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Venomous Reptiles of North America [Paperback]

Carl H. Ernst
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 17 1999
Ernst documents the venomous reptiles of North America in a way that will appeal to experts and amateurs alike. This comprehensive book details the biology of the reptiles and provides insights into these often misunderstood creatures.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

This authoritative compendium of North American poisonous snakes and lizards is organized by individual species. Each section contains the individual reptile's geographic distribution and provides condensed information on its ecological role, behavior, feeding, and reproduction, as well as reports of human envenomations. Also included are a range map, photographs, and descriptions of regional morphological variations and related recognized subspecies. This book contains an accurate specimen identification key for the species it covers, but most other information may be found elsewhere. Narrow in scope, yet heavily footnoted and crammed with technical information on karyotypes, scale patterns, and fossil records, this book will appeal only to advanced lay or professional herpetologists seeking a one-stop source. Recommended for academic collections.
- Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Ernst has provided a beautiful summary of the literature in this area. Anyone interested in the biology of these reptiles will find this book a spectacular timesaver.”—Quarterly Review of Biology

“This book is a valuable reference, representing the only recent comprehensive account of North America’s venomous reptiles. Most herpetologists, as well as many other biologists and naturalists, will want access to a copy [and] amateurs will find the book readable and useful.”—ASB Bulletin

“A solid, scholarly natural history of all venomous reptiles north of Mexico (20 snakes and the Gila monster). . . . Likely to remain the standard reference for the next twenty years.”—SciTech Book News

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Thorough, organized guide to North America's venomous lizards, elapids, and vipers. Dr. Ernst provides, for each individual species, a detailed description & confusing species, karyotype, fossil record, distribution/range map, habitat information, typical behavior (including reproduction & feeding), predators/defense, and geographic variations. Additionally, he provides detailed information on each species' venom (toxicity, symptoms, antivenin information). At least one high-quality color photo for each species as well as several black & white prints. Overall, the book is technical enough for more advanced readers while still coherent to those less versed in the content area.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, technical guide to N.A.'s venomous reptiles Nov. 1 2001
By adamgator - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Thorough, organized guide to North America's venomous lizards, elapids, and vipers. Dr. Ernst provides, for each individual species, a detailed description & confusing species, karyotype, fossil record, distribution/range map, habitat information, typical behavior (including reproduction & feeding), predators/defense, and geographic variations. Additionally, he provides detailed information on each species' venom (toxicity, symptoms, antivenin information). At least one high-quality color photo for each species as well as several black & white prints. Overall, the book is technical enough for more advanced readers while still coherent to those less versed in the content area.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Study! Aug. 29 2013
By Texas Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in keeping venomous reptiles. A good overview of North American species. Easy to read and understand.
1 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware the Copperheads! Sept. 10 2005
By Betty Burks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The rattlesnake is by far the most dangerous and widely distributed of the venomous varieties in the United States and Canada. It is aggressive and attacks with little warning. It has the rattler on the tip of its tail, which shows it has been agitated and will fight to kill. On the map, it cover half of the country and goes part way down into Mexico. It does not have to have dry desert surroundings. They thrive here in the Smoky Mountains and in the Appalachians. You can also find them in coastal areas and sand dunes. They need rock crevices to hide in; they are the most active in attacking people from April through September. In Calofornia, they are never hibernating and always ready for action.

In Tennessee, some offbeat relgious zealots use rattlesnakes in church services called 'handling them." There is no way to 'handle' a snake except in a zoo where they are restrained from getting out among the public.

There are more copperheads in this area; could be that is the reason that moniker was given to Southern sympathizers during the American Civil War. Its head glows in the sun which automatically alerts the victim that it is a copperhead. It is swift and dangerous when it chooses its prey. I was taken on a trail in the Smokies by a weird 'friend' to see if I would be afraid of the bears. A female teacher had been killed on that trail by a bear when her companion went on ahead and she could not defend herself. All along the trail after we reached the peak and was away from the water, I kept hearing stirrings off in the branches. Finally, I told her I felt I had gone far enough. We had not reached the death scene which was on the plateau. At the beginning of this first trail walking, I had told her that I am very much afraid of snakes. She swore we would not see one. Because of my balance problem, I insisted on walking on the left down the hill away from the deep drop off to the water. I can't swim and I didn't want any broken bones. Halfway down the hill, I saw something sliver and shine in the sunlight (and my eyes are not good), and I asked her what that could be. She scooted out of the way in a hurry and changed places with me after that so that I would be near the water. She matter-of-factly said that it was a copperhead and would have bit her if I hadn't seen it. She once said that she is a 'reptile' as it takes her four hours to put her makeup on before she will leave her apartment. Coming from Hawaii to Florida before finding her 'place' here in the Smoky Mountains, I have often wondered which species.
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