VENOMOUS SNAKES
OF THE WORLD

by
Mark O'Shea
New Holland Publishers

Softback 2008
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Hardback 2005
17,000 copies sold but now
OUT OF PRINT

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160 pages
over 170 detailed species accounts
over 180 full colour photographs
and a Foreword by Prof. David A. Warrell, Centre for Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford

 

Publisher's synopsis: Mark O'Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world's most common and most exotic venomous snakes with a gripping account of his adventures with snakes, including several serious snakebite episodes, which have taken place all over the world. From the few European venomous snakes, such as the Adder, to Rattlesnakes, Cobras, Taipans, Mambas and Sea snakes that inhabit other countries, all the major snake species are covered. There are also chapters that explain venomous snake evolution, types of venom, the effects of venom, and discuss the problems with snake conservation.No matter how fearsome these creatures might appear, they all play a vital part in the natural world as both predators and prey.Illustrated throughout with spectacular photographs, many of them the author's own, this book celebrates the diversity and beauty of snakes worldwide.

"Venomous Snakes of the World" comprises seven chapters arranged geographically:

INTRODUCTION: Anatomy of snakes; Venomous snake diversity and distribution;
Snake venoms and their actions;
Life in the sea; Conservation and Venomous lizards.

THE AMERICAS: American elapids; American pitvipers;
Venomous snakes of the Caribbean, and South American rear-fanged colubrids.

EURASIA: Eurasian true vipers; Eurasian pitvipers; Eurasian cobras;
Arabian burrowing asps, and European rear-fanged colubrids.

AFRICA: African cobras; Other African elapids; African vipers;
African burrowing asps and African rear-fanged colubrids.

TROPICAL ASIA: Asian cobras; Other Asian elapids; Asian true vipers;
Fea's viper, and Asian pitvipers.

AUSTRALASIA: Australian elapids;
Snakes of Melanesia, and Australasian rear-fanged colubrids.

THE OCEANS: Sea kraits, and True seasnake.

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(note: only the UK edition is available from this website)

 

Reviews of the UK edition:

"Mark O'Shea is qualified to produce a book of this scope.
The real strength of the book, and what gives it unique value,
is the material dealing with lesser known snakes,
including the nuances of venomous colubrids.
Most readers will be unfamiliar with this information
and therefore it is a tremendous opportunity for them to learn
more about this special area of evolution.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough."

Dr Bryan Grieg Fry, Australian Venom Research Unit, University of Melbourne
Bulletin of the British Herpetological Society 96:40

"This is a marvellous reference book, easy to read, with many stunning photographs taken in the field,
and features Mark's personal accounts and observations."

Lucy Thompson,
SESAME 45(1):45 (Journal of the Scientific Exploration Society)

"A fascinating introduction to an unfairly maligned corner of the animal kingdom."
Geordie Torr, Geographical Magazine :79

"Though this book could not be described as extensive, it is very well planned,
the colored photographs are of a high quality and it has an excellent coverage of species.
Overall this is an impressive book and very well priced."

Mike Swan, Senior Keeper, Melbourne Zoo
Reptiles Australia magazine 49-50

"A veritable photographic feast!
.....

Being peppered with anecdotes from Marks (sic) overseas trips gives the book a more personal feel
and makes it very readable. For anyone with a keen interest in 'venomous'
the book is an excellent addition to the library if for no other reason
than the photography."

Alan Wilkie
The Herptile 30(4):147

 

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World map showing distribution of
venomous snake families
included in
"Venomous Snakes of the World"

click on map for larger version
high quality version is included in the book

Contents pages

Chapter opener for Tropical Asia

 

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American English and Foreign Language Editions
(note: only the UK edition is available from this website)

US edition
Princeton University Press
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German & Hungarian editions
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Swedish edition
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