Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles


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‘Herpetology’ is an updated version of a classic by Zug, restructured and enlarged by Vitt, a reptile ecologist, and Caldwell, an amphibian biologist. This edition brings a lot of welcome new information, but is sometimes difficult to follow if you’re only interested in amphibians, or just want to know about reptiles. There are advantages in looking at evolution, reproduction, physiology, and behaviour for herps as a whole, in that common traits and variations from the norm become more apparent. However, this book can be frustrating to read if you’re just interested in one species, or just newts, or just snakes, or just amphibians for example. If that’s the case, you’re better off with a book that has a narrower focus.

Who is likely to find this book useful? Anyone studying reptiles and amphibians at university, perhaps as part of a biology course, as well as any herp enthusiast who has enough knowledge to find their way round the book, and enough enthusiasm to look up terms they don’t understand. There’s precious little in print on herps that goes beyond very basic guides, so this is an important book for people who want to be stretched.