- Series: Great Lakes Environment
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REGIONAL; a edition (August 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0472066285
- ISBN-13: 978-0472066285
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region (Great Lakes Environment) a Edition
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"Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region" starts with a preface on how to use this book, followed by a brief 34-page introduction to Herpetology. Most of 378 pages are taken up by descriptions of the 75 species of reptiles and amphibians that might be encountered by those of us who live near one of the Great Lakes. The color photographs and distribution maps are well-suited for species identification. I was able to recognize a pair of snakes that rove through a swampy area near our driveway as Northern Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis), a handsome species of garter snake. The frogs that are currently hopping through the lawn are Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica), not a brown variation of Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens), as I had originally thought.
Each of the species narratives is divided into the following sections: "Description;" "Confusing Species;" "Distribution and Status;" "Habitat and Ecology;" "Reproduction and Growth;" and "Conservation." The author stresses 'nonconsumptive' observation of these interesting creatures in their habitat, since many of the species are in decline. Newts seem to be especially vulnerable to degradation of their habitat and the author suggests conserving and protecting them by "creating ponds that are close to woodland habitats." I've lived in Michigan all of my live and have never seen any form of salamander, including newts, so I'll have to start looking more closely in and near the local woodland ponds. They are not for picking up, though. The author states that all members of the Salamandridae family have skins that "are well supplied with poison glands that help discourage predators."
"Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region" is a well-organized, well-written, and well-illustrated guide for all budding herpetologists or for those of us in the region who are curious about our natural surroundings.
Mr. Harding's text includes general biological information about the various creatures described in the book--frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, turtles, lizards and snakes. So, in addition to helping with identification, this book also helps the reader understand the biology and ecology of the animals. Though most people have little love for these animals, Mr. Harding's book will help us appreciate their places in the ecology and their biological functions.
Since there are so few books dealing with the amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes (is this the only one?), we are lucky that this one is truly excellent. Highly recommended to all people wanting to further their understanding of these creatures. Thanks to Mr. Harding for an exceptionally fine book.