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Squirrels

Paperback
, 208 pages

77 halftones, 4 line drawings

ISBN:
9780801884030
August 2006
$32.95

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Squirrels

The Animal Answer Guide

Did you know that a groundhog is really a type of squirrel? That squirrels control their body temperature with their tails? That most squirrels have yellow-tinted eye lenses that work like sunglasses to reduce glare? That tree squirrels can turn their hind feet completely around when climbing down a tree head-first? In Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide, Richard W. Thorington Jr. and Katie Ferrell unveil the fascinating world of one of the "most watched" mammals on the planet.

The diversity of squirrels is astounding. There are 278 species that inhabit all continents except Antarctica and Australia—varying in size from the lumbering 18-pound gray marmot to the graceful pygmy flying squirrel that is smaller than most mice. In many parts of the world they readily share human habitats, joining us for lunch in a city park, raiding our bird feeders, and sneaking into college dorm rooms through open windows. Reviled as pests or loved as an endearing amusement, squirrels have played important roles in trade, literature, and mythology.

Thorington and Ferrell cover every aspect of this diverse animal family, from the first squirrels of 36 million years ago to the present day. With over one hundred photographs and an intuitive question-and-answer format, this authoritative and engaging guide sheds light on a common mammal that is anything but commonplace.

Richard W. Thorington, Jr. is a curator of mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. For many years Katie Ferrell was Dr. Thorington's research assistant at the Smithsonian.

"A completely authoritative scholarly guide to the biology of a group of organisms and... a completely readable, fully illustrated, and fascinating introduction for the general public."

"Got squirrels? This book has answers. This is not a children's book... read it with an adult. Fun for all ages."

"Only a master at both scholarship and communication could pull this off as eloquently and clearly as Thorington and Ferrell have done."

"A deft account, for backyard naturalists and scientists both."

"You may enjoy watching these acrobatic characters... [Thorington and Ferrell] will make them more interesting to observe."

"Unravels the mysteries of the 278 species of squirrels that inhabit the planet... this is a must read."

"Well written and organized and contains numerous color and black-and-white photos."

"It's rare to see all the science of a college text embedded into a lively presentation also geared for the general audience—but here, it works very well."

"Eminently interesting."

"This engaging guide sheds light on a common mammal that is anything but commonplace."

"In this wide-ranging, accurate, and revealing approach to the subject, squirrels are placed in a world-wide context."

"Fascinating book sure to entertain readers of all ages and backgrounds."

"Thorington and Ferrell have succeeded in producing a short, accessible guide that is of tremendous value to both the scientist and the amateur naturalist alike."

"What a treat. Buy it, read it, but don't squirrel it away—pass it on!"

"An accessible account of the large and diverse squirrel family... this book will appeal to the general public and scientists alike."

"This book is an answer to all questions relative to the American squirrels."

"A delightful read, well written, well organized, and well illustrated. This is the only such account of the entire family of Sciuridae. As one who has spent most of his career studying squirrels, I was quite surprised at how much I don't know and how much I learned from this book! Thorington and Ferrell have pulled off an extremely thorough account that will be of tremendous interest to the general public and many scientists alike."

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