West Southwest: Vertebrate Life in Southern California celebrates an amazingly diverse fauna with description, evolutionary background, geographic insight, and ecological detail. Southern California is a vast region of very different habitats – all with an abundance of unique species of plants and animals and all within a day’s drive. Southern California shares an evolutionary history with other areas of the Southwest, but it has its own identity. The book is not a field identification guide. Instead, the book provides the evolutionary history of species groups, details where the individual species occur and their habitat preferences, and how they avoid the perils of predation and human impact.
Key Selling Features:
- Summarizes the evolutionary background and ecology of southern California’s vertebrates: freshwater fish, amphibians, turtles, snakes, lizards, birds and mammals.
- Reviews the history of southern California’s biotic communities from the coast to the deserts and their association with other areas of the Southwest.
- Discusses vertebrate design and how it affects performance and lifestyle.
- Extends and enhances the content of regional field identification guides.
- Includes 120 maps, figures and color plates.
Table of Contents
Section I Fundamentals Chapter 1 The Land Chapter 2 The Climate Chapter 3 Exploration, Collections and the Museum Tradition Chapter 4 The Three Pillars of Natural History Section II Settings Chapter 5 Vegetation Past and Present Chapter 6 Plant–Vertebrate Communities Section III Vertebrates Chapter 7 Amphibians Chapter 8 Turtles and an Overview of the Amniotes Chapter 9 Lepdiosaurs—Squamates and Tuatara Chapter 10 Birds Chapter 11 Mammals Chapter 12 The Ice Age Mammals
Gregory K. Pregill is a native Californian born in Pasadena, California. He received a Bachelor's degree from Baylor University, a Master's degree from San Diego State University, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow, United States National Museum Smithsonian Institution, and became the Curator and Chairman of the Department of Herpetology at the San Diego Natural History Museum (1981-93). He moved from the Museum to become Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of San Diego (1993-2016) and is now retired. Among his many publications, he was the co-editor of a foundational reference – Phylogenetic Relationships of the Lizard Families.