View Full Version : Book Review: The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles and Amphibians (Lamar)

2nd June 2008, 22:53
The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles and Amphibians (Tampa, FL: World Publications, 208 pages). By William W. Lamar, Photos by Pete Carmichael and Gail Shumway.

Here is another coffee table book about herps.

I bought this as a souvenir when I went to the Luray Rescue Zoo in Luray, Virginia.
I was entranced by the outstanding pictures when I browsed through it at the gift shop.
It presents an array of unusual animals with their uniquenesses fully captured:
Albino red eared sliders, a gigantic snapper, chameleons in every color, geckos of every variety, frilled lizards, thorny lizards, horned lizards. And the snakes. What is the need for designer animals when such an assortment is slithering and crawling around in nature?

While the pictures greatly outshine the Border's coffee table book previously reviewed, the text is just the opposite. The amphibian section begins with an average three pages of the most general information and is followed by five pages of pictures with descriptions of a random selection of species. All of the text in the book functions as a minimal frame for what its really all about--the pictures.

After a pretty awesome reptile section, there are only five pages of caudate pictures. And, hey, it's got the same axolotl picture as the Borders book (one of the very few photos not by Carmichael and Shumway). Like the Border's book, the salamander section is weak. Caecilians, both pictures and text, are covered in a scant 1/2 page.
But it picks up steam again with the frogs. So though the photos are magnificent, the caudates are really shortchanged.
If your interest goes beyond salamanders to include frogs and reptiles, and you like picture books, I think you'll find this book worthwhile.
I was able to flip through this book before purchasing. I think I paid full price for this book, about $23, and I wasn't sorry. But YOU can get it on Amazon for a mere $1.77!! Though, I have to say, it's much more fun if you get it at Luray.

Like the Border's book, it is easiest to find on amazon by ISBN (see "advanced search") and enter the ISBN there.

# ISBN-10: 1884942075
# ISBN-13: 978-1884942075

Again, the direct link, to make your life easier:

(Second picture is of the entryway at the Luray Zoo. If you go there, don't stay at the Budget Inn Motel).

5th June 2008, 19:43
Tangential comment, but I really want to visit that zoo! Awesome entrance!

Thank you for posting all these reviews, Dawn. You're putting the rest of us to shame with all your hard work.

5th June 2008, 23:15
I was lucky enough to catch the "show" on poisonous snakes, which was funny, educational, and so darn entertaining and enjoyable that it made the whole trip worth it, moldy fleabag motel notwithstanding.

oregon newt
5th June 2008, 23:19
Have you been to the St. Augustine zoo? It's cool, but there were a couple of things that I didn't like. First, I think their alligator enclosures are overcrowded and they house different species of (I'm gonna butcher this) crocidilians together. Second, they fed their alligators pellets or chunks or something else instead of real animals. And last, they let people take pictures with the alligators, but they they tape their mouths which, if I'm correct stresses them. Other than that, great zoo! Lots of herps!