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The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere: Historicizing the Faculties in Germany (Comstock Books in Herpetology) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – April 2004

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Since the publication of "The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America" by Cornell University Press in 1989, scientific discoveries and taxonomic changes have resulted in the addition of many taxa and species to the herpetology of the Western Hemisphere. This updated, heavily rewritten, and greatly expanded version of that book now includes accounts of all 192 species of venomous snakes and lizards found in the Western Hemisphere. This two-volume set is illustrated with: 1500 colour photographs, including portraits of venomous reptiles - many of which are unique in showing newly discovered species and fresh views of male, female, and juvenile individuals - and images of snakebites, an important tool for the diagnosis and treatment of these injuries; eight colour vegetation and topographic maps; 161 black-and-white photographs; 109 line figures; and 113 completely revised black-and-white distribution maps. Volume I includes a table of contents, list of tables, preface, introduction, and regional/country accounts with related bilingual identification keys and vegetation and topographic maps.

Genus and species accounts in this volume treat all of the lizards, coralsnakes, and seasnakes; these accounts are accompanied by colour photographs of individual species. Volume II begins with the pitvipers, including all known species of rattlesnakes. This volume features four chapters by experts on mimicry, evolution, and snakebite treatment in tropical and temperate America. A glossary, literature-cited section and index serve both volumes. Colour photographs portray pitvipers, including rattlesnakes, and the damage done by snakebite. The two volumes form a reference for all naturalists interested in herpetology - amateurs impressed by the beauty and complexity of venomous reptiles as well as professional herpetologists and their students conducting research in the classroom, in the field, and at the zoo.


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Half the Worlds poisonous herps a bargain 24. Juli 2004
Von Timothy Paine - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a damn fine book(s)! The VRWH is an updated and expanded version of the out-of-print 1989 classic The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Expanded because it now includes all of North America; that's half the planet! If you can find a copy of the older version it will run you several hundred dollars, making this new version a bargain. I have never met Dr. Campbell but I have been fortunate enough to have spent time with Lamar in tropical forests on a couple of trips. Aside from their professorships Lamar also does field and consulting work with film crews and leads ecotours for his company Greentracks. My limited experience indicates that Lamar is truly a jungle character and an excellent field biologist. Campbell's career is quite extensive with both of these men racking up decades of herp work.

Venomous reptiles do not make up a single taxonomic group of reptiles but instead are a fascinating mix of lizards and snakes that follow the same evolutionary path of using venoms and toxins in self-defense and food capture. Venomous reptiles, snakes in particular, are frequently discussed distinctly due to their import in human fears and interactions. The main topics of this treatise are the world's two venomous lizard species, the coral snakes, and the pit vipers. We get keys to the venomous reptiles of Canada and North America, in both English and Spanish, as well as tables of geographic distribution by species and distribution by vegetation types. This format continues for Mexico, Central America, Caribbean islands, and South America all by individual countries.

Volume 1 continues with the taxon accounts beginning with the Helodermids. The only poisonous lizards, the famous Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard, are introduced by their original type descriptions and relevant natural history quotes from the world's literature. We then get an historical background of etymology and research, which leads us into the known natural history of the animals.

This format continues with the coral snakes in 3 genera and more than 70 described species. This chapter opens with numerous tables and figures to assist in identifying and distinguishing the various and similar species. Only a fool would rely on the old dictum, "Red touch yellow, you're a dead fellow. Red touch black, it's ok Jack". There is a huge amount of natural history information including Spanish, local, and common names of the snakes. Just about everything relating to these snakes is mentioned, from habitat preference, feeding, breeding, physiology, and toxicology are discussed. There are distribution maps, scale patterns, line drawings, and black & white photos all illustrating important taxonomic traits.

The taxonomically more challenging pitvipers are then discussed. Campbell and Lamar currently recognize 12 genera with 111 described species. As all things taxonomic this recognition is in a constant state of flux as new information and data become available. There is a surprisingly open discussion to potential problems with the phylogenetic placement of these groups but there needs to be a baseline from which to work from and this current arrangement seems most valid. In fact this type of debate and historical placement and naming of groups is one of my favorite aspects of this book. As an amateur herper I only delve into these groups on occasion. Campbell and Lamar's discussions allow me to play catch-up on current taxonomic argument and naming without having to track down the myriad of published papers swaying favor back and forth.

Volume 2 begins with the rattlesnakes and closing with a number of non-venomous mimics as well as some less dangerously venomous snakes found in other families. Following are chapters on venomous snake mimicry, New World venomous snake evolution, and venom poisoning, toxinology, and symptomology contributed by various authors.

I don't have much in the way of critique for this book other to say that it seems apparent that this was written for a specific audience and that audience being biologists or fairly well versed dedicated amateurs. For example, the chapter on the lizards tells us there are 2 venomous species but does not immediately introduce them as Heloderma suspectum and H. horridum nor does it initially correlate the common names of Gila monster and beaded lizard, respectively. The introduction to these lizards details the generic distribution and speaks of their range overlap using common names and throughout the generic introduction there is alternating use of the common names and scientific names. Granted most herpetologists are familiar enough with these lizards to recognize what the authors are speaking of but neophytes may have difficulty distinguishing to which species they are referring too without flipping pages ahead to clear themselves.

The chapter on coral snakes mentions the important patterns of rings called monads and triads without fully explaining them. The glossary helps but without diagrams these definitions are fuzzy. Are these criticisms oversights or assumptions that the reader is already knowledgeable? I suspect the latter as the text is concise and well written.

Like the previous edition this one is sure to become a classic. Even though this text was finally released in April I have read several scientific journal articles citing this book. That should be ample testament to its research potential. The photos are wonderful and highly descriptive as well as artistic. One look at the covers, Volume 1 with my personal favorite coral snake Micrurus langsdorffi and Volume 2 with the awesome bushmaster Lachesis stenophrys, are enough to elicit excitement. And does Lamar look ever so distinguished in his author photo. As most of these scientific texts have limited marketing potential they are usually limited to first run prints of limited editions. If that is the case with this one, don't miss your chance to pick up a copy. At $150 it's a bargain. You'll kick yourself when you're later trying to chase down a used copy at twice that price. Did I mention the literature cited section is 100 pages?!
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One of the best, most comprehensive books regarding New World venomous reptiles! 5. Oktober 2005
Von Abhishek Prasad - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
What can be said about this beautiful set of books that hasn't been is a MUST HAVE for any self-respecting amateur or professional herpetologist! These books go into great deal regarding the biology and evolution of New World venomous reptiles. There are well over 1000 full color plates, along with detailed descriptions of each of the over 200 venomous reptile species in the Western Hemisphere. Do yourself a favor and pick these up! Well worth every penny.
They're chock-full of really great photos for identification and excellent information on everything snake 1. März 2015
Von R. Estes - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I bought these books for my husband who is a snake aficionado. He just about peed his pants. They're chock-full of really great photos for identification and excellent information on everything snake... well, everything in the Western Hemisphere, of course. Make sure you get the most updated version. It's worth it.
Great deal 14. August 2012
Von Stiliani Malea - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Great Books,only one suggestion:a litlle bit better packing,it was not so good and small damages to the books happen,all the others was OK
great books 13. Februar 2013
Von william P. Hutchins - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
awesome books lots of good color pictures , much valuable data . like snakes and reptiles , a must have here
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