Mammals of the Great Lakes Region

Revised Edition
Allen Kurta
Revised and expanded edition of the classic Mammals of the Great Lakes Region.


Mammals evolved from an obscure group of reptiles about 230 million years ago. Early mammals were probably no larger than modern shrews or mice, and they remained this size—while living in the shadows of dinosaurs—for over 150 million years.

First published in 1957, Mammals of the Great Lakes Region, by William H. Burt, offered countless numbers of amateur and professional naturalists a source of information on mammals living in the Great Lakes basin. Over the past thirty-plus years, the knowledge of mammals has grown tremendously, and this new edition offers the most up-to-date information on the mammals living in the region.

Intended to serve as a quick reference for teachers, students, naturalists, and professional biologists, the heavily illustrated book can be tucked into a backpack and carried into the field. The author's introduction serves to help understand the major characteristics of mammals and the Great Lakes ecosystem. It outlines the physical factors that affect the distribution and abundance of mammals in the area, including surface geology, temperature, snowfall, and vegetation.

Detailed information on eighty-three species provides the measurements, description, and natural history of the mammal. In addition, all species accounts have accompanying photographs as well as maps showing the geographic range in the Great Lakes region and in North America. Also included is a section on how to capture small mammals and how to prepare specimens for research or teaching.

Allen Kurta is Associate Professor of Biology, Eastern Michigan University. He is well known for his work on the Indiana bat.

Look Inside


Introduction     1
What Is a Mammal?     1
Mammals and the Great Lakes Ecosystem     3

Species Accounts
Marsupials (Infraclass Metatheria)     17
New World Opossums (Order Didelphimorphia)     19
New World Opossums (Family Didelphidae)     19
Placental or Eutherian Mammals (Infraclass Eutheria)     23
Shrews, Moles, and Their Allies (Order Insectivora)     24
Shrews (Family Soricidae)     25
Moles (Family Talpidae)     50
Bats (Order Chiroptera)     60
Plain-nosed Bats (Family Vespertilionidae)     62
Rabbits, Hares, and Their Allies (Order Lagomorpha)     91
Rabbits and Hares (Family Leporidae)     93
Rodents (Order Rodentia)     108
Squirrels (Family Sciuridae)     109
Pocket Gophers (Family Geomyidae)     138
Beavers (Family Castoridae)      142
Rats, Mice, Lemmings, and Voles (Family Muridae)     146
Jumping Mice and Their Allies (Family Dipodidae)     189
New World Porcupines (Family Erethizontidae)     196
Carnivores (Order Carnivora)     200
Dogs, Foxes, and Wolves (Family Canidae)     202
Bears (Family Ursidae)      214
Raccoons and Their Allies (Family Procyonidae)     218
Weasels and Their Allies (Family Mustelidae)     222
Cats (Family Felidae)     251
Even-tied Ungulates (Order Artiodactyla)     258
Deer (Family Cervidae)     260
Vanished Species     273

Capturing Small Mammals     279
Ethical, Legal, and Health Considerations     279
Live Traps     281
Snap Traps     283
Sampling Small Mammal Populations with Live Traps or Snap Traps     284
Pitfall Traps     285
Harp Traps and Mist Nets for Bats     285
Specimen Preparation     287
Measuring Specimens and Recording Data     287
Preparing a Study Skin     289
Fluid Preservation     297
Alternative Techniques for Teaching Collections      298
Cleaning Skulls     299
Identifying Mammals of the Great Lakes Region     302
Key to Adult Mammals Using Skull Characteristics     303
Key to Adult Mammals in the Flesh     323
Summary of Measurements and Life History Information    335
Dental Formulae     341
Technical Names of Organisms Mentioned in the Text     345
Plants     345
Animals     347
Glossary     349
References     359
Index     371

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 392pp.
  • 84 B&W photographs, numerous maps, tables and drawings.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1995
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06497-7

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  • $18.95 U.S.

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