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The Canadian Museum of Nature and University of Toronto Press Produce Definitive New Guide to Canadian Mammals

Ottawa, October 23, 2012—The Canadian Museum of Nature and University of Toronto Press (UTP) have joined forces to publish a visually stunning new volume that has already been heralded as the definitive guide to the 215 species of mammals in Canada.

Author and biologist Donna Naughton's The Natural History of Canadian Mammals lays out the story of each of Canada's mammals through detailed text, colourful photos, and informative drawings and artwork. At almost 800 pages, it is a career achievement. The recently retired research assistant at the Canadian Museum of Nature spent the past eleven years studying and drawing mammals for the project.

Courtesy of Michel Duchaine and Anne-Marie Boyer


Mark Graham © Canadian Museum of Nature


Donna Naughton sketches a bison skull from the museum's collections.

Along with being a visual treat, Naughton's book is jam-packed with information accessible to readers at all levels. Detailed descriptions are provided of each mammal's appearance, habitat, behaviour and other defining characteristics such as diet and reproduction. Colour maps show their distribution across Canada, North America and globally.

"For more than 150 years, the Canadian Museum of Nature has contributed to our understanding of Canada's flora and fauna," says Mark Graham, Ph.D., the museum's Vice-President of Research and Collections. "This book provides a new benchmark for anyone interested in learning about the mammals of our country, and we are pleased that University of Toronto Press partnered with us to produce this landmark publication."

"Our partnership with the Canadian Museum of Nature has produced something unique in non-fiction publishing: a definitive work of scholarship with all of the attributes of a gift book," notes Lynn Fisher, Vice-President of Scholarly Publishing, UTP. "Its striking appearance demonstrates the remarkable skill and artistry of those at both institutions who put this book together."

The Natural History of Canadian Mammals retails for CAD$69.95. Colour artwork is by Paul Geraghty, Julius Csotonyi and Brenda Carter. The book is available through the web site of University of Toronto Press, at the museum's boutique and select booksellers, and well as on http://amazon.ca.

The official book launch takes place Thursday, October 25, 2012, at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

An eBook version is expected in early 2013. A French translation is expected later in 2013.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through signature and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, ongoing scientific research, a dynamic web site (nature.ca), and the maintenance of a 10.5 million-specimen collection that covers the flora, fauna and geological record of Canada and other parts of the world.

About the University of Toronto Press

Founded in 1901, the University of Toronto Press is Canada's oldest scholarly press and one of the largest university presses in North America, releasing over 180 new scholarly, reference, and general-interest books each year, as well as maintaining a backlist of over 3500 titles in print. For more information, visit http://utppublishing.com.

Julius Csotonyi © Canadian Museum of Nature


Bobcat (Lynx rufus), by Julius Csotonyi. Bobcats are also called bay lynx, catamount, red lynx and wildcat.

Media Contacts

Contact us for information, a review copy and interview requests.

Dan Smythe
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature

Chris Reed
University of Toronto Press
416.978.2239 ext. 248

Did You Know?

The title for smallest mammal in Canada by weight is shared by four species of shrews, all of which can be represented by adults that weigh approximately 2.0–2.2 grams.

The largest vertebrate ever to live on Earth, the blue whale, occurs in Canadian waters. A large female—which is larger than the largest male—can weigh up to 200 tonnes and can exceed 33 metres in length. The largest Canadian terrestrial mammal by weight is a male bison, which can reach almost 1200 kilograms.

There are two kinds of mammals whose impact on their environment is so massive as to be clearly visible from space with the naked eye. The first is the North American beaver and the other is a primate: Homo sapiens... us!

Paul Geraghty © Canadian Museum of Nature


Northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides), by Paul Geraghty.

Close to 40% of all mammal species are rodents. They can be found on all of the
continental land masses except Antarctica, on most of the larger islands, and on many of the smaller islands.

Northern pocket gophers can dig at an amazing rate. In just 15 minutes, they can produce a half metre of tunnel in compacted clay soil.

Female caribou are the only female deer that sport antlers, albeit much smaller ones than those of the males. But they don't shed them until much later. During the winter, when the pregnant female is struggling to supply food for herself and help her previous year's offspring forage as well, she still has antlers long after the males have lost theirs.