Reptiles of the World; Tortoises and Turtles, Crocodilians, Lizards and Snakes of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 242 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1910. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... PART IV THE SNAKES; ORDER OPHIDIA It is with the present great Order of Scaled Reptiles that the writer begs leave to escort the reader within the portals of his favorite study. That many will encounter this subject with aversion is fully believed; but it is the writer's hope, ere this book is finally closed, a persistently reigning and unjust prejudice may be completely shattered by the explosion of a long train of erroneous theories; when snakes have been described as they truly are, and the clean, graceful and wonderful phases of their varied structure have been faithfully portrayed by the camera. It is with a thoroughly sympathetic interest the writer compiles Part IV of this book. While his studies have involved reptiles generally, his favorite creature in Nature has, from early boyhood days, been The Serpent. His home has always been the headquarters of an extensive collection of snakes large and small, innocuous and venomous. It was individual care, among restricted numbers of the various species, that elicited strange habits; and these, when fully comprehended, have been of the greatest value to the writer in successfully maintaining the many hundreds of serpents in the splendid Reptile House of the New York Zoological Park. As compared with the closely allied Order, the Lacertitia, the snakes exhibit even a greater variability of form. Take, for instance, a twenty-five foot python weighing three hundred pounds and compare this with a mature specimen of a burrowing snake but five or six inches long and not thicker than a goose quill; or place side by side a squatty, flat-headed viper and an enormously elongated tree snake--one secreting itself by shovelling sand over its back, the other darting away with the speed of an arrow 1 In their general occurrenc...

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