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National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians Vinyl Bound – Nov 12 1979


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Customers buy this book with National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders CDN$ 16.26

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Product Details

  • Vinyl Bound: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (Nov. 12 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394508246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394508245
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.2 x 19.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Vinyl Bound
Well, wonder no longer. This book is a great resource for anyone wishing to identify snakes, frogs, toads, lizards, salamanders, etc. Use the color plates at the front half of the book to determine what the species of the animal is, based on physical features, and then read the companion article about the species in the back half of the book to learn more about it. This book is small enough to carry around with you on hikes, making identification of these lovable creatures very simple. But, just between you, me, and this computer screen - it is my impression that the red-bellied newt is hamming it up for the camera.
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By Snakeman on Sept. 28 2003
Format: Vinyl Bound
This is an excellent field guide for beginning herpers. The photos are excellent and it even has pictures for the different color variations of certain species. The herps are organized into groups such as striped, venomous, lungless, treefrogs, etc. and then they seem to be ordered by color. I have used this book to learn about what I should expect to find in places I've traveled to, where to be careful of venomous snakes, how where and when to find herps, identification and more. I even used this book last November when I went to Dominican Republic and it helped me in indentifying some lizards. I highly recommend this book for beginners in field herping. In my opinion the price is worth it just for the wonderful pictures this guide has.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Paul W. on May 29 2004
Format: Vinyl Bound
This guide is beset with problems, and there are better out there.
The range maps are so general as to be mostly useless. They're incredibly small, to the point where it's hard to discern where the lines on it are; is that snake's western range limit NM or AZ? You can't tell! The written descriptions of ranges are too vauge as well; they list eastern, western, southern and northern limits, but it's not like an animals range will make a nice little square; there are places within those boundaries where it does not occur. Maybe a lizards westernmost point is in, say Alamogordo, NM: it'll list that as it's westernmost point. but say, as it's range extends northward, it is restricted to a more easterly distribution; that won't be mentioned.
Furthermore, the guide is 25 years old. There have been massive taxonomic revisions since this was written; new species have been discovered, some species have been combined, some subspecies complexes split, etc. Ranges have also shifted since '79, due to development and climatic changes.
Also, the guide only deals with species level info. This is unnacceptable for some animals; L. getula (kingsnake) has some 7-8 subspecies, ranging from the mexican black to the desert to the eastern; these animals have markedly different apperances, habitat, ranges, and behaviors. But the guide doesn't deal with that; it list info for "L. getula" in general, without dividing it into subspecies information. This makes the guide worthless for Pituophis melanoleucus, Lampropeltis getula, Lampropeltis traingulum, and several other species which contain a wide range of different subspecies.
So what to do? Buy a good local field guide; they exist for most states- Degenhardt's Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico is execellent. Texas Snakes (Dixon) is good.
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Format: Vinyl Bound
The contemporary edition of the Audubon Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians is decades old. Though it covers many species of snakes, salamanders, newts, etc., it is underrated because of the lack of updating. Some species names are known to be out of date, or invalid. However, even this cannot override the true quality of all the Audubon guides, including this book. Even though a newly revised and updated edition is way overdue, it still presents spectacular photographs of various species. The system is the same, with the description in the back of the book. The Audubon Guide to Weather has been revised and updated over the years and hopefully, this one will be also.
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Format: Vinyl Bound
This book may have been something for it's time, but it's since been eclipsed, and has become outdated.
For one thing, the book was written in the 70's--it's older than I am. Taxonomy has changed, but that's not the most important (taxonomy is always changing).
Ranges have shifted; habitat changes have forced various species into new areas and out of old ones, new species have been introduced and become established, etc. Even if the range maps were up to date, they're poorly done; very small and hard to see, and inexact.
Furthermore, the book doesn't delinate subspecies; all kingsnakes (L. getula) and rat snakes (L. obsoleta) are treated as one species a piece, despite each having over six very distinct subspecies. This is problematic as the various subspecies of kingsnake have remarkably different size, patterns, and ranges; a desert king is a rather different animal than an eastern king, but the book just gives you the same info for both. It happens numerous times with king snakes, milksnakes, ratsnakes, and all the pituophis species. It list some 10 subspecis for P. melanoleucus, and gives the same info for all of them, despite radical differences between, say, a northen pine and a bullsnake or SD gopher snake. It does the same thing with kingsnakes; it list 7 subspecies ranging from the Eastern to the Mexican, and gives on set of info for all of them. This occurs many times throughout the book, and negates it's value as a field guide. By now, with the explosion of herpetocultural writings, you're better off buying a good area specific guide; a Peterson's is a decent choice, or you can by a guide just for your state if there's a good one; such books typically give more in depth info and better done.
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