Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles
Janalee P. Caldwell
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The fourth edition of the textbook Herpetology covers the basic biology of amphibians and reptiles, with updates in nearly every conceptual area. Not only does it serve as a solid foundation for modern herpetology courses, but it is also relevant to courses in ecology, behavior, evolution, systematics, and morphology.
Examples taken from amphibians and reptiles throughout the world make this book a useful herpetology textbook in several countries. Naturalists, amateur herpetologists, herpetoculturists, zoo professionals, and many others will find this book readable and full of relevant natural history and distributional information.
Amphibians and reptiles have assumed a central role in research because of the diversity of ecological, physiological, morphological, behavioral, and evolutionary patterns they exhibit. This fully revised edition brings the latest research to the reader, ranging over topics in evolution, reproduction, behavior and more, allowing students and professionals to keep current with a quickly moving field.
- Heavily revised and updated with discussion of squamate (lizard and snake) taxonomy and new content reflected in current literature
- Includes increased focus on conservation biology in herpetology while retaining solid content on organismal biology of reptiles and amphibians
- Presents new photos included from authors' extensive library
chemical composition of the toxic skin secretions in the poison of frogs or nucleotide sequences of DNA fragments) or comparative estimates of relative similarity of compounds (e.g., immunological assays). Many systematists have widely and enthusiastically adopted techniques from molecular biology. Their use in systematics rests on the premise that a researcher can assess and compare the structure of genes among individuals to assess relationships among species and higher taxa through examination
of the four limbs meet the ground at the same time. During a trot gait (not shown), diagonal limbs meet the ground at the same time and the center of gravity falls on a line connecting those limbs. Often, the tail is used to stabilize the trot gait, which forms a triangle of support. Redrawn from Kardong, 2006. Chapter | 2 Anatomy of Amphibians and Reptiles although the connective tissue sheath of the gastralia may attach to the epipubis of the pelvic girdle. Crocodylians, Sphenodon, and some
PART | I Evolutionary History buccopharyngeal floor, which draws air into this cavity. The glottis then opens, and elastic recoil of the lungs forces the pulmonary air out and over the new air in the buccopharyngeal pocket. The nares close, and the buccopharyngeal floor contracts and pumps air into the lungs as the glottis closes to keep air in the lungs under supra-atmospheric pressure. Similar, but faster and shallower, throat movements occur regularly in frogs and salamanders, rapidly
Lepidosauria (Fig. 1.16). Kuehneosaurids (Fig. 3.18) and the eolacertilians are similar in size. The first rhynchocephalian was Brachyrhinodon taylori from the Upper Triassic of Virginia and a likely contemporary of the first kuehneosaurid. Rhynchocephalians were a moderately diverse group, and some appeared much like the living tuataras, Sphenodon. A small group of aquatic genera, the pleurosaurines, had elongated bodies and tails, and usually a barracuda-like head (Fig. 3.22). A
Pliocene, modern squamate genera and even a few extant species compose more than 90% of the fauna. Nonetheless, a few ancient taxa lingered into the latest Tertiary or Quaternary. A spectacular example is the Australian varanid Megalania, a huge goanna. Its average size was about 1.5–1.6 m (SVL), but some individuals reached total lengths of nearly 7 m (4–4.5 m SVL). These giants, probably weighing more than 110 600 kg, must have been formidable predators, equivalent to lions or tigers. The