Whole Earth Review

Snakes: Ecology and Behavior.

Snakes: Ecology and Behavior. – book reviews


For folks charmed by slithery beasts, this book gives the scientific facts behind why Canadian garter snakes gather in writhing balls of a hundred or more, why tree snakes are skinny, and how some snakes raise their body temperature like on incubator to hatch their eggs internally. There are snakes that use heat-sensing infrared) pits to find food. Others follow point chemical trails. Some rattlesnakes spend hours in “ritualized dance” before mating, Short of reading the scientific literature directly, you won’t find a more comprehensive or accurate source of wonder about these complex, cleverly adoptive critters.

Snakes generally do not attract human attention unless a person is bitten or a snake decimates an endangered bird community. When it comes to bad things happening to snakes, few supportive resources are available. The loss of the earth’s biological diversity has attracted much attention, yet discussions of biodiversity in the mainstream conservation literature rarely mention amphibians and reptiles, much less snakes.

COPYRIGHT 1994 Point Foundation

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group