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Stephan Ettmar's monograph unites the scientific synopsis of the species currently present in the genus Mesoclemmys, with detailed data on keeping and breeding. Field work in South America was included as well as the examination of relevant museum specimens. The wide-ranging husbandry advice (from the container, through the technical aspects to feeding and feeder animals) makes Toad-Headed Turtles of the Genus Mesoclemmys a valuable source for owners of other genera of turtles.
Preparations for the present book took over a decade and included field trips to South America (Brazil, French Guiana and Paraguay). In preparation for the manuscript, scientific collections of the natural history museums in Dresden, London, Paris and Vienna as well as the CRI in Oviedo, Florida, and the INPA in Manaus, Brazil, were visited. Additionally, visits to private and public (live) collections in Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, French Guiana, Germany, Paraguay and the USA were used to gain knowledge about the diversity in chelid turtles and their captive husbandry. Although the author's main research focus is set on the ecology of neotropical Chelidae, he keeps and breeds other turtles, geckos, fish and invertebrates as a hobby.
Stephan Ettmar (20.12.1984) lives in Austria and works as an editor of technical documentation and as a zoological consultant. During his studies at the University of Vienna, he specialised in herpetology and limnology and earned his diploma with a thesis about the chelid turtles of French Guiana that served as the foundation of this book. Subsequent publications led to a membership in the IUCN / SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Currently, he is the editor in chief of the journal Sacalia, available to members of the Internationale Schildkröten Vereinigung (ISV).