and Vicinity

Northern Wyoming 

Backpacking

Wildlife of the Rocky Mountains
Taxonomy & Species Profiles

Copyright (c) 2013 Travis N. Wood


Mammals

Each mammal species is linked to the Animal Diversity Web at the University of Michigan. At that location is included the natural history and profile for that species. To the outline of taxonomy that follows, we have added headings for the following categories to simplify locating the link for that species:

Meat Eaters and Opossums:

Includes opossums, coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals, wolves, skunks, weasels otters martens wolverines ferrets fishers minks badgers, raccoons, ringtails, coatis, cacomistle, bears, lynx, bobcats, mountain lions.

Bats, Rabbits, and Insect Eaters:

Includes bats, desmans, moles, shrews, shrew-moles, hares, rabbits, pikas.

Rodents—Mice, Squirrels, etc:

Includes chinchilla rats, cavies, nutria, porcupines, mice, rats, birch mice, jumping mice, pocket gophers, kangaroo mice, kangaroo rats, pocket mice, voles, muskrats, squirrels, beavers, chipmunks, marmots, ground hogs.

Hoofed Animals:

Includes pronghorn, cattle, bison, goats, sheep, caribou, elk, wapiti, moose, deer, horses, burros


Meat Eaters and Opossums


Kingdom Animalia
.Phylum Chordata
..Subphylum Vertebrata—vertebrates
...Class Mammalia—Mammals
......Subclass Theria—placentals and marsupials
.......Infraclass
Metatheria—marsupials, pouched animals
........Superorder Marsupialia—marsupials, pouched animals
.........Order Didelphimorphia—American marsupials,
............Family Didelphidae—American opossums, opossoms
.............Subfamily Didelphinae— American opossums, opossoms
..............Genus Didelphis—large American opossums
...............Species marsupialis—
American Opossum
.......Infraclass
Eutheria—placental mammals etc.
.........Order Carnivora—meat-eating mammals
..........Suborder
Caniformia—Dog-like carnivores
............Family Canidae—coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals, wolves
..............Genus Canis—dogs, foxes, jackals
...............Species lupus—
Gray WolfTrack
...............Species latrans—
CoyoteTrack
..............Genus Urocyon—grayfoxes
...............Species cinereoargenteus—
Gray Fox
..............Genus Vulpes—kitfoxes, redfoxes
...............Species velox—
Swift Fox
...............Species fulva—
Red FoxTrack
............Family Mephitidae—skunks
..............Genus Mephitis—striped skunks
...............Species mephitis—
Striped SkunkTrack
..............Genus Spilogale—spotted skunks
...............Species putorius—
Eastern Spotted Skunk
............Family Mustelidae—weasels etc
.............Subfamily Lutrinae—otters
..............Genus Lontra—American river otters
...............Species canadensis—
Northern River Otter
.............Subfamily Mustelinae—martens, weasels, wolverines, ferrets, polecats, fishers, minks
..............Genus Martes—martens
...............Species americana—
American MartenTrack
..............Genus Mustela—ermines, ferrets, European minks, and weasels
...............Species erminea—
Ermine
...............Species frenata—
Long-Tailed Weasel
...............Species nigripes—
Black-Footed Ferret
...............Species nivalis—
Least Weasel
..............Genus Neovison—Sea mink, American Mink
...............Species vison—
American Mink
..............Genus Gulo—wolverines
...............Species gulo (cf. luscus)—
WolverineTrack
.............Subfamily Taxidiinae—badgers
..............Genus Taxidea—badgers
...............Species taxus—
American BadgerTrack
............Family Procyonidae—cacomistle, coatis, raccoons, and relatives
.............Subfamily Procyoninae—raccoons, ringtails, coatis, etc
..............Genus Procyon—raccoons,
...............Species lotor—
Northern RaccoonTrack
..............Genus Bassariscus—ringtail, cacomistle
...............Species astutus—
Ringtail
............Family Ursidae—bears
.............Subfamily Ursinae—bears
..............Genus Ursus—black bears, brown bear, and polar bear
...............Species americanus—
Black BearTrack
...............Species arctos (cf. horribilis)—
Brown (& Grizzly) BearTrack
..........Suborder
Feliformia—Cat-like carnivores
............Family Felidae—cats
.............Subfamily Felinae—small cats
..............Genus Felis—small cats, domestic cats
..............Genus Lynx—bobcats, lynxes
...............Species rufus—
BobcatTrack
...............Species canadensis—
LynxTrack
..............Genus Puma—pumas
...............Species concolor—
Mountain LionTrack


Bats, Rabbits, and Insectivores


Kingdom Animalia
.Phylum Chordata
..Subphylum Vertebrata—vertebrates
...Class Mammalia—Mammals
......Subclass Theria—placentals and marsupials
.......Infraclass Eutheria—placental mammals etc.
.........Order
Chiroptera—bats
..........Suborder Microchiroptera—insectivorous bats, all bats except fruit bats
............Family Vespertilionidae—vespertilionid bats
.............Subfamily Vespertilioninae—
..............Genus Eptesicus—big brown bats
...............Species fuscus—
Big Brown Bat
..............Genus Lasionycteris—silver-haired bats
...............Species noctivagans—
Silver-Haired Bat
..............Genus Plecotus (cf. Corynorhinus)—big-eared bats
...............Species rafinesquii—
Rafinesque's Big-Eared Bat
..............Genus Myotis—mouse-eared bats
...............Species lucifugus—
Little Brown Bat
..............Genus Lasiurus—hairy-tailed bats
...............Species borealis—
Eastern Red Bat, Red Bat
...............Species cinereus—
Hoary Bat
.........Order
Insectivora—insect-eating mammals
............Family Talpidae—desmans, moles, shrew-moles
.............Subfamily Talpinae—moles
..............Genus Scalopus—eastern moles
...............Species aquaticus—
Eastern Mole
............Family Soricidae—shrews
.............Subfamily Soricinae—shrews
..............Genus Sorex—red-toothed shrews
...............Species cinereus—
Common Shrew, Masked Shrew
...............Species palustris—
Water Shrew
.........Order
Lagomorpha—hares, rabbits, pikas
............Family Leporidae—hares, rabbits
..............Genus Lepus—hares and jackrabbits
...............Species americanus—
Snowshoe Hare
...............Species townsendii—
Whitetail Jackrabbit
...............Species californicus—
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit
..............Genus Sylvilagus—cottontails
...............Species floridanus—
Eastern Cottontail
...............Species nuttallii—
Mountain Cottontail
...............Species audubonii—
Desert Cottontail
............Family Ochotonidae—pikas
..............Genus Ochotona—pikas (conies)
...............Species princeps—
American Pika


Rodents


Kingdom Animalia
.Phylum Chordata
..Subphylum Vertebrata—vertebrates
...Class Mammalia—Mammals
......Subclass Theria—placentals and marsupials
.......Infraclass Eutheria—placental mammals etc.
.........Order
Rodentia—rodents
..........Suborder Hystricognatha—chinchilla rats, cavies, nutria, porcupines,
...........Infraorder Hystricognathi—chinchilla rats, cavies, nutria, porcupines
............Family Erethizontidae—New World porcupines
..............Genus Erethizon—New World porcupines
...............Species dorsatum—
North American PorcupineTrack
..........Suborder Myomorpha—mice, rats, souris
............Family Dipodidae—birch mice, jeroboas, jumping mice
.............Subfamily Zapodinae—jumping mice
..............Genus Zapus—jumping mice
...............Species hudsonius—
Meadow Jumping Mouse
............Family Geomyidae—pocket gophers
..............Genus Geomys—Eastern pocket gophers
...............Species bursarius—
Plains Pocket Gopher
..............Genus Thomomys—Western pocket gophers
...............Species talpoides—
Northern Pocket Gopher
............Family Heteromyidae—heteromyid rodents, kangaroo mice, kangaroo rats, pocket mice
.............Subfamily Perognathinae—pocket mice
..............Genus Perognathus—pocket mice
...............Species fasciatus—
Olive-Backed Pocket Mouse
...............Species flavus—
Silky Pocket Mouse
..............Genus Chaetodipus
...............Species hispidus—
Hispid Pocket Mouse
.............Subfamily Dipodomyinae—kangaroo rats
..............Genus Dipodomys—kangaroo rats
...............Species ordii—
Ord's Kangaroo Rat
............Family Muridae—campagnols, mice, rats, souris, voles, muskrats
.............Subfamily Arvicolinae—arvicoline rodents: voles, muskrats
..............Genus Lemmiscus—sagebrush voles
...............Species curtatus—
Sagebrush Vole
..............Genus Microtus—voles
...............Species chrotorrhinus—
Yellow-Nosed Vole, Rock Vole
...............Species longicaudus—
Long-Tailed Vole
...............Species montanus—
Mountain Vole
...............Species ochrogaster—
Prairie Vole
...............Species pennsylvanicus—
Meadow Vole
..............Genus Clethrionomys—red-backed voles
...............Species gapperi—
Boreal Red-Backed Vole
..............Genus Ondatra—muskrats
...............Species zibethicus—
Muskrat
.............Subfamily Sigmodontinae—New World rats and mice
..............Genus Reithrodontomys—harvest mice
...............Species montanus—
Plains Harvest Mouse
...............Species megalotis—
Western Harvest Mouse
..............Genus Peromyscus
...............Species maniculatus—
Deer Mouse
...............Species leucopus—
White-Footed Mouse
..............Genus Onychomys
...............Species leucogaster—
Northern Grasshopper Mouse
..............Genus Neotoma
...............Species cinerea—
Bushy-Tailed Woodrat
.............Subfamily Murinae—Old World rats and mice
..............Genus Rattus
...............Species norvegicus—
Norway Rat
..............Genus Mus
...............Species musculus—
House Mouse
..........Suborder Sciuromorpha—squirrels
............Family Aplodontiidae—mountain beavers
............Family Castoridae—beavers
..............Genus Castor—beavers
...............Species canadensis—
American BeaverTrack
............Family Sciuridae—chipmunks, marmots, squirrels
............Subfamily Pteromyinae—flying squirrels
..............Genus Glaucomys—flying squirrels
...............Species sabrinus—
Northern Flying Squirrel
............Subfamily Sciurinae—(chipmunks, ground squirrels, marmots, and tree squirrels)
..............Genus Ammospermophilus—antelope-squirrels
...............Species leucurus—
White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel
..............Genus Cynomys—prairie dogs
...............Species leucurus—
White-Tailed Prairie Dog
...............Species ludovicianus—
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
..............Genus Marmota—marmots
...............Species flaviventris—
Yellow-Bellied Marmot
..............Genus Sciurus—tree squirrels
...............Species niger—
Fox Squirrel
..............Genus Spermophilus—ground squirrels and rock squirrels (cf. Genus Citellus)
...............Species tridecemlineatus—
Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel
...............Species brunneus—
Idaho Ground Squirrel
...............Species elegans—
Wyoming Ground Squirrel
...............Species franklinii—
Franklin's Ground Squirrel
...............Species lateralis—
Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel
...............Species richardsonii—
Richardson's Ground Squirrel
...............Species spilosoma—
Spotted Ground Squirrel
...............Species townsendii—
Townsend's Ground Squirrel
...............Species variegatus—
Rock Squirrel
..............Genus Tamias—chipmunks
...............Species minimus—
Least Chipmunk
..............Genus Tamiasciurus—American red squirrels and chickarees
...............Species hudsonicus—
Red SquirrelTrack


Hoofed Mammals


Kingdom Animalia
.Phylum Chordata
..Subphylum Vertebrata—vertebrates
...Class Mammalia—Mammals
......Subclass Theria—placentals and marsupials
.......Infraclass Eutheria—placental mammals etc.
........Superorder Ungulata—Hoofed animals (Disputed category.)
.........Order
Artiodactyla—cloven-hoofed-ungulates, even-toed-ungulates
............Family Antilocapridae—pronghorns
..............Genus Antilocapra—pronghorns
...............Species americana—
Pronghorn Antelope
............Family Bovidae—antelopes, bovids, cattle, goats, sheep
.............Subfamily Bovinae—cattle, bison
..............Genus Bison—bison
...............Species bison—
American Bison
..............Genus Bos—oxen, cattle
...............Species taurus—
Domestic Cattle
.............Subfamily Caprinae—goats, sheep, muskoxen, chamois
..............Genus Capra—goats, ibexes, turs
...............Species hircus—
Domestic Goat
..............Genus Oreamnos—mountain goats
...............Species americanus—
Mountain GoatTrack
..............Genus Ovis—sheep
...............Species aries—
Domestic Sheep
...............Species canadensis—
Bighorn SheepTrack
............Family Camelidae—camels
............Family Cervidae—caribou, cervids, deer, moose, wapiti
.............Subfamily Capreolinae—deer, moose
..............Genus Alces—moose
...............Species alces (cf.: americanus)—
MooseTrack
..............Genus Odocoileus—Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer
...............Species virginianus—
Whitetailed DeerTrack
...............Species hemionus—
Mule Deer
.............Subfamily Cervinae—deer, wapiti (elk)
..............Genus Cervus—deer, wapiti (elk)
...............Species elaphus—
Elk, WapitiTrack
.........Order
Perissodactyla—odd-toed-ungulates: horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs
............Family Equidae—asses, horses, zebras
..............Genus Equus—horses, zebras, asses, burros
...............Species asinus—
Burro, Wild Ass
...............Species caballus—
Horse


Which Species are Included?

This is not an exhaustive listing. Some species are inevitably left out. But with a taxonomic arrangement, relationships among those species are noted. Many species descriptions found elsewhere limit themselves to merely genus and species, perhaps subspecies. Even the family is left out. But these lists are given in broader context. So it can be seen that an otter is a weasel (Family Mustelidae), and so is a wolverine. But a skunk is not.

Not all subspecies will be shown, except perhaps when to do so seems especially relevant to current topics. Over time such mammals as wolves have been divided into a dozen, only a few, or no subspecies, depending upon the source. But our space is limited. It is sufficient to simply include Canis lupus for now.

Some species are extinct or may have been extirpated in the Industrial Age. Yet some are included anyhow. We won't see a live mammoth, but we may take opportunity to examine the fossils left behind. On the other hand, species of some smaller rodents such as mice may be excluded, also for reasons of space.

With mammals especially, an outdoors-person may encounter some safety risks associated with a few species. So it is especially important to distinguish grizzlies from black bears. And that importance has some sway in which species are included here. However important they are to their niches in an ecosystem, the precise taxonomy of various species of mice, squirrels, or bats may not receive our full attention.

Common names can present a small dilemma. Pronghorn are often called "antelope" or "pronghorn antelope." We prefer simply "pronghorn." Mountain lions have numerous common names, the more widespread of which is probably "cougar." Taxonomically, "puma" may be the most appropriate, but "mountain lion" is preferred here, in keeping with common usage of the region.

With many animals, their tracks may be all we see. Rare is the mountain lion sighting. More common are the tracks. So some species links include another link where a track diagram is available.

The taxonomic structure on these pages generally follows the Integrated Taxonomic Information System employed by the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies. For species details, we resort to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web. There may be small discrepancies between those taxonomic structures, but we won't dwell on it.

Most current taxonomies favor evolutionary lines of development over older systems, which may have been based upon supposed similarities in species. An examination of various taxonomies from the last few decades demonstrates that taxonomic systems are continually subject to change as research progresses. It's unavoidable and instructive that we find small discrepancies between sources.


For Further Reference:

Integrated Taxonomic Information System ITIS
Animal Diversity Web
Northern State University
Mammals of South Dakota
Wind Cave National Park Mammals List
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Wyoming Game & Fish Species Index (1.8 megabytes)
Sidwell Classification Pages
Wikipedia
Systema Naturae
British Columbia Adventure
Mammal Society—Mammals by State
Colorado Wildlife
Mountain Nature

 

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