Monday, September 20, 2010

Secrets of the Snake Charmer, The Book

Snakes are the coolest animals on the planet! Walk up to someone on the street and ask them what they think about snakes, and they will have an opinion. They like them, hate them, or have a love-hate relationship with them. No one is neutral. After reading numerous popular books on snakes in recent years I decided that they were all missing, one thing - the sense that knowledge continually changes, and that what we know today may very well need to be revised tomorrow. Science accumulates information at an amazingly rapid pace and books written on snakes 10 years ago are probably out of date. If you think snakes fall into two categories, venomous and non-venomous you need to revise your thinking. As it turns out virtually all snakes have the genetic material to make venom. If you think all snakes lack legs, you need to revise your thinking - it has been known for many years that some living snakes have remnant legs, but we now have fossil snakes that have legs, and feet. Secrets of the Snake Charmer has little to do with actual snake charmers, and a lot to do with snake scientists and science, and the content of the book focuses on what is new about snakes in the first 10 years of the 21st century.