Books Reviewed - Other Animals

1. The General Care and Maintenance of DAY GECKOS, by Sean McKeown, special edition of the Herpetocultural Library. Published on 1993 with 143 pages and soft covers. It is he ultimate book on care, maintenance, enclosures, keeping and breeding of these brilliant animals. The last pages are dedicated to over thirty species of day geckoes of the genus Phelsuma. It is highly recommended to any herp lover.


2. KINGSNAKES and MILK SNAKES, by Ronald G. Markel, published on 1990, by T.F.H. publications. A complete guide to every species and subspecies of the genus Lampropeltis with 200 colour photos and 144 pages. Very precise information about the distribution of these animals in the wild, as it is enriched with lot of range maps, their keeping and captive breeding, along with some genetics. It also includes accurate and lot information about feeding and health. Highly recommended to reptiles’ fans.


3. A Field Guide to the REPTILES and AMPHIBIANS of Britain and Europe, by E. N. Arnold and J. A. Burton. The book was first published on 1978 with hard cover and 272 pages, by COLLINS publications. It is a fabulously illustrated book, by D. W. Overden, with over 250 colour illustrations and some tens of black and white ones. It includes keys for identification of all the species, along with information for their prey, breeding and other habits. It is also included information about the venomous ones and the right methods to deal with a bitten person. It is a very nice book and its small size makes it very handy to carry in situ, where it is needed. It will help any body interesting on these animals and I consider it a highly recommended book to reptile enthusiasts.


4. Reptiles of Greece and Cyprus, by Achilleas Demetropoulos and Giannis Ioannidis, published on 2002 with soft covers and 275 pages. Published by Goulandris’ Museum of Natural History. It was something missing from bibliography on this topic. The diversity of the species in these places is the best reason for someone to be occupied with. Achilleas Demetropoulos is a very well known guy that works on this field for over 25 years and he is dedicated to reptiles of our region. Many of them are either endemic or very rare and a great number of them are in danger, so this book came to fill the gap. Very good photos and plenty of information on any described species, along with the several common names occur in different places within the examined territory. A book that should have been published a long time ago. Unfortunately available only in greek language, by now. Recommended to anybody interesting in south-eastern european herpetofauna.

5. Συριανά γράμματα: This local to Cyclades (and especially Syros island) magazine is published by Κυκλαδικές Εκδόσεις – Demetres Varthalites, in a rather low number of issues and every month has different topic(s). On 1992 and on issue of April (shown on the photo), it got down to Snakes in the Cyclades. The texts are bilingual (greek and english) and it was the first “handbook” on this issue I ever got. I cannot recommend it (although highly recommended), as it is an old issue and thus probably out of print. Very informative texts and beautiful hand illustrations by Achilleas Demetropoulos (see the previous review). If one wants to get really informed about these misunderstood creatures and to have available data to belie with the monstrosities are said and believed about them, then this issue is a very nice brief medium.


8. SNAKES, by David Badger (texts) and John Netherton (photos), published on 1999, with hard cover and 144 pages, by SWAN HILL Press. Although not an exclusively informative book, it is recommended even only due to its high quality as an object. This book examines snakes from the point of their beauty, oddity or even their artistic sides (if someone can see such). Its quadric cast is also rare in books.


9. Latin – Greek Dictionary by Stefanos Koumanoudis and ΟΜΗΡΟΣ publications. This dictionary was first edited by Enrich Ulrich and S. Koumanoudis elaborated and enhanced it on 1854, when first published in Greece. This edition below comes with hard covers and 967 pages. It is ideal for the ones they want to know what the latin parts of the scientific name of a fish mean. I believe there are editions of latin dictionaries in other languages as well, so the interested aquarists may search for them, if they desire to explain themselves the meaning of the latin parts of the scientific names of the animals they keep. Recommended for the extremely addicted greek fish keepers.

10. BONNIE WILCOX & CHRIS WALKOWICZ "THE ATLAS OF DOG BREED OF THE WORLD", TFH Publications Ltd., 1995, p. 916, Hardcover. A really excellent book. Highly recommended to everybody who likes dogs. However, more specific books are needed if you plan to get a dog.

11. BRUCE FOGLE "THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOG", DK PUBLISHING INC., 1995, p.316, Hardcover. Less photos than the previous one but more information on each breed. An excellent book, highly recommended to everybody who likes dogs. In my opinion, the reader should choose either this one or # 10 above. Again, more specific books are needed if you plan to get a dog.

12. SHERILYN ALLEN "THE OFFICIAL BOOK OF THE NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF", TFH PUBLICATIONS Ltd., 1995, p.324, Hardcover. For those who own or plan to get a mastino, please take the time to read this book first. It is accurate and tells you exactly how things are going to be. Very well written, lots of first class photos, a true gem. Those who see something more than just a dog in this living fossil, the book will offer an eye on living with it. A "must have" book for mastino lovers.

13. ROBERT GRAVEL & GONNIE SCHAFFER "NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF", TFH PUBLICATIONS Ltd., 1995, p.96, Hardcover. A nice book on mastinos but definitely not as good as the #12 above. It is true that most mastino lovers will get as many books as they can but I still think that this could be your second book. Recommended.

14. CARL SEMENCIC "GLADIATOR DOGS", TFH PUBLICATIONS., p.268, Hardcover. An excellent book on this very special part of dogdom. Those dogs are feared while there are many (totally or partially inaccurate) myths concerning their true nature. These dogs are mostly regarded as blood thirsty vicious animals which as far from true as it can be. After reading it most readers will see those dogs in a very different way. At least, you will learn what an adult dog is. Highly recommended to serious dog lovers.

15. D.D.ANDERSSON "MASTIFF - ARISTOCRATIC GUARDIAN", DORAL PUBLISHING, 1998, p. 314, Hardcover. A truly magnificent book on one of the largest dogs on earth. The British mastiff is reviewed in detail and you are bound to fall in love with this exceptional animal. Highly recommended for every mastiff owner.

16. CARL SEMENCIC "THE WORLD OF FIGHTING DOGS", TFH PUBLICATIONS LTD., 1984, p. 292, Hardcover. Actually it is the previous version of book #14 above. Avoid this book and get #14 which contains more breeds and additional information on them.

17. VINCENT H. RESH & RING T. CARDE "THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF INSECTS", ACADEMIC PRESS, 2003, p. 1270, Hardcover, large format. A huge book with everything you will ever need to know about insects. Not very easy to read (it is meant for entomology students I presume) but you can read the sections which are of interest to you and learn a lot about the behavior of the insects (you may also come up with some ideas about easier macro shots). Definitely recommended.


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