A fine addition to the New Naturalist series, this work is the first comprehensive overview of the British herpetofauna to appear for many years. An introductory chapter looks at biogeography and how factors such as geological history, latitude and climate affect ecology, life histories and behaviour. The authors then go on to discuss historical interest in amphibians and reptiles, from how they have featured in witchcraft and legends to modern perspectives. A third chapter covers basic biology of amphibians and reptiles, before each of the main groups - newts, frogs and toads, lizards, snakes and chelonians - are examined in further detail. Comprehensive accounts for each species cover behaviour, life history, reproduction and distribution, as well as ecology and conservation status, areas in which significant discoveries have been made in recent years. There is also a chapter with important new information on the burgeoning number of introduced species in Britain, such as bullfrogs, alpine newts and wall lizards.
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