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Old 6th June 2009   #1
Johnny O. Farnen
(SludgeMunkey)
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Thumbs up Book Review: A key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the Continental Untied States and Canada (Powell)

A key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the United States and Canada
Powell, R.; Collins, J.T.; Hooper, E.D.
1998 university Press of Kansas
131 pages


I found this one on Amazon.com as part of a special deal when purchasing the Peterson Field Guide. I got both books NEW for a significantly lower price than cover value. For virtually nothing, I figured I would give it a shot...

This book is intended as a college textbook for biology and herpetology students. I find it very informative, as it goes into higher detail on morphology than many other books I have read. The entire book is well illustrated with exquisite pen and ink drawings that skip the color and go for detail. This is very useful as physical details of many species that are often missed in photographs are shown in great detail very clearly!

Need a detailed guide of the ventral sides of the various species of Necturus? It's here.
Morphological variances among toad heads? Yes, its here too.
Detailed description of various poisonous snakes' thermal sensors? Got it.

Now while I find the list of cited publications and the glossary very informative, from a caudate perspective this book is lacking. It appears that only the most commonly seen animals are described, however, it is done so in great detail.

The book covers a very broad topic that limits the number of animals it can describe in 131 pages. Just about everything you are most likely to see out and about is in here. I feel that it has quite a bit of usefulness for the self educated field herper like myself. It definitely should NOT be used as a standalone guide, but when used in conjunction with the Petersen Field Guides or even the Petranka book this volume becomes a valuable data source.

If you are a book collector on this subject, you need to get this one. If you are an ameture field herp fanatic like myself, this book will help you out significantly. If you are lucky enough to be caught in a discussion with the "pros", the information you can learn will be very, very useful.

If the price is right, buy this one people. It is worth the very low price, if only for the diagramatic drawings. Until I read this book, I had always wondered what a hellbender's gill slits looked like and where they were located.

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/powkey.html

Currently on Amazon, you can purchase this book and the Petersen Field guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of the Eastern and Central United States for a total of $30.43 AND get free shipping.



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Old 6th June 2009   #2
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: Book Review: A key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the Continental Untied States and Canada (Powell

I was unclear in the preceding review that this book is written as a companion to the Petersen Field Guides for reptiles and amphibians.

I never stated that clearly in the review.

My apologies.



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