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Snakes inspire extreme reactions. Love or hate these limbless reptiles, almost everyone is fascinated by them. Although snakes are widespread and frequently encountered, they may be more misunderstood than any other group of animals. From giant rattlesnakes to mating dances, there are dozens of myths and misconceptions about snakes. In Secrets of Snakes: The Science beyond the Myths, wildlife biologist David Steen tackles the most frequently asked questions and clears up prevailing myths. In a conversational style with a bit of humor, Steen presents the relevant biology and natural history of snakes, making the latest scientific research accessible to a general audience. When addressing myths about snakes, he explains how researchers use the scientific method to explain which parts of the myth are biologically plausible and which are not. Steen also takes a close look at conventional wisdom and common advice about snakes. For example, people are told they can distinguish coralsnakes from non-venomous mimics by remembering the rhyme, “red on black, friend of Jack, red on yellow, kill a fellow,” but this tip is only relevant to coralsnakes and two mimics living in the southeastern United States, and it does not always work with other species or in other countries. Enhanced by more than 100 stunning color photographs and three original drawings, Secrets of Snakes: The Science beyond the Myths encourages readers to learn about the snakes around them and introduces them to how scientists use the scientific method and critical thinking to learn about the natural world. Number Sixty-one: W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series
This third edition, now fully revised and updated by two of Dr. Zug's colleagues, provides herpetology students and amateur reptile and amphibian keepers with the latest taxonomy and species developments from around the world. Herpetology is a rapidly evolving field, which has contributed to new discoveries in many conceptual areas of biology. The authors build on this progress by updating all chapters with new literature, graphics, and discussions—many of which have changed our thinking. With a new emphasis placed on conservation issues, Herpetology continues to broaden the global coverage from earlier editions, recognizing the burgeoning reptile and amphibian research programs and the plight of many species in all countries and all biomes. New information on the remarkable advances in behavioral, physiological, and phylo-geographical data provide students with the current research they need to advance their education and better prepare their future in herpetology. * The latest taxonomy data * End-of-chapter discussions for classroom use * 90% new photographs, now all in full color for an enhanced visual representation * Most recent information on the exciting and developing herpetological communities in Australia, Europe, Asia, South and North Americas * New emphasis on conservation issues surrounding herpetology
What exactly does a wildlife biologist for a state agency do? Contrary to many of his relative's perceptions, David Kocka is not a park ranger, a forest ranger, or even a game warden. Bear With Me, My Deer: Tails of a Virginia Wildlife Biologist is a glimpse into one man's adventures while working for an agency, which is responsible for managing the wildlife resources within its boundaries. The sometimes-humorous accounts have taken David to the top of a parking garage while chasing a black bear and to the middle of a college campus to extract a hormone-driven deer from a building. Although he has avoided news agencies as much as possible, one of his adventures was summarized in People Magazine. Most biologists have similar stories to share, but David in Bear With Me, My Deer: Tails of a Virginia Wildlife Biologist gives an account of his adventures in the field, documenting how they can occur any time, day or night. Humor is an important tool, which he yields almost as often as he uses his dart pistol. Through his thirty years as a wildlife biologist, David has met many interesting people too-and some have become lifelong friends. Set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, these true stories enable the reader to enjoy each wildlife encounter and hopefully allow them to connect with the outdoors like never before.