American Wildlife

ending for orders
ending for families
Type Specimen
The first of a species collected
Taxonomic Levels

  1. Kingdom
  2. Phylum
  3. Class
  4. Order
  5. Family
  6. Genus
  7. Species

Relationships among taxa
Phyletic Classification Systems
Based on the fossil record
Phenetic Classification System
Based on clusters of relevent features
Cladistic Classification System
Combination of fossil record and relevant features
Number of species? Birds? Mammals? Etc? 
9,600 Birds2,500 Amphibians6,300 Reptiles4,330 Mammals23,000 Terrestrial vertebrates
Biological Species Concept
Species is a group of interbreeding, natural populations, reproductively isolated from other populations
Allopatric Speciation
Divergence between isloated populations
Sympatric Speciation
Divergence from non-isolated populations
prolonged association of male+female for part or whole breeding season, both sexes give parental care
male mates with several females, females have only one mate, males give little parental care
Female associated with multiple males simultaneously or successively, female gives little parental care
both males and females mate with different individuals w/no prolonged association, female cares for young
Cooperative breeding
Multiple adults care for young, including non-breeding helpers
Prairie Potholes
Shallow wetlands from Iowa to Alberta that produces 50% of North America’s waterfowl, also known as the “duck factory”
Litter Size?
Amphibians=1 to 100Reptiles= 1 to dozensBirds= 1 to 18Mammals= 1 to 12
Determinant vs. Indeterminant Clutch Sizes
Determinant=fixed numberIndeterminant=varies in number
Body Size
Eyes Closed, rely on parents
Eyes open, still rely on parental care
Ready to live on their own immediately/soon after birth
Feet with webbing between all of the toes
Area where males gather for competitive mating display, the males closer to the center are more dominant, associated with promiscuity
temporary assemblages of individuals brought together by physical forces or attraction to resources
assemblages focused on a central places with critical resources, often breeding grounds
Social Groups
More permanent assemblages arising via mutual attraction of individuals to gain cooperative benefits
Home range
Area in which an animal spends its live, except during dispersal
Area defended against intrusion by other individuals, may be permanent, reproductive, or foraging, can be entire range or small part
Core Area
Portion of home range that is used more intensively
movement of individual from birth area to new place where it reproduces or establishes a new home range
tendency to settle near a site of previous occupancy
Tendency to settle away from a site of previous occupancy