Venomous Animals and Their Venoms, Volume 1, Venomous Vertebrates

edited by Wolfgang Bücherl, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil, Eleanor E. Buckley, Wyeth Laboratories, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Venancio Deulofeu, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. xxii + 707 pages, illustrated. Academic Press, New York and London. 1968. $34.00

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  • Box VV Arkansas State University State University, Arkansas 72467

This is an invaluable reference work; it gives to those interested in the study of venomous animals and their venoms a description and history of a very complex subject. The chapters are written by highly qualified specialists in their areas of research. Thus, this volume has extremely broad scope because in each chapter the authors compile many studies representing a wide variety of approaches and disciplines.

Despite the difficulty in keeping abreast of new developments presented in the thousands of papers published yearly, I think perhaps that the chapter entitled “Development of knowledge about venoms” could have mentioned several of the outstanding pertinent contributions that have become available since the year 1963. Also, in chapter 5 there is a section on Extraction of Venom. Here are seen the statements, “Thousands of snakes are milked yearly by employees well trained for this dangerous work. Almost all the employees of the Institute who extract venom have suffered accidents.”