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Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 67–69 | Cite as

A New ‘Age of Discovery’ for Mammals Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 3rd Edition. Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M. Reeder (eds.).

Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2005, 2,142 pp., 2 vols., $125.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8018-8221-4
  • B. D. Patterson
Book Review
  • 199 Downloads

With the Biodiversity Crisis looming as the environmental challenge of the 21st century, a reappraisal of the globe's mammalian diversity is noteworthy. Habitat conversion, climate change, and the flurry of on-going scientific efforts to both describe and understand the inter-relationships of mammals have quickly dated prior assessments of mammalian diversity and its status. As documented in this book, scientists have described and newly recognized an astounding 54 mammal species per year since 1982 (beyond the replacements needed for those lost to synonymy). While still modest by arthropod or fish standards, that number is remarkable for mammals. Consider that,  for the last quarter century,the number of added species each year has exceeded the world's standing diversity in most living orders! Or that the 5,416 currently recognized species is 30% more than were recognized in 1982! Only among amphibians (specifically in Anura) has there been such a drastic overhaul of biodiversity...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyField Museum of Natural HistoryChicagoUSA

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