The Newts and Salamanders of Europe

The Newts and Salamanders of Europe

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Nearly thirty years after the publication of the last detailed book on the newts and salamanders of Europe, this book at last provides a much needed, modern coverage of the ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation of these fascinating amphibians. The author abandons the popular conception of amphibians as a primitive group poorly adapted to life on land. Indeed, he shows how the diversity of newt and salamanders life-styles underlines how this relatively small group of animals have survived in such diverse habitats as underground caves, mountain tops, tropical forests, and the Siberian tundra. Delightfully illustrated and fully referenced throughout, the book synthesizes much recent research into a lively and readable format that will be of interest to both experienced and inexperienced herpetologists and natural historians. Given recent concern over global amphibian declines, newts and salamanders have been the focus of considerable media attention and scientific work in recent years. This book describes how an understanding of the ecology and habitat requirements of these animals can lead to more effective conservation measures.
It presents the first synthesis of research for nearly 30 years, and reviews current conservation issues. It provides up-to-date species accounts and color photos. It includes a user-friendly guide to the relationships between different species and subspecies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 160.3 x 239.5 x 15mm | 517.55g
  • Poyser
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 90 b&w illustrations, 30 colour illustrations, index
  • 012303955X
  • 9780123039552

Table of contents

List of Colour Plates ix Preface xi CHAPTER 1: Newt or Salamander? 1 Newts and salamanders in folklore Distribution of newts and salamanders The amphibian life-style Classification of newts and salamanders CHAPTER 2: Life on Land and in Water 11 The senses Internal structure and function Relations with the environment Feeding Defence CHAPTER 3: Biogeography and Evolution 33 The invasion of land Ancient amphibians The rise of the salamanders Speciation and glaciations Relationships between the living tailed amphibians CHAPTER 4: Reproduction 48 Reproductive cycles Hibernation, aestivation and environmental cues for breeding Orientation and breeding migrations Reproductive behaviour Egg-laying or live-bearing? Egg deposition CHAPTER 5: Egg and Larval Development 70 Egg development Larval development Feeding Predators Competitors Habitat selection Activity patterns Neoteny and paedomorphosis Metamorphosis CHAPTER 6: Population and Community Ecology 84 Complex life cycles Population fluctuations Fluctuations in larval survival Longevity Colonization Sex ratio Coexistence of species Hybridisation Population regulation CHAPTER 7: Conservation 104 Conservation of species or habitats? Threats to newts and salamanders Conservation measures Legislation Conclusion CHAPTER 8: Species Accounts 123 Family: Plethodontidae Fammily:: Salamandridae Fammily: Proteidae Fammily: Hynobiidae Appendix Herpetological Organisations 167 ~References 169 Index 181 Colour plate section can be found between pages 52 and 53.
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Review quote

The photographs are excellent, providing a real feel for their subjects. Indeed, the technical production of the book is excellent and fully matches the quality of the text. This is a book that any naturalist will enjoy and which will be a constant source of reference for both specialists and non-specialists for many years to come. -- Jeremy Greenwood Habitat Griffiths' book provides a comprehensive review of our current knowledge on the biology of this group of amphibians... [He] has written a book for the layman or professional who wants a comprehensive and integrative perspective... The ability to produce a well referenced body of information, reflecting the state of the art, is a major contribution of the book. e Alberch, Museo Nacional Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain This book is a highly informative and well-written account of the biology and natural history of the 32 species of newts and salamanders inhabiting Europe... Newts and Salamanders of Europe belongs on the desk of all those concerned with the status of biological diversity, especially, but not limited to, biologists and resource managers in Europe, in order to remind them of the wonders of the natural world. Kenneth Dodd, Jr., National Biological Service
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