The Handbook of Venoms and Toxins of Reptiles offers "one-stop shopping" to all biologists, biochemists, toxicologists, physicians, clinicians, and epidemiologists, and informed laypersons interested in the biology of venomous reptiles, the biochemistry and molecular biology of venoms, and the effects and treatment of human envenomation. This book examines the topic generally, provides an overview of the current taxonomy of these reptiles, explains the similarities and differences in the venom delivery apparatus in different groups of reptiles, reviews state-of-the-art knowledge about specific venom components and their action, and summarizes effects of envenomation and treatment in humans on different continents. Produced by leading toxinologists, biologists, biochemists, and physicians from 12 countries, the book provides a broad, international perspective that bridges divergent areas in modern biology.
A synthesis of current knowledge about venoms and venomous reptiles, it contains a wealth of illustrations, including an 8-page color insert, that present a view of reptile toxinology from the whole animal to the glands producing venoms to the molecular models and the mechanisms of actions of the toxins themselves. The book provides a context for understanding the range of activities present in venoms and supplies detailed information on many enzymes and toxins found in them, bringing into focus the worldwide extent of the occurrence and complexity of human envenomations by reptiles. It explores the unique and interesting results produced by collaborations between specialists from very different fields and how they can stimulate new and continued interest in research on venoms and the animals that produce them.
Stephen P. Mackessy is currently professor of biology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). His research broadly encompasses the biology of venomous snakes and the biochemistry of snake venoms, and he has published over one hundred scientific papers, book chapters, and natural history notes.