A Natural History
Snakes, particularly venomous snakes and exceptionally large constricting snakes, have haunted the human brain for a millennium. They appear to be responsible for our excellent vision, as well as the anxiety we feel. Despite the dangers we faced in prehistory, snakes now hold clues to solving some of humankind’s most debilitating diseases. Pythons and boas are capable of eating prey that is equal to more than their body weight, and their adaptations for this are providing insight into diabetes.
Fascination with snakes has also drawn many to keep them as pets, including the largest species. Their popularity in the pet trade has led to these large constrictors inhabiting southern Florida. This book explores what we know about the largest snakes, how they are kept in captivity, and how they have managed to traverse ocean barriers with our help.
About the Authors
John C. Murphy is a retired science educator with a lifelong interest in herpetology. His other books include: Tales of Giant Snakes; Amphibians and Reptiles of Trinidad and Tobago; Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud; Secrets of the Snake Charmer: Snakes in the 21st Century; Dogs and Snakes: avoiding the bite; and A Field Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Trinidad & Tobago.
Tom Crutchfield has been a professional herpetologist, breeding and collecting reptiles his entire life. At one time he was one of the largest reptile dealers in the world. In addition, he has authored and coauthored several scientific papers and worked in situ on several out-of-country conservation projects.