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Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the Reptiles of India

T.S.N. Murthy, B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1994, 116 p, 127 coloured plates, 21 black & white plates, map, ISBN : 9788170187738, $106.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the Reptiles of India/T.S.N. Murthy

Contents: Preface. List of illustrations. 1. Dangerous reptiles of India. 2. Some common and unusual, harmless reptiles of India. 3. Snake bite in India and treatment. 4. Snakes in fact and fiction. 5. Men versus reptiles. Appendix: 1. Classification and distribution of the dangerous and venomous reptiles of India. 2. Vernacular names. 3. Suggested reading. 4. Glossary. Index.

From the foreword by Dr. A.G.K. Menon, former Deputy Director, Zoological Survey of India: "T.S.N. Murthy has worked over three decades on Reptile systematics in the Zoological Survey of India. His varied experience in taxonomy, zoogeography and conservation and his long association with the Zoological Survey of India, where he had ample opportunity to handle extensive collection of reptiles of India, enabled him to undertake to write this book. It is hoped that this book will be widely used by all interested in the herpetrafauna of India and in the conservation of the fast vanishing reptiles of India."

"This book has been offered in fulfilment of the long felt need to have a comprehensive book on the reptiles of India with illustration and complete description of each and every reptile found in India, be it on land or on water. A thorough knowledge acquired by reading the book equips one when confronted with a reptile unexpectedly, to take a quick decision whether to fight it to finish or to file past discretely.

"The book which explains in lucid style about all the species seen around towns, villages, rivers, lakes in the plains, hills and the coasts of India using 144 colour plates and describes the diagnostic features of the family, details concerning the size, colour, distribution, distinguishing features, etc., is expected to make it easy for the reader to recognise without difficulty, the majority of the dangerous reptiles without getting into the drudgery of technical details.

"Sea snakes, venomous land snakes, and crocodiles are described in sufficient detail. The additional sections such as the accounts of some common and/or unusal reptiles, snakebite in India, snakes in fact and fiction, reptiles versus men, a practical glossary and a discerning reading list will be helpful for those who wish to extend their knowledge on the reptiles of India. It has been endeavoured to present the book in a simple language for the benefit of the common reader. However, wherever necessary, specialised terminology of herpetology has been used; but, such terms have been defined in the glossary. Illustrations have been used profusely in the book, in keeping with the title of the book, since pictures convey more than words. Included in the book is a brief account of the snakebites and symptoms of the bites of the mainkiller snakes." (jacket)

[T.S.N. Murthy is an authority on Indian herpetology. He has written over 130 scientific papers on Indian reptiles. His books include The Snake Book of India, A Field Guide to the Lizards of India and Guide to the Snakes of Western India.]

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