Suggested Reading
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Last updated September 12, 1999

I have used information and images from some of these books in composing my pages and in answering questions that I get from visitors like you. I own and recommend all of them except where specifically noted. Not all of the books are still in print, but for those that are I provide links to their pages on, where you can read more about them and even purchase them if you like.


Axolotls, by Peter W. Scott (1981 T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ). Much of the scientific and historical information in these pages is from this book, the only one specifically about axolotls that I know of. The only time I ever saw it in a store was the day I bought it. It is definitely worth finding, though. Great pictures and tons of practical information for axolotl students and owners alike.


Salamanders and Newts, by Byron Bjorn (1988 T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ). This book, although written as a general introduction to salamanders and newts, has a lot about axolotls. It also gives some good tips on keeping amphibians. Lots of pictures. (This is a good thing, you know...)

This was out of print the last time I looked for it. Check availability.

Blow-Up: And Other Stories, by Julio Cortazar (1985, Random House). I regularly receive emails from people around the world recommending Cortazar's short story, The Axolotl, which is included in this English-translation anthology of short stories. I have not read it myself (I ask for the book every Christmas), but the comments I've heard and received are favorable.


Simon & Schuster's Guide To Reptiles And Amphibians of the World, by Massimo Capula, edited by John L. Behler (1989 Simon and Schuster, New York, NY). Not be mistaken for a "comprehensive" guide to herps around the world, this book has pictures of many of the most common and recognizable species of amphibian and reptile. Although axolotls are not even mentioned in this book, I have found it useful (it provides geographical information of each creature's habitat and behaviors), and some of the pictures are priceless. (Many of the pics in my Herp Gallery come from there.)


Developmental Biology of the Axolotl, by John B. Armstrong, George M. Malacinski (Editor) (1989 Oxford University Press, New York). I have not read this book, personally, although I have seen it cited in numerous studies and web pages. Here is a short summary from the publisher: "This volume offers a short yet comprehensive survey of basic developmental research utilizing the animal, along with practical information for rearing and maintaining the axolotl in a laboratory environment. The book will serve as a useful reference for developmental biologists."


The General Care and Maintenance of Day Geckos, by Sean McKeown (1993 Advanced Vivaruim Systems, Lakeside, CA). This book has everything about raising and even breeding day geckos. It covers not only how to keep diurnal geckos as pets but also how pet store owners and animal transporters should care for them on their way to the owner. I built my Vivarium based on McKeown's instructions, and Gumbo, my Madagascar giant day gecko couldn't be happier.


The Mill Creek: An Unnatural History of an Urban Stream, by Stanley Hedeen (1994, Blue Heron Press, Cincinnati, OH). This is the book that made me realize how important wildlife and the environment are to me. I have always loved Nature, but had let it all eventually slip into the background of my life until this past summer, when someone I met on a nature hike suggested that I read The Mill Creek. I grew up in (and still live near) Cincinnati, Ohio. The book tells how Cincinnati grew around the Mill Creek, a now wretched, smelly trickle of a stream that flows into the Ohio River. It provides not only a history of the city but a poignant account of American civilization's abuse of its resources. The person who suggested it to me did so because the book describes how sensitive amphibians are to even slight changes in their environment, explaining why there aren't any more salamanders or frogs in Cincinnati. That individual was part of a rehabitation project; he's helping re-introduce species of reptile and amphibian who used to flourish in the area (those who haven't become completely extinct).



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