Troy Best

Author of Mammals of Alabama

Troy Best holding a bat

Troy Best, biological sciences professor, has published the first and only guidebook to mammals in Alabama, Mammals of Alabama. The book, co-written by the late Auburn professor Julian Dusi, includes hundreds of photos and facts about mammals that inhabit or have recently inhabited Alabama.

The state is filled with mammals whose lives and habitats Best researched. “Prehistoric remains of jaguar were found in Alabama,” he said, “and West Indian manatees frequently occur in coastal Alabama.” His book details many little known facts about the mammals of Alabama. For example, Best noted, “Mole skins were once used as powder puffs to apply cosmetics, and female nine-banded armadillos usually give birth to identical quadruplets.”

Best enjoys teaching, giving talks about and researching mammals; he said he has always had a passion for telling people about the unknown lives of Alabama’s mammals.

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