July 29, 1999
10.25 Inches (US)
7.25 Inches (US)
11.875 Pounds (US)
$174.00 USD, £144.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Walker's Mammals of the World, sixth edition, 2-vol. set

From aardwolves and bandicoots to yapoks and zorillas, Ernest P. Walker's Mammals of the World is the most comprehensive—the pre-eminent—reference work on mammals. Now, completely revised and updated, this fascinating guide is better than ever. Providing a complete account of every genus of mammal in all historical time, the sixth edition is 25 percent longer than its predecessor. Of the previous generic accounts, 95 percent have been substantively modified, and there are 80 new ones—among them, three remarkable, large ungulates recently discovered in the forests of Indochina. New also is a full account of the woolly mammoth, now known to have survived until less than 4,000 years ago.

Each section of the book describes one genus and includes facts such as scientific and common names, the number and distribution of species, measurements and physical traits, habitat, locomotion, daily and seasonal activity, population dynamics, home range, social life, reproduction, and longevity. Textual summaries present accurate, well-documented descriptions of the physical characteristics and living habits of mammals in every part of the world. As in the last two editions, the names and distributions of every species of every genus are listed in systematic order. These lists have now been cross-checked to ensure coverage of all species in the comprehensive new Smithsonian guide, Mammal Species of the World. Facts on the biology of mammals have been brought together from more than 2,700 newly cited references, nearly all published in the last decade. Also new are the latest data on reproduction, longevity, fur harvests, numbers in the wild and in captivity, and conservation status. The sixth edition also records all official classifications of every mammal species and subspecies in the massive 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.

The illustrations—more than 1,700—include virtually every genus of mammal. Among them are pictures by such noted wildlife photographers as Leonard Lee Rue III, Bernhard Grzimek, David Pye, and Warren T. Houck. Mammals pictured here for the first time include the just-discovered giant muntjac deer of Viet Nam, a rodent known only from the Solomon Islands, a large fruit bat whose male suckles the young, and an extremely rare web-footed tenrec of Madagascar.

Since its publication in 1964, Walker's Mammals of the World has become a favorite guide to the natural world for general readers as well as an invaluable resource for professionals. This sixth edition represents more than half a century of scholarship—Ernest P. Walker himself devoted more than thirty years to the original project—and remains true to Walker's vision, smoothly combining thorough scholarship with a popular, readable style to preserve and enhance what the Washington Post called "a landmark of zoological literature."

About the Author

Ernest P. Walker (1891-1969) began work on Mammals of the World in the early 1930s, when he became assistant director of the National Zoo in Washington. His work reflected an unequaled store of knowledge about the world's mammals. Ronald M. Nowak is the author of Walker's Mammals of the World: Monotremes, Marsupials, Afrotherians, Xenarthrans, and Sundatherians and was senior author of the fourth and fifth edition's of Walker's Mammals of the World. His other works on mammalogy include North American Quaternary Canis and several parts of the National Geographic Society's Wild Animals of North America, for which he also was editorial consultant. He received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas in 1973 and was staff mammalogist at the former Office of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from 1974 to 1987. He served as an Air Force officer for four years and is a private pilot.


"Unlike many academic reference works, all editions [Walker's Mammals], the new one included, are as accessible to amateurs as to professionals... For wildlife enthusiasts, this two-volume set is an indispensable resource. The new edition not only updates taxonomic information generated in the last 10 years, it pushes back the historical record, including all mammals known to have existed in the past 5,000 years. Twenty-one new genera also appear, animals that have recently been discovered. Either volume is hefty enough to kill a small mammal if dropped—there's a total of 2,160 pages... And despite almost a decade between editions—the last edition appeared in 1991—the price has remained virtually the same, despite an increase in book size of more than 20 percent. After being exposed to this kind of thorough, detailed information saturation, many readers may find it hard to go back to a plain old encyclopedia for their animal questions."

"For anyone who needs an up-to-date, comprehensive guide to every known species of mammal, Walker's Mammals of the World is an essential purchase."

- Nicholas Gould - International Zoo News

"A massive compilation ideal for readers who want to have at their fingertips information on every mammal species."


"An absolute treasure trove—a 'must' for the working naturalist as well as for any person who has curiosity about the world's mammals."

- Roger Tory Peterson
Johns Hopkins University Press
sixth edition, 2-vol. set
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9780801857898 : walkers-mammals-of-the-world-6th-edition-2-vol-set-nowak
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