by Mark Elbroch and Kurt Rinehart
Oftentimes when we glimpse an animal in the wild, we have no idea what we've seen. We want to know, and field guides are an ideal aid for identification. But when we want to know more about the lives of these animals—their natural histories, their place in the larger ecological community, and where to look for them in the future—we can now turn to Behavior of North American Mammals.
This exciting new addition to the Peterson Reference Guide series is highly readable and full of fascinating facts. For example, when an opossum plays dead it isn't pretending: opossums actually do enter a catatonic deathlike state. Armadillos sequester air in their guts, blow up to twice their normal volume, and paddle across the water. And beavers stockpile food for winter by caching it in beneath a raft of branches, which gets frozen in place and keeps them well supplied until spring.