The Ultimate Book of Reptiles by Ruchira Somaweera

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Snakes, tortoises, chameleons, crocodiles, lizards, even dinosaurs - reptiles are found all over this planet and have been for about 300 million years when insects (including centipedes as large as alligators) ruled and a new predator Hylonomous evolved to eat them.

And regardless of how scary they might look, how creepy they might feel and how dangerous to humans they might be, there is a certain section of the population that is fascinated by them. Thus this book with its full colour photographs, accessible text and attractive layout is going to appeal to them as well as any others who have an interest in finding out more.

Arranged in sections such as deadly hunters, amazing adaptations and super creatures (featuring the extremes of each type) their stories are told by a leading herpetologist and includes suggestions on ways we can help these creatures survive the threats of habitat destruction, climate change, being a food source and even being smuggled to be someone's exotic pet. Even though we might not become one of the conservation heroes featured, nevertheless the school playground and the backyard garden can become a haven for lizards and other little creatures. Skinks, geckos and blue tongue lizards (if not the unique tuatara of New Zealand) will thank you.

Themes: Reptiles.

Barbara Braxton