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Little Book of Monitor Lizards (1995) PDF Version Print E-mail
LBML-yellow.jpgFirst published in 1995 by Viper Press (the publishing arm of Mampam Conservation), Daniel Bennett's "Little Book of Monitor Lizards" survived subsequent editions in German and an edited English edition, all now out of print. A pdf version of the first edition is now available for only $5, the funds will be used directly for monitor lizard research. 220 pages, first published in November 1995, ISBN-10: 095266321X, ISBN-13: 978-0952663218
 


Monitor lizards are extremely exciting animals. Without doubt they look more like dinosaurs than any other living creatures. They are aggressive, carnivorous, intelligent reptiles and although some are true giants, others will fit easiJy into a matchbox. Large monitor lizards are found over almost a third of the Earth and so it seemed incredible to me that I could find so little written about them. With a lot of help from library staff I read as much literature as I could find about the monitor lizards. I tracked down the authors of much of the work and besieged them with questions. Then I visited and interrogated reptile breeders. Despite the naivete of many of my questions my requests were treated with great courtesy. The more I learned about monitor lizards however, the more I knew I didn't know. Some of the most important aspects of monitor lizard biology are still virtually unknown. Indeed , our knowledge of even the larger monitor is so incomplete that new species are still being discovered with regularity and virtually nothing is known about some of the commonestmembers of the family.


This little book, therefore, is intended to be an introduction and guide to the wondrous variety of monitor lizards with emphasis on their ecology and care in captivity. The information has been provided by people who have worked and lived with monitor lizards. in the wild or in captivity. Much of it has been published before, but it is scattered widely through the literature and disguised in about half a dozen languages. With the exception of some minor articles of my own, to which I have given undue prominence, I have tried to omit any speculative material and have been obliged to ignore a lot of good information when the identification of the animal under discussion is in doubt. With the exception of proper names. I have tried to keep scientific terminology out of this book altogether and a glossary and conversion tables can be found at the back. In the last five years there has been an explosion of interest in the monitor lizards and this is reflected in the huge amounts of new literature, much of which is not covered in this volume. This little book of monitor lizards is designed to be a summary of our knowledge of these magnificent animals, both in the wild and in captivity, but it is by no means complete, nor does it claim, in any way, to be an authoritative work. It is to be hoped that in the near future some of the people who have had most success and experience with keeping monitor lizards will publish much more competent and thorough guides to their care in captivity. making mine memorable only for its modest price and more outrageous mistakes.

 
 

 

About Mampam
William Oliver

William Oliver. Champion of biodiversity and its students. So many of us benefited from his advice and expertise. What a character. RIP.

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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Foraging behaviour

butaan7.jpgWe use feces to investigate diet and activity areas of butaan. In total we have examined more than 1500 samples, possibly the largest ever collected for a single population of reptiles.  Butaan and their relatives are huge specialised frugivores, much bigger than any other specialised frugivorous animal in  the Philippines. They need a constant supply of fruit but lack the wings that allow other frugivores to forage in different forest fragments. Large and immobile, the butaan depends on a very narrow range of foods.

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