As survivors from the time of the dinosaurs, lizards are scaly, cold- blooded, living fossils, relics from a prehistoric world that remain alive and well in ours. Lizards exert a morbid fascination, in many mythologies they are dark creatures, symbolizing death and misfortune. Lizards of the World brings these creatures firmly into the light, to reveal their extraordinary diversity. Found in almost every type of terrain globally, there are almost 6,000 species of lizard, including lizards with frills, horns, or wings, those that drop their tails, and others that squirt blood from their eyes. Here, 100+ lizard families and subfamilies are illustrated with stunning photography. Each profile includes a population distribution map, a table of essential information, and a fascinating commentary revealing notable characteristics and related species.
Mark O'Shea is a herpetologist, television broadcaster, zoologist, author, photographer, lecturer and public speaker, and was the Consultant Curator of Reptiles at West Midland Safari Park in the UK for 33 years. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Linnean Society of London, and Explorers' Club of New York. He was awarded one of only eight Millennium Awards for Services to Exploration, by the British Chapter of the Explorers' Club in 2000 and an Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree, for services to herpetology, by the University of Wolverhampton in 2001. In 2015 Czech herpetologists voted Mark "Snakeman of the Year". He became Professor of Herpetology at the University of Wolverhampton in September 2018 and was awarded an MBE in 2020 for services to High Education, Zoology, Reptile Conservation and Snakebite Research.
His life has revolved around snakes for more than five decades and is an advocate for snake conservation. Between 1999 and 2003 Mark presented four seasons of the internationally acclaimed O'Shea's Big Adventure for Animal Planet, co-produced with the UK's Channel 4 as O'Shea's Dangerous Reptiles. He has now presented over forty documentaries including films for Discovery Channel, ITV, and the BBC. Mark has conducted herpetological fieldwork, or made films, on every continent except Antarctica. He has authored seven books, including A Book of Snakes: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from around the World (2018) and Lizards of the World (2021), and is working on a slow burn revision of A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea.