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American Snakes

Sean P. Graham
foreword by Rick Shine

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The captivating and beautifully illustrated true story of snakes in America.

125 million years ago on the floodplains of North America, a burrowing lizard started down the long evolutionary path of shedding its limbs. The 60-plus species of snakes found in Sean P. Graham's American Snakes have this ancestral journey to thank for their ubiquity, diversity, and beauty. Although many people fear them, snakes are as much a part of America's rich natural heritage as redwoods, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. Found from the vast Okefenokee Swamp to high alpine meadows, from hardwood canopies to the…

The captivating and beautifully illustrated true story of snakes in America.

125 million years ago on the floodplains of North America, a burrowing lizard started down the long evolutionary path of shedding its limbs. The 60-plus species of snakes found in Sean P. Graham's American Snakes have this ancestral journey to thank for their ubiquity, diversity, and beauty. Although many people fear them, snakes are as much a part of America's rich natural heritage as redwoods, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. Found from the vast Okefenokee Swamp to high alpine meadows, from hardwood canopies to the burning bottom of the Grand Canyon, these ultimate vertebrates are ecologically pivotal predators and quintessential survivors.

In this revelatory and engaging meditation on American snakes, Graham, a respected herpetologist and gifted writer,

• explains the everyday lives of American snakes, from their daily routines and seasonal cycles to their love lives, hunting tactics, and defensive repertoires
• debunks harmful myths about snakes and explores their relationship with humans
• highlights the contribution of snakes to the American wilderness
• tells tales of "snake people"—important snake biologists with inspiring careers

Neither a typical field guide nor an exhaustive reference, American Snakes is instead a fascinating study of the suborder Serpentes. Brimming with intriguing and unusual stories—of hognose snakes that roll over and play dead, blindsnakes with tiny vestigial lungs, rainbow-hued dipsadines, and wave-surfing sea-snakes—the text is interspersed with scores of gorgeous full-color images of snakes, from the scary to the sublime. This proud celebration of a diverse American wildlife group will make every reader, no matter how skeptical, into a genuine snake lover.

Reviews

Reviews

Brimming with intriguing and unusual storiesof hognose snakes that roll over and play dead, blind snakes with tiny vestigial lungs, rainbow-hued dipsadines, and wave-surfing sea-snakesthe text is interspersed with scores of gorgeous full-color images of snakes, from the scary to the sublime. This proud celebration of a diverse American wildlife group will make every reader, no matter how skeptical, into a genuine snake lover.

[American Snakes] is an authoritative yet accessible guide that makes the world of American snakes attractive to even non-scientist readers.

This is an excellent book about snakes, well worth the price, and worthy of finding a home in the libraries of herpetologists and all naturalists. I anticipate pulling my copy off the shelf again and again.

A valuable resource for a range of audiences. It is an attractive introduction to snake biology for beginning herpetologists and curious readers, yet even seasoned professionals will likely find items to interest them. Recommended for general and undergraduate collections as well as herpetology research collections.

American Snakes is a wonderful book to read because it is replete with snake stories, personal stories, and stories about other herpetologists. It also has a lot of science about snakes in it. Sean Graham is a fine storyteller. He starts each chapter with a story that reveals something about human behavior, usually his, and snake behavior. The way he writes reads like his oral presentations to live audiences. His stories are engaging whether written or oral.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
9
x
11
Pages
312
ISBN
9781421423593
Illustration Description
167 color photos, 24 color illus.
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Rick Shine
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Form and Function
3. A Day in the Life of a Snake
4. A Year in the Life of a Snake
5. Snake Sex
6. Snake Food
7. Snake Eaters
8. Snake Defense
9

Foreword, by Rick Shine
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Form and Function
3. A Day in the Life of a Snake
4. A Year in the Life of a Snake
5. Snake Sex
6. Snake Food
7. Snake Eaters
8. Snake Defense
9. Dangerous Snakes
10. Snake Invaders
11. Snake Conservation
Epilogue
References
Index

Author Bios
Sean P. Graham
Featured Contributor

Sean P. Graham

Sean P. Graham is an assistant professor of biology at Sul Ross State University.