order into two. However, there remains considerable support for recognizing three separate groups of living mammals, the Monotremata in Prototheria, the orders constituting the marsupials in Metatheria, and the placentals in Eutheria.
We begin the volume with a special chapter on extinct marsupials because this is a topic of considerable interest. The last century has seen a number of species go extinct, and because we do not normally include extinct species in HMW, we felt it important to consider these forms along with their living relatives.
As with almost all groups of mammals, there is continuing controversy over the classification of the orders traditionally grouped as marsupials. We follow the arrangement exemplified by the Third Edition of Mammal Species of the World (MSW), published in 2005. However, as with other volumes in the series, we have made several improvements and updates. The views of the authors, all of whom are leading authorities, have been incorporated into this volume. We have included the most recently described species, Massoia’s Lutrine Opossum (Lutreolina massoia), from the montane forests of southern Bolivia and north-western Argentina, and the Black-tailed Antechinus (Antechinus arktos), from a tiny locality in eastern Australia, both described in 2014, as well as ongoing systematic revisions, which continue to add to our knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships of the families covered by this volume. The Systematics section in each family text reviews the ongoing taxonomic work and recent research using new molecular techniques, which has revolutionized our ability to analyze evolutionary relationships.
The monotremes comprise perhaps the most unusual of mammals. Clearly, monotremes diverged from other mammals early on in evolutionary time, and some estimates would place that not long after mammals split from their reptilian ancestors. There is some support for dividing the order into two, with Platypoda for the Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and its fossil relatives, and Tachyglossa for the four species in two genera of echidnas. Attempts at dating the split between these two groups have so far proven difficult to reconcile with the known fossil evidence. All living monotremes are restricted to Australia and New Guinea.
Marsupials are found in both Australia and South America, testifying to their Gondwanaland roots. The largest and most diverse group of South American marsupials is the family Didelphidae (order Didelphimorphia). New World opossums range from southern Canada to Argentina and occupy a wide diversity of habitats. There are forms that are terrestrial, aquatic, arboreal, and scansorial. They have extremely flexible diets, are both hunters and scavengers, and their reproductive systems allow them to be quite good at colonizing new and different habitats.
Caenolestids (order Paucituberculata), sometimes called shrew opossums, with seven species and three genera are small Andean marsupials restricted to higher elevations. Nocturnal and secretive, they are somewhat shrew-like in their habits. They feed on insects, earthworms, and small vertebrates when they can catch them.
The final South American marsupial family, the Monito del Monte of the family Microbiotheriidae (order Microbiotheria), is perhaps the most specialized. There is only a single species of living microbiotheriid, Dromiciops gliroides. Monitos de Monte are the South American group most closely related to the Australian marsupials. They are restricted to temperate rain forests of the southern Andes and frequent bamboo thickets.
The bulk of the volume is devoted to the Australian marsupials, an old and extremely diverse lineage. Once thought to comprise only a single order, we now recognize three orders of New World marsupials (those outlined above), and four orders of Australian marsupials.
Notoryctidae (order Notoryctemorphia) contains the two species of marsupial moles. A lineage dating to around 20 million years ago, they are secretive and poorly understood fossorial counterparts of our more familiar placental moles. They most closely resemble the placental family Chrysochloridae, the golden moles. Blind and lacking external ears, they spend their lives burrowing in the sand of the central Australian deserts.
The order Dasyuromorphia (carnivorous marsupials) contains two living families, plus the extinct Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus). The family Myrmecobiidae contains only the single species Myrmecobius fasciatus, the Numbat, or Marsupial Anteater. Like many of its ecological counterparts among placental forms in other parts of the world, it feeds mainly on termites. Once widespread, this iconic western Australian animal is now an endangered species.
Rounding out the carnivorous marsupial families, the family Dasyuridae with 74 species and 17 genera contains a diverse assemblage of mostly small, rodent-sized carnivores, but ranging in size up to the Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). With both arboreal and terrestrial forms, the family consists mostly of long-bodied, short-legged species with pointed snouts and long, well-furred tails. They occur in habitats ranging from arid areas in Australian to rainforests in New Guinea, and feed on a variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates.
The two living families of Peramelemorphia include the Thylacomyidae and the Peramelidae. The single surviving species of Thylacomyid, the Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis), is a big-eared, long-tailed denizen of the desert that is basically omnivorous. As with many other formerly widespread species, the Greater Bilby is now an endangered species.
With 18 species in six genera, Peramelidae clearly is the more diverse family of peramelemorphs. Occurring in both Australia and New Guinea, they occupy a wide range of habitats ranging from very dry to very wet. Bandicoots are small omnivores, eating a variety of small vertebrates and insects, as well as plant matter.
The largest and most diverse order of marsupials is the Diprotodontia, with eleven families. The family Phascolarctidae, contains only the single species Phascolarctos cinereus, the iconic Koala. Koalas are found along the coastal regions of eastern and southern Australia, where they inhabit eucalypt forests. Arboreal herbivores, their diet consists mainly of eucalypt leaves. Their closest relatives are the wombats.
Vombatidae, the wombats, comprises three species in two genera. All are short and stocky, with short tails and small ears. They are impressive burrowers, using short, broad feet with strong, flat claws to construct complicated burrow systems. They are found in a variety of habitats mainly in south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland.
Pygmy possums in the family Burramyidae are divided into five species in two genera. Four of the species are restricted to Australia and Tasmania, and one ranges into New Guinea. Burramys parvus, the Mountain Pygmy Possum, a high-elevation form from the mountains of New South Wales and Victoria, is the only marsupial known to hibernate. Arboreal and scansorial, pygmy possums are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of small insects, fruits, nectar, and pollen.
Phalangeridae consists of 29 species in six genera. Cuscuses and brush-tailed possums are mostly arboreal, and the diverse assemblage includes species that range from eucalypt woodlands to the rainforests of New Guinea and surrounding islands. They are mainly medium-sized, with elongated bodies, short legs, and long tails, most of which are prehensile. Omnivorous, they feed on a wide variety of both plant and animal life.
The family Pseudocheiridae, Ring-tailed Possums and Greater Gliders, consists of 20 species in five genera. They are slightly larger versions of pygmy possums, and all but one have prehensile tails. They are arboreal and scansorial, and most are specialized leaf-eaters. They are wide-ranging, found in forested regions of both Australia and New Guinea.
The twelve species in three genera of the family Petauridae, Striped Possums, Leadbeater’s Possum, and Lesser Gliders, are all striking looking possums with facial and dorsal stripes. They occur in both Australia and New Guinea in a variety of forests. Most are gliders, with enlarged gliding membranes and prehensile tails. They have a variety of feeding habits, including both the sap of trees, and insects. Some are known to extract insects in a manner similar to the Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Madagascar.
The monotypic family Tarsipedidae consists only of the single species Tarsipes rostratus, the Honey Possum. This tiny arboreal glider is the sole survivor of an ancient lineage. It has three dorsal stripes, a long pointed snout, and teeth that are reduced to pegs. They are restricted to south-western Australia, where they use their brush-tipped tongue to feed on nectar and pollen of a variety of flowers.
The family Acrobatidae consists of three species in two genera, and has representatives in both Australia and New Guinea. Feather-tailed gliders and possums are specialists on pollen and nectar, like their relative Tarsipes. The name feather-tailed refers to horizontal, stiff hairs on the tail that likely help in gliding.
The family Hypsiprimnodontidae has a very restricted distribution in the rainforests of far north-eastern Australia. The single surviving species, the Musky Rat Kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) is a smaller, perhaps more primitive version of the larger kangaroos. Somewhat unusual in being diurnal, it feeds on a variety of fruits and insects.
The eight species in three genera belonging to the family Potoroidae are medium-sized, brown, hopping marsupials resembling small wallabies called Bettongs or Potoroos. They tend to feed mainly on tubers and underground fungi, but also take seeds and some insects from the surface as well. They are found in both Australia and Tasmania.
Finally, the family Macropodidae contains the 59 species in 13 genera of kangaroos and wallabies. This diverse and speciose group occurs in both Australia and New Guinea. These are the iconic large, hopping marsupials readily identified with the continent of Australia. Macropod means long foot, and appropriate name for these animals that use their elongated hindfeet in a specialized hopping locomotion. They also have large, muscular tails that help to provide a tripod when standing on their hindfeet.
Altogether, the assemblage contained in this volume includes an amazing variety of animals adapted to the island continent and nearby islands, as well as a few groups still found in South America. Marsupials provide the best-known examples of convergent evolution, with species of marsupials evolving to look and behave like their placental counterparts who do similar things on other continents. In addition, there are species found in this remarkable radiation that have no counterparts anywhere in the world. Such a unique fauna rightly deserves its own volume.
Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Volume 6: Lagomorphs and Rodents I.
WILSON, D. E., LACHER, T. E. & MITTERMEIER, R. A. (2016)
987 Seiten, 60 Farbtafeln, 735 Farbfotos, 850 Verbreitungskarten
Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN-13: 978-84-941892-3-4
Rats and mice and their relatives in the order Rodentia make up almost half of the species of mammals. Because of this, we polled our readers and the overwhelming positive response was to produce two volumes treating Rodents. Volume 6 will include all of the families of rodents other than Cricetidae and Muridae, plus the order Lagomorpha, which includes rabbits and pikas. This radiation includes some 35 families, which have spread around the globe, occupying every continent except Antarctica, and countless islands in all major oceans. As usual, the text includes up-to-date information on every species, and each species is illustrated. Each family account includes color photographs documenting a variety of behaviors of these diverse and interesting mammals.
This volume also includes a Special Chapter: An overview of rodents, including chapters on morphology, taxonomy, and evolutionary history; why rodents are studied; and tools for studying them.