The Turtle Lover's Utopia

Book Review: Turtles of the United States and Canada

Updated Version
Original Book Reviewed

Turtles of the United States and Canada
By Carl H. Ernst, Jeffrey E. Lovich, and Roger W. Barbour

(This article originally published on Turtletopia.com in October 2002.)

Format: Paperback, 571pp.
ISBN: 1560988231
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Pub. Date: September 2000

If you’re really into turtles, this is the reference book you will have on your shelf. It summarizes the current knowledge (take that with a grain of salt, as the publishing date for this book was 1994) about 56 turtle species of the US and Canada, of which 13 are protected under the Endangered Species Act. Each of the species accounts includes sections on recognition, karyotype, fossil record, distribution, geographic variation, confusing species, habitat, behavior, reproduction, biology, growth and longevity, food habits, populations, and predators. The authors also include a discussion of turtle anatomy, a key to species identification, a pronunciation glossary for scientific names, and an extensive bibliography. And to boot, a few color photographs of select species, with plenty of b&w photographs of each species, anatomical line drawings, and distribution maps.

Stay away from this if you are a beginner, you may end up using this as a paperweight until you really “fall in love”. But if you’re a book worm like me, or aren’t afraid of the technical jargon, this makes an excellent addition to the library!

In this book…

As you know, if you are familiar with the format of my reviews, this is the section where I would post the table of contents for a book. Due to the nature of this book (being that it is a reference book), I will not be posting the table of contents listing. That would be like posting the table of contents for a volume of an encyclopedia. Can you only imagine? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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