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Living Snakes of the World in Color Hardcover – August, 1987

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book contains 540 high-quality color photographs of captive snakes, each with a one-page description of the reptile's geographic range, ecological niche, and captive care requirements. Special precautions are noted for venomous species. Although arranged taxonomically, the book is not keyed to allow the identification of unknown specimens. The attractive color photography and vast number of snakes mentioned, 413 species and 454 subspecies, will make this book a unique reference and of value to a wide range of readers from young adults to herpetologists. Highly recommended. Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing; 1st Edition. edition (August 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080696460X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806964607
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.7 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book is intended to provide a basic overview of 400+ species of snake. Therefore, no time is wasted on introductions. The book is divided first into 3 categories: primitave snakes, Colubrids, and venomous snakes. These groups are further divided into family groups/regional groups. The author provides usually one (often more) color photograph to accompany the description of each individual species. Information is provided on habitat, geographic range, natural history, size, care, and reproduction for each species. With a few exceptions, the phototography is excellent. The overviews are brief, but the author provides information & photos of more species that I have found in any single book. The book is excellent for readers interested in venomous snakes. Over 1/3 of the book is dedicated to hard-to-find information/photos on sea snakes, elapids, viperids, and crotalids. The book contains a brief section on snake venom. The biggest weakness of the book is probably it's age (1987), but it is still well worth the investment. While the information on each snake is brief, I have not found a book containing species-specific information on as many species as the Mehertens book. To receive equivalent information, you would need to purchase multiple regional guides. A great guide for professionals and amateur snake lovers!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book attempts to provide expansive coverage of snakes commonly seen by the public in zoos, private collections, and the pet trade. Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed by the book.
This book provides minimal, and I do mean minimal, coverage of "164 genera, 413 species, and 454 subspecies" according to the dust jacket. Of necessity, the amount of coverage devoted to each snake is limited. Still there's enough text to provide an overview of the species. Unfortunately, the book fails to mention many of the species that are currently available as reptile pets. More than half of the book is devoted to poisonous snakes, most of which the average reader is unlikely ever to encounter. I would have traded, say, the 15 pages of coverage on poisonous sea snakes for more discussion of snakes I'd be likely to see in my backyard or neighborhood pet store. Additionally, because the book is now over 10 years old, its taxonomy for a number of species is not longer correct or complete.
One of the big distinctions of this book is that it provides color photographs of all the species it describes. In most cases, the photographs range from good to excellent. This makes the blurry and out-of-focus pictures (e.g. Dumeril's boa on pp. 23 and blood python on pp. 59) stick out like a sore thumb. Some of these problems may be related to the printing of my copy, but in a number of cases the problems are a result of poor photographic technique. Especially frustrating when the species being photographed is commonly available! Still, these flaws are forgivable when compared against the general quality of the book.
"Living Snakes of the World in Color" succeeds at providing a pictorial introduction to hundreds of species of snake. Those uninterested in poisonous snakes, or those looking for comprehensive coverage of snakes available as "pets" might be better off with another book (although I have yet to find a reasonably priced book that fits the bill).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my Granddaughter at Christmass. (she loves snakes) She is 5 years old, and she was with us for a week at Christmas. She carried that book with her every where she went, So that makes this book very important and was just what she wanted. Thanks for offering such a good book.
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Format: Hardcover
For a combination of photos, natural history, and care notes on so many species of snakes, this book cannot be beat. I just bought my second copy, so that i can have one in mint.

Even though this book was published several years ago, the care info in it is solid. If you are halfway interested in snakes, this is a definate book for you.
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By A Customer on January 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Excellent color pictures mixed with a well-written and professional text. All to all a balanced book. Novice or expert, you will enjoy many hours of good reading.
(an extra plus for the "care" section of each animal, useful and often hard to come by.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like snakes, and want to see them at their finest, then you need to find yourself a copy of John Mehrtens book! I had an original copy from way back when, loaned it out and never got it back. Finally found this one on Amazon! Get yourself one! You won't be dissapointed!!!! That's a promise!
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