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Smithsonian Answer Book: Snakes, Second Edition Hardcover – September 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Smithsonian's In Question Series
  • Hardcover: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books; 2 edition (September 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588341135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588341136
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is a wonderful book. Carl Ernst and George Zug are eminent herpetologists who have produced a well-written book on an extremely popular subject. Divided into five large chapters and five appendixes, the book is set up in a question-and-answer format. Depending on the question (What is a snake? Do snakes get sick? How do fangs work?), the answers range from one or two paragraphs to multiple pages and are illustrated with photographs or line drawings. Two of the sections will be eagerly used by librarians answering questions--that on giant snakes (boas and pythons) and that on poisonous snakes (vipers and cobras). The appendixes offer further information on the classification and sizes of snakes and provide a useful directory of herpetological organizations. A glossary defines some of the more technical terminology. Finally, two bibliographies provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific literature on snakes. This exceptional book should be in every library. Nancy Bent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“This is a wonderful book. Carl Ernst and George Zug are eminent herpetologists who have produced a well-written book on an extremely popular subject . . . . Two of the sections will be eagerly used by librarians answering questions—that on giant snakes (boas and pythons) and that on poisonous snakes (vipers and cobras). The appendixes offer further information on the classification and sizes of snakes and provide a useful directory of herpetological organizations. A glossary defines some of the more technical terminology. Finally, two bibliographies provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific literature on snakes. This exceptional book should be in every library.”—Booklist

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By richard on July 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have always been fascinated by snakes, all my life I have learned all I could about snakes and I own several snake books, but this one tops them all! Just about anything you want to know about a snake will be answered in this great book. I really enjoy reading it. I am planning to become a snake expert soon and this book has really taught me a lot. It is a must have for anyone studying biology, zoology, or planning to become a herpatologist! The first section gives all the facts, it tells about how snakes evolved from lizards, how they hear see & smell, and how the snake body works. The second section, tells about the myths and tells the real truth. The third section tells about giant and the most dangerous snakes. The fourth is about snake bites, and the last section tells about snakes and humans. This book is incredible, and a must have for beginning snake enthusiast!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book tells about acquiring a snake, caring for a snake, and some simple instructions for breeding snakes. The snakes in this book are mostly ratsnakes, garters&ribbons, and pythons. Perfect for those starting out, but no detail for any particular species. Still, it is a great book, especially for those who are inexperienced with the common diseases, mites, etc...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
For someone who knows next to nothing about how to care for snakes, this is an OK book, as it covers most common beginner species. However, if you have an experince, you've heard it all before, and shouldn't spend your money (put it towards a snake instead).
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By A Customer on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This eminently readable and entertaining book on snakes is the best one available for curious adults and precocious older children. The question and answer format and the copious illustrations make this a book for dipping into at short intervals, but beware-- you may not be able to put it down! The authors are experts with a gift of explaining their topic with ample and well-chosen details that enliven the text. And as readable as it is, the authors do include, for those who are interested, references to some of the specialized language: did you know, for example, that the word for warning coloration is "aposematism"? I do not consider my self a snake-fancier but I was delighted by all the wonderful and surprising things I learned. Perhaps the greatest surprise: how many invertebrates prey on snakes.
For the precocious child and preteen this book really conveys the important point that science is a process of continual inquiry, not inert facts and unchallengeable answers. The authors raise some questions of their own to underline their point, and I know that I still had many unanswered at the end. (If snakes have a larynx and some even have vocal cords, why haven't these long disappeared since they are apparently never used?)
The authors also appeal to younger readers with sound suggestions on careers in herpetology and advice on keeping a snake as a pet which, in short, is: DON'T, but if you must, here are some acceptable ways to go about it.
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