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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
on August 22, 1998
This is destined to become one of the great classics in American Natural History. Dr. Petranka describes every species of salamander in exhaustive detail. His photographs and physical descriptions should enable even a novice to correctly identify every specimen. The accurate range maps make identification even easier. I especially enjoyed the habitat and ecological data provided for each species. Good stuff.
This is a great gift book for birdwatchers. It will broaden their horizons by forcing them to look down for a change.
Comment: The current trend in taxonomy is to split species rather than to lump them. Often this splitting is based on esoteric DNA differentiation. Fifteen years from now, the "lumpers" (me) will regain ascendency and a number of currently valid species will be relegated to varieties. The text follows the current splitting trend, but it does include a discussion of each species taxonomy and its relationships to closely related species.
Minor quibble: The photography is excellent. Beyond excellent. I only wish the editors had allowed for larger images and more of them, but that would have jacked up the price. I guess that sixty bucks is the perceived limit for this type of book. But salamanders are beautiful little animals that deserve better.
Buy this book. Read it. Then go out into the woods and turn over a few logs. Then put them back.
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on July 14, 1999
As a keeper and breeder of rare Asian and American salamanders I'm very happy with the arrival of this book. It's so far the most comprehensive & complete work on life environments & ecology of American Urodela species I read. It truly helps us/me overhere to install the animals in a natural urodarium, keeping them as close to nature as possible. A similar older standard book by E. R. Dunn was more of scientifical nature. The only thing that comes close to it concerns Pfingstens book on Ohio Salamanders. I'm sure this book will become a future standardwork in this peticular field. It's already famous in the midst of Belgian, German and Dutch urodela circles. If only this excisted for Asian species too.
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on July 14, 1999
As a keeper and breeder of rare Asian and American salamanders I'm very happy with the arrival of this book. It's so far the most comprehensive & complete work on life environments & ecology of American Urodela species I read. It truly helps us/me overhere to install the animals in a natural urodarium, keeping them as close to nature as possible. A similar older standard book by E. R. Dunn was more of scientifical nature. The only thing that comes close to it concerns Pfingstens book on Ohio Salamanders. I'm sure this book will become a future standardwork in this peticular field. It's already famous in the midst of Belgian, German and Dutch urodela circles. If only this excisted for Asian species too.
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on July 25, 2001
This is a great book for Salamander lovers, like myself. Petranka provides well gathered information and writes it out on paper well. I would not change a thing. I am a student and have used this on all my papers and Reports. i has given me well grades and it provides excellent information. i Rate it 5 stars. So give it a try! Then go out and turn over a few logs youll love what you see!
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on August 1, 2000
Petranka provides a masterful summary of our current state of knowledge about the taxonomy, natural history, ecology, and behavior of North American salamanders. No other work comes close to matching the depth of coverage of this book. It is no surprise that this work received the Wildlife Society's prestigious Book of the Year Award.
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