A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2000 - Nature - 628 pages
3 Reviews
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

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very nice book. READ IT

Contents

Welcome to the Sonoran Desert
2
Biomes and Communities of the Sonoran Desert Region
3
Sonoran Desert Natural Events Calendar
19
Nature Watching in the Sonoran Desert Region
29
Desert Storms
41
Desert Air and Light
51
The Deep History of the Sonoran Desert
61
The Geologic Origin of the Sonoran Desert
71
Coyotes and Foxes
473
Racoons Ringtails and Coatis
477
Mustelids
480
Cats
483
Hooved Animals
487
Shrews
492
Rabbits and Hares
494
Ground Squirrels
496

Desert Soils
87
Human Ecology of the Sonoran Desert
105
The Variety of Life that Sustains Our
119
Plant Ecology of the Sonoran Desert Region
127
Flowering Plants of the Sonoran Desert
153
Desert Grasses
266
Invertebrates
281
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
314
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
The Desert Adaptations of Birds Mammals
368
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
Swallows
417
Common Raven
420
Verdin
422
Wrens
424
Blacktailed Gnatcatcher
428
Mockingbirds and Thrashers
431
Phainopepla
434
Bells Vireo
436
Wood Warblers
438
Tanagers
441
Cardinals and Grosbeaks
443
Sparrows
447
Blackbirds and Orioles
454
Finches
457
Mammal Accounts
459
Section Contents 461 Bats
461
Fishes of the Desert
468
Pocket Gophers
499
Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice
501
Mice and Rats
505
Section Contents 511 Fishes in the Desert
511
Bonytail chub
514
Colorado River squawfish
515
Razorback sucker
517
Loach minnow
518
Longfin dace
519
Yaqui chub
520
Sonora chub
521
Desert sucker
522
Yaqui catfish
523
Gila topminnow
524
Desert pupfish
525
Sinaloan cichlid
526
Adaptations of Desert Amphibians Reptiles
527
Reptile Amphibian Accounts
533
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
561
Western blind snake
563
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
573
Night snake
574
Lyre snake
575
Arizona coral snake
576
Rattlesnakes
577
Afterword
587
Glossary
590
Index
592
Contributors
625
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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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