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Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History Hardcover – July 15, 2000


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Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History + Texas Bug Book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly + Texas Snakes: A Field Guide (Texas Natural History Guides(TM))
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; First Edition edition (July 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292791305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292791305
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.5 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I can't think of two better persons to take on the daunting task of preparing a book on the snakes of Texas... This book was obviously a labour of love and the culmination of many years of effort by both authors." -Jonathan A. Campbell, Professor of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington

Review

I can't think of two better persons to take on the daunting task of preparing a book on the snakes of Texas. . . . This book was obviously a labor of love and the culmination of many years of effort by both authors. (Jonathan A. Campbell, Professor of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
The only real criticisms I have of the book are minor.
Dunnyveg
I've encountered numerous books about herps, and this one is one of the best of them all--it is certainly the best book pertaining to the snakes of Texas specifically.
W. Paul W.
The pictures are amazing & thorough for easy identification.
Dcl70

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Crowe on August 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The authors inform us in the preface that work on this book began twenty years before publication. It shows. It has all the usual sections you would expect from such a guide: a general introduction, an identification key, a note on venom, an extensive bibliography and, of course, species and subspecies accounts. But those accounts have a level of detail and thoroughness that are unmatched by any other guide, and each gives an in-depth survey of the scientific knowledge of the snake in question. The range maps are extraordinarily detailed and precise, and the 208 color photos are nothing short of exquisite.
Nitpickers will surely complain that this book does not always follow the standard common and scientific names established by Collins. Suffice to say that there is a fierce debate about taxonomy at the moment, and to dismiss a book because its authors take the other side of that debate ignores the treasure of knowledge that a book like this offers. Frankly, most readers couldn't care less one way or the other; there's more to herpetology than just taxonomy. The snakes remain the snakes no matter what they're called.
If only guides to snakes of other regions were this good. Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book by Werler and Dixon is current in its technical aspects from the scientific classification view. It takes into consideration some of the technical errors that have been made in the last few years by even experienced people and brings this information current.
At the same time, the book gets away from some of the "standardized" common names that have been used for over twenty years that are misleading. It lists some of these with more applicable common names. This work is creative and is definitely not status quo where common names are concerned. This benefits the reader.
The book is somewhat unique in that it is a collective effort of a respected zoo man (Werler) and a respected museum curator (Dixon). They obviously have worked in concert to develop natural history information that is interesting to read and applicable to someone observing or collecting in the field.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in herpetology, especially if they are interested in Texas herpetology.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a welcome and much-needed addition to the literature on identification and natural history of Texas snakes! The color photos are beautiful and the maps depict more detailed localities than usually found in comparable books. Common names are helpful and grammatically correct (i.e., Yellow-bellied Water Snake, as opposed to Yellowbelly Water Snake, as listed in some current publications). Scientific names are up-to-date; in fact, some reflect research currently in press in herpetological journals. Drs. Werler and Dixon have provided amateur and professional herpetologists alike with the benefit of their 100-plus years of combined experience with Texas snakes. If you purchase only one book on Texas snakes, this is the one to choose.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dunnyveg on April 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book on Texas snakes. As one who recently had a (noninjurious) run-in with a western diamondback rattler, I can attest that the photography is stunning. This is almost an artwork. This book provides a wealth of information that is easily accessible to the nonspecialist on each species--range, specific habitats within that range, generalized behavior traits, likely reactions upon encountering humans, diet, mating habits, etc. The only real criticisms I have of the book are minor. It would have been nice if the color plates had been interspersed with each species covered, rather being placed all together. As it is now, one reads up on the snake and has to thumb through the book to find the picture. Also, as many of us buy this book to be able to identify snakes we are likely to encounter in normal activities, more information pertaining to where one is likely to encounter each species (e.g. in leaf litter, under rocks, inside ranch buildings) would have been helpful. This is a book that every Texan who wanders outside should have, as well as those interested in herpetology or snakes. As a librarian I have encountered numerous books on Texas snakes. This one is far and away the best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. Paul W. on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've encountered numerous books about herps, and this one is one of the best of them all--it is certainly the best book pertaining to the snakes of Texas specifically.
The species descriptions are accurate; detailed species information is given with each species. Behaviour, range, habitat, diet, reproduction, are all covered in a fair degree of depth for each species.
Despite on reviewers comments, I have no complaint with either the common or scientific names; it uses common names I've heard frequently. In most cases, it will write them in a grammatically corret fashion; Yellow bellied water snake as opposed to yellowbelly water snake, say, but that merely makes the work appear more professional and read much better. The latin names...well taxonomy is always under debate anyway, and I would personally agree with most of thier decisions (although I'm a mere hobbyist).
The photos are incredibly well done; I particularly like that the authors saw fit to provide mulitiple photos with locality information for highly variable species (i.e. western coachwhip, bullsnakes, etc.).
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