Description - Varanoid Lizards of the World by
Monitor lizards (genus Varanus) have attracted a great deal of interest--these large and impressive lizards are often the centerpiece of reptile house exhibits. Monitors tend to be fairly wary and difficult to observe--therefore they are not particularly tractable research subjects, but they have nevertheless received an extraordinary amount of attention from devoted students. Varanoid Lizards of the World is a comprehensive account of virtually everything important that is known about monitor lizards, beginning with detailed species accounts and proceeding to various modern comparative analyses. Where possible, people who have had detailed field experience with a particular species have assembled species accounts. In the process of reporting what is known, we also identify what remains to be learned about these lizards. We hope to establish a prototype showing how such a diverse monophyletic group can be exploited both to identify and to understand the actual course of evolution. As such, this effort becomes a protocol for future workers to follow for other groups of closely-related species.
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(254mm x 178mm x mm)
Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
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Book Reviews - Varanoid Lizards of the World by
Author Biography -
ERIC R. PIANKA, a world-renowned ecologist, has spent his life studying the evolutionary ecology of the second-largest group of terrestrial vertebrates, lizards. Pianka is the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. His past and present research covers a broad range of topics pertaining to the ecology, biology, and evolution of reptiles. His text Evolutionary Ecology, first published in 1974, went through six editions and has been translated into many languages. DENNIS R. KING (1942-2002) was one of the world's leading experts on lizards. For many years before his death, he was employed as Research Officer, Agriculture Protection Board of Western Australia. King is author of more than 100 papers on Australian varanids, mammals, and conservation, among other topics.