The Better Guide?

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The Real Snake Man
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The Better Guide?

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 4th, 2015, 11:41 am

I'm having trouble deciding between which guide to get. Price makes it necessary that I choose one or the other, instead of just getting both. Can anyone that has either or both of these books tell me what they think?

The Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Guatemala, Yucatán, and Belize – Jonathan A. Campbell (1998)

or

A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Maya World: The Lowlands of Mexico, Northern Guatemala, and Belize – Julian C. Lee (2000)

I'm looking for something that combines regular field guide stuff with natural history and decent photography. Somewhat like Jay Savage's Costa Rica book (though that is a hard standard to attain). Thanks for any and all help.

-Gene

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Tom Lott
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by Tom Lott » January 4th, 2015, 1:08 pm

You can't really go wrong with either one. I have successfully relied on each for different trips. Lee's big book, which may be out of print, slightly trumps the pair you mention, though it's hardly a field guide!

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gbin
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by gbin » January 4th, 2015, 5:44 pm

I have had both books since they first came out and think well of both, though unfortunately neither was published in time for me to put them to good use while I was actually working in Tikal National Park, Guatemala. (That certainly made it tougher, but I got along.) I accordingly recommend getting both, but I understand that not everyone likes (or can afford) having as many books as I do. I guess if price is much of a consideration then your decision on that basis is easy; you can pick Lee's book up used for less than $10 including shipping through Amazon, whereas a used copy of Campbell's book there will run you more than $40 (about the same as new). If you decide that price isn't all that much of a consideration after all then I'm back to suggesting that you buy both, given that it wouldn't cost much more to buy both books than to buy Campbell's book alone. I'm sorry, I really have a tough time suggesting one over the other on other grounds (unless it matters to you that Campbell's book mentions my finding the first specimen of Bothriechis schlegelii in Tikal - albeit without naming me ;) ).

Gerry

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Jeff
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by Jeff » January 5th, 2015, 5:37 pm

In addition to Jerry's comments --

I have both in hand, and have never been anywhere near that part of the world. Thus, with some objectivitiy:

1- Lee has range maps for each species, Campbell has none

2- Lee covers all of the Yucatan, Campbell only the southern base

3- Lee uses excellent ink drawings to illustrate distinguishing characters, Campbell does not

4- Campbell seems to have more natural history commentary

5- Lee is more compact for field use

Jeff

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 5th, 2015, 7:10 pm

Alright, thanks everyone! And the verdict is... I should just buy both. Darn. Haha

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 13th, 2015, 3:50 am

Alright, now to derail my own thread whilst simultaneously preventing others like it: does anyone have any advice/reviews about any of the following books? I'm looking at getting them some time this year or next, but I'm not sold by what I've seen elsewhere online. It seems like a pretty random assemblage, I know; just bear with me.

Reptiles of Central America, 2nd Edition – Günther Kohler (2008)
Amphibians of Central America – Günther Kohler (2011)
Amphibians and Reptiles of the State of Coahuila, Mexico – Julio A. Lemos Espinal and Hobart M. Smith (2007)
Amphibians and Reptiles of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico – Julio A. Lemos Espinal and Hobart M. Smith (2007)
The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction in Our Lifetime – Craig B. Stanford (2010)
The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles – Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson (2011)
The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians – Bo Beolens (2013)
In Search of Reptiles and Amphibians – Richard D. Bartlett (1988)
Adventures in Green Python Country – Karl-Heinz Switak (2006)
Thrills of a Naturalist’s Quest – Raymond Lee Ditmars (1939)

-Gene

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Noah M
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Re: The Better Guide?

Post by Noah M » January 13th, 2015, 2:41 pm

I think you should just go make your own field guide :thumb:

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