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Generously illustrated, this essential handbook for herpetologists, ecologists, and naturalists features comprehensive keys to eggs, embryos, salamander larvae, and tadpoles; species accounts; a glossary of terms; and an extensive bibliography. The taxonomic accounts include a summarization of the morphology and basic natural history, as well as an introduction to published information for each species. Tadpole mouthparts exhibit major characteristics used in identifications, and Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada includes illustrations for a number of species. Color photographs of larvae of many species are also presented.
Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada, written by the foremost experts on larval amphibians, is the first guide of its kind and will transform the fieldwork of scientists and fish and wildlife professionals.
"[...] In 1970, Ronald Altig published “A key to the tadpoles of the continental United States and Canada” in the journal Herpetologica. The key was neither perfect nor complete. Altig was determined to make it better. Now, after 45 years of commitment, his original 27-page paper has expanded into a 368-page book. [...] In sum, this book has an historic feel to it, and, given its prodigious bibliography, can lead one back to pretty much all that is known about the natural history of North American amphibian larvae acquired over the last two-hundred years. It also can be used to build a much more powerful tool for identifying amphibian larvae in the future."
– Richard Wassersug, Herpetological Review 46(3), September 2015
"Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada by Ronald Altig and Roy W. McDiarmid is a must-have for any serious naturalist interested in the life history of North American amphibians. The authors apply lifetimes of expertise to fill a need that has been obvious for at least the last fifty years. Until this time the study of the biology, identification, and structure of larval amphibians in North America has been difficult largely because of the lack of detailed comparative works. By bringing all of this information into one well-written and well-organized volume, the authors have provided a huge service to future generations of biologists."
– Darrel Frost, Curator of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History, New York
"Whether or not a frog is just a tadpole's way of making another tadpole, the larvae of amphibians have been long underemphasized in science, education, and conservation. This wonderful, scholarly, and engaging volume will go a long way toward changing that, and belongs on the bookshelf of everyone with an interest in amphibians."
– Harry W. Greene, Cornell University, author of Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art
"In this volume, Altig and McDiarmid have compiled a richly illustrated, comprehensive overview of the eggs, embryos, and larvae of the salamanders, frogs, and toads of the United States and Canada, complete with keys, ranges, identifying features, and natural history data. That this work is dedicated exclusively to larval amphibians not only reflects the sheer volume of material on the subject but also acknowledges the fact that larvae are biologically distinct from adult amphibians, not mere footnotes to the lives of the salamanders and frogs with which they share genetic identity."
– from the Foreword by Aaron M. Bauer