Thursday, November 25, 2010

books and more books three quick thoughts

Some books arrived today. Been sailing from the USA for AGES!!

One is a new book from Mike Swan

An Introduction to Keeping & Breeding Australian Reptiles
A beginners book really. The information is basic and not too detailed. I am a little puzzled that the author's put Diamond pythons as experienced when it is generally accepted that these pythons are good for beginners.
Each page or two give a basic description of the animal, captive management, enclosure size for 1-2 specimens, general husbandry including breeding and sexing. But all very short paragraphs.
New beginners book

A good book for absolute beginners, especially people who do not have a reptile at the moment and are looking to get started.
The book is week laid out, the photos are lovely and the layout is clear and simple.
Contents are laid out by subject and makes it easy to find what you are looking for.
Not to fussed with the index, the autors have tried to keep it simple again, but there is no way of searching by species name. The index is essentially the same as the contents but only slightly expanded.

If you have a child interested in getting reptile, from ages 9 or 10 to early teens then this is a good books to give them. Information here can be used as a stepping stone to more complicated texts.

The next books need a little more time to review as they are both texts on venom.
The first is a large textbook.

Handbook of Venom and Toxins of Reptiles edited by Stephen Mackessy

A text book designed for people in the field of Biology or Toxicologists wanted a reference book. The complete opposite end of the previous book.
A collection of papers, the contents state the subject and author of the study. The index is comprehensive and makes it easy to source what you are looking for. :-)

Without reading too in-depth, for which I need a week off, it is deifiantly one for the reference shelf.

The last book is Snake Venoms by Jean-Philippe Chippaux.

The book came to me hygienically sealed.. chuckle...Took ages to get the shrink wrap off.
The book was originally printed in french in 2002 so this is a translation

Great glossary at the beginning, makes life easier for people not familiar with reptile terminology. I am impressed that the author makes it clear in the preface that out of 2700species of snakes, around 500 are venomous & potentially dangerous to people in some way. Mostly due to accidental meeting or the snake defending itself. The introduction does a brief intro to cultures' reactions to snakes.
Unlike the previous book, this is readable, and easy to understand. The author is good at imparting information. Chapters are broken in to short paragraphs and lots of heading to see where you are up to.

4 appendices, one even for Anti-venom producers are their products, including Australian Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. If you are interested in measuring toxicity, one appendix deals with that.
Simple index. A starter for learning about this subject, not as dry as the previous text book.

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