A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert: Revised and Updated Edition

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2000 - Nature - 628 pages
The Sonoran Desert is one of the most wildly diverse and fascinating regions in the world. Covering southeastern California, the southern half of Arizona, most of Baja California, and much of the state of Sonora, Mexico, this vast area is home to an amazing variety of plants and animals. Its terrain varies dramatically, from parched desert lowlands to semiarid tropical forests and frigid subalpine meadows. A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert provides the most complete collection of Sonoran Desert natural history information ever compiled and is a perfect introduction to this biologically rich desert of North America.

The authors—experts in many fields—begin with a general look at the region's geology, paleoecology, climate, human ecology, and biodiversity. The book then looks in depth at hundreds of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, native fishes, and invertebrates that live in the northern part of the Sonoran Desert. Throughout, the text is supplemented with anecdotes, essays, color and black-and-white photographs, maps, diagrams, and 450 finely-rendered drawings. This comprehensive, accessible natural history is written for nonscientists and will surely become an invaluable companion for nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers, hikers, students, and anyone interested in the desert Southwest.

A copublication with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
 

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User Review  - KangarooRat - LibraryThing

My favorite source for info about the stuff that's happening outside my front door. It's written like a reference book, but in a very readable style. Useful for anybody interested in the Sonoran Desert region or nature in general. Read full review

Contents

Sonoran Desert Natural Events Calendar
19
The Deep History of the Sonoran Desert
61
Desert Soils
87
Human Ecology of the Sonoran Desert
105
The Variety of Life that Sustains Our
119
Flowering Plants of the Sonoran Desert
153
Agavaceae and Nolinaceae agave and nolina families
155
Aracaceae palm family
165
Swallows
417
Common Raven
420
Verdin
422
Wrens
424
Blacktailed Gnatcatcher
428
Mockingbirds and Thrashers
430
Phainopepla
434
Bells Vireo
436

Aristolochiaceae pipevine family
168
Asteraceae sunflower family
170
Bignoniaceae bignonia family
178
Brassicaceae mustard family
179
Burseraceae torchwood family
180
Cactaceae cactus family
183
Chenopodiaceae goosefoot family
219
Cucurbitaceae cucumber family
222
Ephedraceae ephedra family
224
Euphorbiaceae spurge family
225
Fabaceae legume family
227
Fouquieriaceae ocotillo family
240
Krameraceae krameria family
244
Liliaceae lily family
245
Malvaceae mallow family
247
Pedaliaceae sesame family
249
Polygonaceae buckwheat family Sapindaceae soapberry family
251
Scrophulariaceae snapdragon family
254
Simmondsiaceae jojoba family
256
Solanaceae nightshade family
258
Viscaceae mistletoe family
260
Zygophyllaceae caltrop family
261
Desert Grasses
265
Section Contents 283 A Vertebrate Looks at Arthropods
283
Scorpions
291
Spiders
294
Tailless Whipscorpions and Sun Spiders
304
Centipedes and Millipedes
306
Grasshoppers
309
Walkingsticks
313
Termites
316
Hemiptera and Homoptera
320
Beetles
324
Butterflies
328
Moths
333
Bees
341
Wasps
345
Ants
349
Insects and the Saguaro
353
Aquatic Insects of the Sonoran Desert
357
Section Contents 367 The Desert Adaptations of Birds and Mammals
367
Bird Accounts
373
Vultures
377
Hawks and Eagles
379
Caracaras and Falcons
382
Quail
385
Marsh Birds
387
Shorebirds
389
Doves
391
Greater Roadrunner
394
Owls
396
Nightjars
400
Whitethroated Swift
402
Hummingbirds
404
Woodpeckers
411
Tyrant Flycatchers
413
Wood Warblers
438
Tanagers
441
Cardinals and Grosbeaks
443
Sparrows
447
Blackbirds and Orioles
453
Finches
457
Mammal Accounts
459
Section Contents 461 473 Bats Coyotes and Foxes
461
Racoons Ringtails and Coatis
477
Mustelids
480
Cats
483
Hooved Animals
487
Shrews
492
Rabbits and Hares
493
Ground Squirrels
496
Pocket Gophers
499
Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice
501
Mice and Rats
505
Section Contents
511
Fishes of the Desert
526
Section Contents 535 Couchs spadefoot
535
Sonoran Desert toad
536
Sonoran green toad
538
Red spotted toad
539
Canyon treefrog
540
Northern casqueheaded frog
541
Leopard frog
542
Western box turtle
543
Sonoran mud turtle
544
Desert tortoise
545
Western banded gecko
548
Whiptails
549
Gila monster
551
Desert iguana
553
Chuckwalla
554
Common collared lizard
555
Spiny lizards
556
Tree lizard
558
Horned lizards
559
Sand lizards Western blind snake
561
Rosy
564
Garter snake
565
Common kingsnake
566
Longnose snake
567
Coachwhip
568
Sonoran whipsnake
569
Western shovelnose snake
570
Western hognose snake
571
Gopher snake
572
Night snake
574
Lyre snake
575
Arizona coral snake
576
Rattlesnakes
577
Afterword
587
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About the author (2000)

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, located 14 miles west of Tucson, is an internationally recognized leader in natural history interpretation and innovative exhibitry. This book is the result of a collaboration by staff members at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, who provided their expertise in geology, geomorphology, paleoecology, botany, ethnobotany, plant ecology, mammalogy, ornithology, herpetolgy, invertebrate zoology and ichthyology. Their work was supplemented by contributions from approximately twenty outside scholars.

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