Boas and Pythons of the World

Overview

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native ...

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Overview

Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.

There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.

Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.

  • Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda
  • Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents
  • Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors
  • Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species
  • Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended."--Nancy Bent, Booklist

"Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight."--Juneau Empire

"Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats."--Globe and Mail

Globe & Mail
Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats.
Booklist - Nancy Bent
These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended.
Booklist
These well-known species and their more obscure cousins are all magnificently illustrated with beautiful color photos, with short write-ups of their life histories, range, size, prey, and other natural history. This excellent book is highly recommended.
— Nancy Bent
Juneau Empire
Arranged geographically, with a nice introduction regarding snake classifications, myths, and conservation, this book will either give you the willies or make you smile in delight.
Globe and Mail
Colour photographs and clear text make this an informative and visually appealing compendium of constrictor habits and habitats.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691150154
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2011
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 995,408
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark O'Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park (U.K.), has participated in more than sixty fieldwork and filming exhibitions, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. His books include the definitive "Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea: Reptiles and Amphibians" (coauthored with Tim Halliday); and "Venomous Snakes of the World" (Princeton).

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Table of Contents


Foreword     5
Introduction     8
Evolution of Leglessness as an Advanced State     10
Anatomy of Snakes     11
Basal Snake Diversity and Distribution     15
Constriction     21
Giant Snakes: Myth or Monster?     23
Man-Eating Snakes     26
Life Underground     28
Conservation     30
The Americas     32
American Blindsnakes     34
Slender Blindsnakes
Blindsnakes
Early Blindsnakes
American Basal Snake     36
South American Pipesnake
American Macrostomatan Snakes     37
Meso-American Python
American Boas     38
Neotropical Treeboas
Rainbow Boas
West Indian Boas
Boa Constrictor
Anacondas
North American Rosy and Rubber Boas
Eyelash Boas
Central American Dwarf Boas
West Indian Dwarf Boas and Woodsnakes
Europe and Asia     64
European and Asian Blindsnakes     66
Slender Blindsnakes
Blindsnakes
Asian basal Snakes     69
Little Pipesnakes
Asian Pipesnakes
Shieldtails
Asian Macrostomatan Snakes     72
Sunbeam Snakes
Spine-jawed Snakes
Eurasian Sand Boas     74
Sand Boas
Asian Pythons     77
Short-tailed Pythons
Asian Rock Pythons
ReticulatedPython
Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands     92
African: Blindsnakes     94
Slender Blindsnakes
Blindsnakes
African Boas     98
Sand and Ground Boas
African Pythons     101
Small Pythons
African Rock Pythons
Indian Ocean Boas     108
Madagascan Boas
Round Island Boas
Australasia and the Pacific Ocean Islands     112
Australasian Blindsnakes     114
Blindsnakes
Indo-Australian Basal Snakes     116
East Indonesian Pipesnakes
Australasian Pythons     116
Black-headed Python Woma
Children's Pythons
Water Pythons
Olive Pythons
White-lipped Pythons
Papuan Archipelago Pythons
Carpet Pythons
Rare Australian Pythons
Tree Pythons
Scrub Pythons
Montane Pythons
Sunda Island Pythons
Pacific Boas     149
Pacific Island Boas
Further Reading and Bibliography     154
Index     156
Acknowledgements and Picture Credits     160
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