Extreme measures: the ecological energetics of birds and mammals.

Extreme measures: the ecological energetics of birds and mammals. Brian K. McNab.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Octavo, graphs, softcover.

Along with reproduction, balancing energy expenditure with the limits of resource acquisition is essential for both a species and a population to survive. Here McNab draws on his sixty years in the field to provide a comprehensive account of the energetics of birds and mammals, one fully integrated with their natural history. McNab begins with an overview of thermal rates and explains how the basal rate of metabolism drives energy use, especially in extreme environments. He then explores those variables that interact with the basal rate of metabolism, like body size and scale and environment, highlighting their influence on behavior, distribution, and even reproductive output. Successive chapters take up energy and population dynamics and evolution. A critical central theme that runs through the book is how the energetic needs of birds and mammals come up against rapid environmental change and how this is hastening the pace of extinction. Also available in hardcover [stock id 34394].

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