Tales of Giant Snakes: A Historical Natural History of Anacondas and Pythons

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9780894649950: Tales of Giant Snakes: A Historical Natural History of Anacondas and Pythons
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Tales of Giant Snakes, examines the natural history of four species of snakes known to exceed 20 feet in length. Based on the writings of explorers, missionaries, scientists, and adventurers over the past 200 years, the authors have pieced together exciting and informative glimpses into the lives of these legless giants. Included are chapters on where they are found (often around human habitations), what they eat (includes crocodiles, deer, and cows), how big do they really get (a controversial subject), attacks on humans (rare), exploitation by humans for their skins, and conservation. The book is illustrated with photos, historical lithographs, maps, and graphs.

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Murphy (Field Museum, Chicago) and Henderson (curator of herpetology, Milwaukee Museum) scrutinize hundreds of published encounters between large snakes and humans in an attempt to learn more about how these animals live in their natural habitat. Comparing what is known about captive pythons and anacondas with the information reported, the authors strive to separate truth from exaggeration. Excerpted accounts fill the pages and include newspaper articles, adventure writings, and reports of early explorers. Through these accounts, the reader shares the wonder and terror of wild encounters with these tremendous reptiles. One's reaction is not diminished by the authors' correcting of inaccuracies and exaggerations. They make clear that large snakes are interesting in a zoo but awesome in their native environment. Highly recommended for general collections.?Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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