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The Pacific is not only the world's largest body of water; its vast expanse also includes an extraordinary number and diversity of oceanic islands, from Palau and the Marianas east of the Philippines to Cocos Island and the Galápagos west of the Americas. The isolation of these islands and the extreme distances between them long prevented scientists from studying their floras and faunas in a comparative context. But now George R. Zug, one of the world's foremost experts on the diverse reptiles and amphibians of the Pacific Basin, offers the first such systematic overview in more than half a century. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Pacific Islands is a compendium of frogs, lizards, snakes, and turtles living on these lands and in the adjacent waters of the oceanic islands in the tropical Pacific. The means to identify each species is included, along with entries that describe each animal's form, coloration, habitat, distribution, reproductive biology, and natural history. Color plates of more than 75 percent of the species also help to facilitate visual identification. This accessible and informative guide is the most comprehensive field guide available and will appeal to both novice sightseers and professional naturalists.
This new edition of Snakes in Question has been completely updated to take into account the most recent research available, offering useful scientific information about snakes while dispelling many widely-circulated myths and common fears. Accompanied by 100 stunning color photographs and written in the popular question-and-answer format of Smithsonian's "In Question" series, the book tells how snakes breathe, hear, smell, and much more. It covers not only the life cycle of snakes but also explores such phenomena as the rattlesnake's rattle, the viper's hiss, and the snake charmer's secrets. It addresses common folktales about snakes (do snakes milk cows?) and describes giant snakes, both real and imaginary. The authors also give expert advice on such subjects as distinguishing venomous species from harmless look-alikes and keeping snakes as pets.
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