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Mammalogy   Tags: biology, science  

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Mammals in the ISU Library Catalog

Click the links to search for book or journal titles.The results below take you to publications that about mammals.

You may need to search for your specific mammal species, family or order.


Mammalogy is a branch of zoology dealing with mammals of the class Mammalia.

Kingdom      Animalia      
  Phylum        Chordata     
    Subphylum   Vertebrata      
      Class           Mammalia

Find out the scientific name (genus and species) of your species. It is the most precise method to acquire information sbout a species. But take care. The scientific name may have changed in the past. In the 1990s, many DNA lab techniques were improved and became affordable and plentiful; many scientists used them to sequence the DNA of species and compare them to belived related species. As a result, many species were reassigned within the taxonomic hierarchy and renamed appropriately.

But find out if the common names, too, and if there are multiple common names. Some sources will use the scientific name and some will use the common name to reference a species. The professional biology sources will favor the scientific name.


Types of Sources

What you are looking for can make a difference in where you should look. Different types of sources offer different information.

Reference Books:
Reference books, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, collect accepted facts from the established literature. In health and science, they can be huge and may take years to put together. Therefore, they do not contain the most current information, although they may mention studies that were recent at the the time of publication. But they are a good one-stop-shop to start learning the basics of a topic. 

Books can be quite long and can cover a topic in detail. However, they take about a year to be published so they will not include the latest studies and research. Textbooks and encyclopedias are good for basic information. Further editions of books demonstrate that a source has been updated to reflect new information and may be a standard source in the field. Are there newer editions available?

Journals are intended for professionals, experts, and researchers. Their articles are usually authored by professionals, experts, and researchers. Journal articles are relatively short compared to books so they tend to cover narrow, specific topics. The latest research is published in journals, but it can be difficult to find basic information in journals. Nowadays, most journals have a web site that allows viewing of the table of contents and summaries of articles.  The majority of Journals today are collected electronically however we continue to preserve our older journals in paper and microformats.  All Print Library Journals and Magazines except "Current Periodicals" are now located in the library basement.

Scientific journal articles can be difficult to understand if you don't already have a good background on a topic. Do you need to look at an encyclopedia article to get some background? Do you need to learn more depth about the topic to learn terminology and related theories?

Magazines are intended for popular consumption by the public. They contain the latest basic information.  It can be difficult to obtain researched information from magazines. However, you can find news reports of research that contain clues that allow you to track down the original research article.  Most ISU magazine subscriptions today are electronic, however, we do continue to preserve our older magazines in paper and microformats.All Print Library Journals and Magazines except "Current Periodicals" are now located in the library basement.

Databases are very useful and efficient tools for searching for sources. Depending on the database, they may include journals, magazines, books, or other sources, too. Every database follows different rules for searching and storage. Effective use depends on knowing those rules. Some commercial databases provide only summaries of articles and do not include full text. Databases can be very expensive and may not be accessible to the general public.

Mammalogy Databases

Science Databases from the Indiana State University Library. Information about the databases.

Use the databases to search for journal articles, including primary research articles in the sciences. Some of the largest science databases do not include full-text so click the link in the record to Check for Full-Text. Or follow the instructions on the Tab for Finding Full-Text.

You can learn a lot about what is known about a species just by skimming the results of a search in a biology database. Published research will focus on knowledge gaps and areas people find interesting. If the results are sorted with most recent articles first, you can infer what is still not known and is, hence, being investigated. Some species are hard to find in the wild and, therefore, are hard to study.

As you research your contrast paper, perhaps one of your species will be well studied and understood and another will be still relatively unknown.

Key Mammalogy Journals

  • Mammalian Species - journal  Icon
    American Society of Mammalogists (ASM). Web site of the journal. Includes full-text through 2008. (Searchable to present in Biological Abstracts and Zoological Record)
    DOES NOT INCLUDE PRIMARY SOURCE ARTICLES but does include article summaries about individual species.
  • Journal of Mammalogy

Mammalogy Web Resources

Information you find on Web sites are NOT primary sources UNLESS they are original notifications of scientific research studies and include a methodology for the experiment. Some government funded research may be published in a government report and distributed via the Internet. But usually you will find scientific research faster by searching the science databases first. Most science research is published in articles.

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