- Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.; First Edition edition (1987)
- ASIN: B003VO9O0O
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Living Snakes of the World in Color (First Edition with Dust Jacket, Very Good++) Hardcover – 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
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).
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.
(an extra plus for the "care" section of each animal, useful and often hard to come by.)
Since you can buy this book for under $20 it is a must have; I think anyways. It has a total of 480 pages, which cover, according to the dust jacket, 413 species and 453 subspecies. As I said before, some of the taxonomy is outdated but it is still worth getting.
Living Snakes of the World is the most informative and complete reference type book that I have ever read about snakes. I highly recommend this to beginners and pro herpetologists alike. There's something for everybody.
I can say with confidence that you will find yourself reading and re-reading this book many times over the years. So make sure you keep it within reach ...and never lend it out!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by H. Taylor
If you like snakes, and want to see them at their finest, then you need to find yourself a copy of John Mehrtens book! Read morePublished on September 17, 2013 by Texas Hunter
If you're for a how to manual, this isn't it. Magnificent pics and some basic info about care and natural history, but not a noob guide to keep critters.Published on February 18, 2012 by Dan Payne