Reptiles and Amphibians

Article excerpt

Reptiles and Amphibians

By Tim Harris

$35.65. 64 pp. Black Rabbit Books, Mankato, MN. 2011.

ISBN: 9781936333363.

Reptiles and amphibians are ectothermic vertebrates that display a wide diversity of lifestyles, shapes, structures, and colors. Whereas reptiles are covered with scales and mostly terrestrial, amphibians have smooth skin and are often found in water. Both reptiles and amphibians appear in a rainbow of colors with bright colors often a warning that certain amphibians are poisonous.

This book profiles a global sampling of reptiles and amphibians endangered to various degrees:

* the gharial, a large Indian crocodile with only 187 known living individuals;

* the Galapagos giant tortoise, largest in the world;

* the olm, a bizarre pale, blind underground salamander of Eastern Europe; and

* the red tomato frog of Madagascar, which is popular in the international pet trade and has skin that secretes a sticky mucus than can glue together a predator's jaws. The author describes 21 species in detail, covering classification, distribution, physical characteristics, habitat, diet, and reproduction. …