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Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota

Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota

Copyright Date: 1944
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota
    Book Description:

    Reptiles and Amphibians of Minnesota was first published in 1944. Both amateur and professional naturalists will find this a useful and authoritative handbook for the study of reptiles and amphibians in Minnesota and the surrounding regions. Dr. Breckenridge was for many years the director of the Minnesota Museum of Natural History and familiar with the needs and interests of those studying the wildlife of the area. In this book he provides a comprehensive yet clearly and simply written text, illustrated with excellent photographs, drawings, and maps. As an introduction to his subject, Dr. Breckenridge tells something of the history of Minnesota herpetology and recounts some of the takes and folklore about snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders. He then describes the distribution of species in Minnesota and outlines methods of field study. He tells how to preserve specimens, how to care for reptiles or amphibians in captivity, and what to do to avoid or treat snake bites. Preceding the detailed descriptions of the species, there is an explanation, especially helpful to the beginner, of the general scientific method of classification and the use of keys. Keys for use in identifying specimens likely to be found in the region are provided. The descriptions themselves include data on the range, habits, habitat, food, and breeding of 45 different species. Most of these species are illustrated with photographs or drawings, and there are a number of drawings that show structural details. Maps show the range of each species booth in Minnesota and on the North American continent. A glossary explains the meaning of terms used in the keys and descriptions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6166-4
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-34)

    A report on the natural history of an inhabited region consists necessarily of a critical review of specimens and data collected by others plus new material assembled by the author. Owing to the small amount of work done to date on the herpetology of Minnesota, there are comparatively few published records in the field covered by this handbook.

    Probably the earliest mention of the amphibians and reptiles of Minnesota is found in Father Hennepin’sA New Discovery, first published in Paris in 1683, an account of his travels in 1679–80 in the territory to the southwest of New France....

  4. Hypothetical List
    (pp. 35-38)

    Under this heading are listed (1) species that have been erroneously reported as occurring in Minnesota, and (2) species that have not been reported in Minnesota, but may occur there.

    The following species have been reported as occurring in Minnesota. These reports have been investigated and, beyond reasonable doubt, should be considered erroneous.

    Cope (1889) described this race, and Wright and Wright (1942) include it in their handbook and report a specimen from Gull Lake, Brainerd, Minnesota. They express doubt as to its validity and state that Viosca considers it to have been described from poorly preserved material ofH....


    • Amphibians (Class AMPHIBIA)
      (pp. 41-92)

      Animals of the class Amphibia have developed structural changes enabling them to leave the water and live at least a part of their lives in the air. The word is derived from the Greek words “amphi,” meaning double, and “bios,” meaning life, referring to the aquatic larval stage and the air-breathing adult stage. Typically the eggs of this group are laid in the water. They hatch into gill-bearing larvae or tadpoles, which eventually lose their gills, as the lungs begin to function, acquire legs, and continue life on land. Amphibians have smooth, moist skins (fairly dry in toads) without scales,...

    • Reptiles (Class REPTILIA)
      (pp. 93-187)

      The reptiles have become adapted to a land existence throughout life, for lungs are present at all stages. The skin is covered with plates (turtles) or scales (snakes and lizards). The toes are clawed. The skull has a single occipital condyle. Reptiles are cold-blooded, or rather, variable temperatured, technically “poikilothermic.” The heart is three-chambered. The embryonic membranes, the allantois and the amnion, lacking in amphibians, are present in reptiles. Eggs are laid on land or retained within the body until hatched.

      Lizards are elongated reptiles covered with scales. Minnesota species have two pairs of five-toed, clawed limbs. Lizards have a...

  6. Glossary
    (pp. 188-189)
  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 190-196)
  8. Index
    (pp. 197-202)