Poisonous and Venomous Marine Animals of the World

second revised edition, by Bruce W. Halstead. 1 + 1,168 pages + 288 pages of plates. The Darwin Press Inc., Box 2202, Princeton, New Jersey 08543. 1988. $250.00

William A. Sodeman, Jr.School of Medicine in Shreveport Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Louisiana 71130

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This book continues to be a leading reference on toxic and venomous marine animals. It is genuinely encyclopedic and covers all aspects of the topic from history through detailed pharmacology of the toxins and venoms. It contains almost 300 pages of plates, most in color, that aid in the identification of the many varied species of marine organisms. These plates were printed in Hong Kong and are of excellent quality.

Clinical discussions of envenomations and poisonings are difficult. There are few opportunities for carefully done studies. Much information is anecdotal. This volume presents the facts and, when they are lacking, the anecdotes, clearly and with careful identification.

Circumstances have conspired to award an increasing importance to what in the past has been a fairly esoteric topic. Historically, exposure to toxic and venomous marine animals has been occupational (fishermen and professional divers) or recreational, occurring in fairly remote and seldom visited areas.

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