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ANIMAL FACT FILES: Reptiles and Amphibians
Bibliophile price: £2.25
This series of chunky information books on the natural world (companion Mammals code 83883) are a mine of well-illustrated information and can fit in a large pocket or medium bag. The 240 entries in this volume rove far and wide among the world's 5000 species of amphibians and 8000 reptiles, with an introduction that explains their definitions and taxonomy. All the species are cold-blooded and have a single ventricle in the heart, but whereas amphibians are water-permeable and their eggs need to hatch in water, reptiles are dry, waterproof animals that can give birth on land. Starting with a colour picture and description, each entry on a particular species gives its scientific name, phylum, class, order, suborder, family, genus and species: for instance the Komodo Dragon, varanus komodoensis, belongs to the Varanidae family, of the order squamata and suborder sauria. The Dragon's habits, breeding, diet, habitat, distribution (Indonesia) and importantly, its ecological status (vulnerable) complete the picture. The Smooth Newt, Midwife Toad (in introduced colonies), European Common Toad, Grass Snake and Adder are among the species to be found in the British Isles. 256pp, tall softback 9½" x 3½", fully illustrated in colour, glossary.
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