Venomous Animals of the World

Venomous Animals of the World

Book - 2008
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Book News
Johns Hopkins U. Press has for decades been among the finest of natural history publishers--not a voluminous producer, but a house that can be trusted to give us only excellent books (Walker's Mammals, for example). Few have been a visual ecstacy; Venomous Animals of the World is an exquisite exception. It's big (9.5x12.5") with nearly 300 fine color photos printed skillfully (in Singapore). Blackshall is a trained biologist who has worked with National Geographic Society, Discovery Channel, BBC. He covers the obvious--snakes, spiders, scorpions--and the salamanders, starfish, jellyfish as well as the surprising Lesser Bird of Paradise. He begins with a general discussion of venom, myths, and statistics then proceeds to cover the animals continent-by-continent. The book will prove addictive to many youngsters and, also, rewarding to professional natural historians. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Johns Hopkins University Press

Venomous creatures such as snakes and spiders are the stuff of human nightmares. Yet toxins are a regular part of the animal world, an essential tool for hunting and defense. A surprising variety of insects, reptiles, and amphibians use venom in their daily lives, either to subdue their prey or to prevent falling victim to another predator.

Precisely how many forms of wildlife are venomous is only now becoming clear. From the mighty King Cobra, which can reach over five meters in length, down to the diminutive but lethal Black Widow Spider, natural history expert Steve Backshall takes a fascinating look at more than 60 of the most venomous creatures across the world’s continents. Exciting accounts of Backshall’s personal encounters with some of nature's most dangerous animals help bring to life the world of natural venoms. He explains how different types of toxins work and highlights how some are used in medicine, including in the treatment of chronic disease in humans. A final chapter looks at the future for venomous wildlife and at why conservation measures are urgently required to ensure its continued survival.

The first book of its kind on this fascinating subject, Venomous Animals of the World is illustrated throughout with stunning color photographs.

Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, c2007
ISBN: 9780801888335
Characteristics: 160 p. : col. ill. ; 33 cm


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