New book on lizards written by University professor released
University of Wolverhampton’s Professor Mark O’Shea MBE, has just seen his seventh book published. ‘Lizards of the World: A Guide to Every Family’ was released last week in both the UK and the US.
The book provides an introduction to lizards, including evolution, adaptation to their various environments, mating and anatomy. It then explores the various families of lizards included in the infraorders: Dibamia; Gekkota; Scinomorpha; Lactertoidea; Iguania; and Anguimorpha. Also included is the Tuatara from New Zealand, a true living fossil and the only surviving member of a group of reptiles that represents the sister-group to all snakes and lizards.
Professor O’Shea said: “As survivors from the Jurassic, from a time before T. rex or velocirators, lizards are scaly, cold-blooded creatures that have evolved a myriad ways to inhabit most environments, except for the most frozen places on the planet.
“With names like Gila monster, Komodo dragon, Thorny devil, Basilisk or Moloch, lizards are living embodiments of mythological beasts. There are lizard genera called Smaug, and Ouroborus, and even species named after Viserion, Drogon and Rhaegal from the Game of Thrones.
“From chameleons and skinks to geckos and iguanas, ‘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 7,000 species of lizard, including lizards with frills, horns or wings known as “patagia”, those that break off their own tails in defence, and others that squirt blood from their eyes.”
The book provides profiles that includes distribution maps, a table of essential information and fascinating commentaries revealing notable characteristics, fresh scientific understanding and the diversity of species.
Professor O’Shea is the author of six previous book, including ‘Smithsonian Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibian’, ‘Boas and Pythons of the World’ and ‘Venomous Snakes of the World’ and the 656 page ‘The Book of Snakes’ which contained 600 species of snakes, almost one in six of all species known. One of his most acclaimed publications was ‘A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea’, a book that’s in such high demand that Professor O’Shea provides a free pdf copy of the book online. Out of print for over 20 years it is still the definitive book on the snakes of the world’s largest tropical island, or it will be until O’Shea completes his huge revision, which will contains many newly described species.
Signed and dedicated copies of ‘Lizards of the World: A Guide to Every Family’ are available from O’Shea directly; orders are being taken through his Facebook page via direct messaging.
O’Shea is currently working on a sister-volume to Lizards of the World, ‘Snakes of the World’ has a planned publication of mid-late 2023.
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