The Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW) is an unprecedented, lavishly illustrated reference work for the Class Mammalia. This series of 9 large-format volumes describes and illustrates every currently recognized mammal species, along with a detailed overview of each mammalian Family. It provides up-to-date information on the evolutionary relationships, natural history, ecology, and current conservation status for all mammals. Every species is illustrated, and each Family Chapter contains beautiful color photographs of mammals in action. HMW provides comprehensive worldwide coverage by involving an international group of expert authors, each of whom is a leading authority on their respective groups of mammals.
An important driving force behind HMW is to support the conservation of mammals and their habitats. This task was made easier through the involvement of Conservation International and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). A major aim of HMW is to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of mammals and to promote poorly known species, especially those in South America, Africa, and Asia, in the hope that this will inspire additional studies. The IUCN Red Data Books play an important role in conservation planning worldwide and highlight how little we know about the status of many mammalian species. An important contribution of HMW is to examine the status of every one of the world’s mammal species, describing the threats and outlining possible conservation measures.
HMW has followed traditionally accepted classifications, based on Mammal Species of the World (Wilson and Reeder, 2005). However, HMW has made several improvements. The views of the authors, all of whom are acknowledged authorities on their respective groups, have been incorporated into each volume. Each volume considers the description of new species and ongoing systematic revisions, which continue to add to our knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships within Mammalia. The section on Systematics within each Family Chapter reviews the on-going taxonomic work and recent research using new molecular techniques, which have revolutionized our ability to analyze evolutionary relationships.
Each chapter in every volume is dedicated to a Family of mammals. The Family Text gives a general overview of each family and includes numerous color photographs illustrating members of the family in action. This is followed by the individual Species Accounts, which are concise summaries of the known information from the primary literature. Both sections include an extensive bibliography.
In general, each volume presents the taxa in phylogenetic sequence, which reflects the evolutionary relationships as we currently understand them. The Family Texts are amply illustrated with color photographs that not only depict as many species as possible, but also illustrate aspects of behavior or ecology that are mentioned in the text. Each Family Chapter includes a summary box providing a quick reference to the basic details of the family. Then, more detailed sections discuss Systematics, Morphological Aspects, Habitat, General Habits, Communication, Food and Feeding, Breeding, Movements, Home range, Social Organization, Relationship with Humans, Status and Conservation, and a General Bibliography listing the references used to compose the text.
There is a Species Account for each currently recognized species of mammal. All extant species are illustrated in the Plates, which show details of the pelage and general morphology. Each Species Account begins with the English Vernacular Name followed by the Scientific Name. Each species name is also given in French, German, and Spanish. Each Species Account summarizes everything known about Taxonomy, Subspecies and Distribution (with a distribution map), Descriptive Notes, Habitat, Food and Feeding, Activity Patterns, Movements, Home Range, Social Organization, Status and Conservation, and a Bibliography.
This set includes all volumes (1 to 9) of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World series, the first work that illustrates and deals in detail with all of the mammals of the world.
If you would like more information about these volumes (photographs, plates, family text, species accounts, etc.) please click on the links below:
Volume 1: Carnivores
Volume 2: Hoofed Mammals
Volume 3: Primates
Volume 4: Sea Mammals
Volume 5: Monotremes and Marsupials
Volume 6: Lagomorphs and Rodents I
Volume 7: Rodents II
Volume 8: Insectivores, Sloths and Colugos
Volume 9: Bats