Of Golden Toads and Serpents' Roads

978-1-58544-248-5 Cloth
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
224 pp. 55 color photos.
Pub Date: 05/13/2003


In Of Golden Toads and Serpents’ Roads, readers are invited to join a seasoned researcher as he “goes herping.” After nearly twenty years of traveling around the globe searching for toads, frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards, and turtles, herpetologist Paul Freed pauses to tell stories of his adventures while finding and collecting reptiles and amphibians, from the tropics of Costa Rica to the deserts of Namibia.

Whether confronting scorpions, beefworms, army ants, or venomous snakes, Freed conveys a contagious enthusiasm for the outdoors and all that lives in it. With humor and gratitude, he embraces both the hardships and the rewards of being in the field. His tales of discovery are also travel stories, and by sharing the experiences of his trips across the globe—“the successful ones and those not so successful”—Freed encourages the adventurer in all of us.

As he ponders on a writhing knot of golden toads—a species that may now be extinct—or the twitching blue tail broken from a girdled lizard, Freed introduces conservation issues particular to specific locales and those shared across the global village. Through his experiences, readers learn a variety of exotic wildlife collection techniques, some of which represent ingenious improvising, under hazardous conditions, and some of which are downright humorous. They share the excitement of scientific discoveries, the thrill of international travel to remote and fascinating regions, and the opportunity to encounter both rare and abundant wildlife in its natural habitats.

Armchair naturalists, amateur herpers, and people interested in exotic travel, ecotourism, and scientific adventure will find this book just as appealing and informative as will professional and academic herpetologists.

Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press