Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review (with local reference)

The Eponym Dictionary of ReptilesBo Beolens, Michael Watkins and Michael GraysonWhat?Reveals the lives hidden behind the names of the world’s reptiles.Why?Firstly this is a beautifully produced, satisfyingly stylish book! Now the superficial is out of the way, what’s inside?Like Bo and co’s previous efforts along these lines – Whose Bird? and the Eponym Dictionary of Mammals - the Dictonary of Reptiles explores the lives of the historical figures ‘immortalised’ in the names of the world’s fauna. Some feature more heavily than others – Darwin, for instance, appearing in the names of nine reptiles (find out more in this post featuring an extract from the book), while other folk such as Dr. Ian Earle Ayrton Kirby (1921-2006), unearther of pre-Colombian artifacts and erstwhile Curator of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Museum – have the honour of a single beastly namesake – in this instance, Kirby’s Least Gecko, or Sphaerodactylus kirbyi.This should be an addictive book for anyone interested in the finer details of natural history, the perfect gift for the herpetologist in your life who has everything (else), and will be of particular interest to bibliographic researchers since the titles and publication dates of any known literature written or edited by the subjects is given.Who?Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson are the co-authors of The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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