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A Guide to Australian Pythons in Captivity

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ELLIOTT, A.: A Guide to Australian Pythons in Captivity

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Burleigh 2014, kt., 216 Seiten, über 400 Abb. Nach einführenden Kapiteln zu Erwerb, Haltung, Ernährung, Zucht und Gesundheit werden 18 Arten und Unterarten australischer Pythons im Detail beschrieben.

Nick Mutton looks at a much anticipated new title from Reptile Publications Myself, as well as many others have been anxiously awaiting the book release of A Guide to Australian Pythons in Captivity for some time. Over these last several years I have been fortunate enough to get to know the author, Adam Elliott. Adam has proven to be an extremely knowledgeable resource and was an indispensable contributor of photographs and field data for several writing and research projects I have been involved with. I have a great deal of respect for Adam's wealth of knowledge and experience so I was understandably excited when I first heard of his involvement with this book. On viewing for the first time I was struck by its scope and level of detail. At 216 colour pages this is a substantial book. Each of the Australian python taxa is presented in its own chapter, with the exception being L. olivaceous and L. o. barroni, which are discussed together. This title is aimed at keepers and breeders and contains a great deal of species specific information on husbandry for each species. If viewed as a manual for maintaining these pythons this book far exceeds expectations. Adam Elliott has however, provided more than just a care manual with this publication. Each chapter contains elements of the natural history and biology of these pythons, drawn from the author's extensive knowledge and field experience. Countless spectacular images of Australia's iconic python species appear throughout all chapters and illustrate perfectly the great diversity and natural beauty of the Australian python radiation. A Guide to Australian Pythons in Captivity seems intended for the Australian keeper primarily and contains robust sections covering a host of issues specific to the Australian market. Legal requirements for python ownership as well as shipping/transportation within Australia are given thorough discussion. The text has been written largely for a domestic audience but it has all the attributes that would make it a worthy read for keepers anywhere in the world. Another of the great assets of this title is a comprehensive chapter on health and disease, written by contributing author Dr Robert Johnson. While disease is generally not a favourite topic among reptile keepers, having some fundamental knowledge of reptilian disease and its preventions is essential. Dr Johnson's chapter far exceeds similar sections in other publications and is honestly among the best I have read in recent years on this important subject. This section alone would benefit any reptile enthusiasts' library. There is also a chapter on colour and pattern morphs of Australian pythons contributed to by Justin Julander. This subject has become of great interest in recent years, not just in Australia, but with python keepers worldwide. In addition to the many great photos in this section there is a good discussion on Mendelian genetics, information useful to all aspiring reptile breeders. Understanding these modes of inheritance is not just important for breeding pythons, it has broad applications for understanding all of life itself and fostering greater understanding in this area is always worthwhile. The subject of python husbandry is another area where this book proves to be an excellent resource. One would be hard pressed to think of any aspect of caring for these animals that is not covered in detail here. Hobbyists today have a huge array of products to choose from and all are discussed, along with their proper use. I can confidently recommend this book to all python keepers and breeders. While beginners' and pet owners can certainly get all the information they need from this book, even advanced keepers will find much of this volume useful and enjoyable. Nick Mutton

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ELLIOTT, A.: