Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the World's Largest Viper by Dan EatherleyBushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the World's Largest Viper by Dan Eatherley

Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the World's Largest Viper

byDan Eatherley

Hardcover | June 2, 2015

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“An intriguing story that’s also packed with details.” —Library Journal, starred review

Raymond Ditmars (1876–1942), the first curator of reptiles at New York’s famous Bronx Zoo, brought cold-blooded animals to public attention as never before. Through wildly successful books and movies, he inspired a generation of zoologists with his fascination with snakes, insects, and other misunderstood creatures. His reptile-collecting trips for the zoo spawned newspaper headlines across the world. Although a serpent lover, he was all too aware of the devastating effects of snakebites and was instrumental in the development of antivenom. His films and writings brought him fame, but he remained a devoted zoo employee, doing what he loved most: caring for animals.

Bushmaster tells the story of this remarkable man and what became an obsession with the mysterious bushmaster of the South American rainforest. Measuring up to thirteen feet in length, this is the world’s largest viper, and its scientific name, Lachesis muta, translates as “silent fate.” Despite numerous expeditions to jungles from Honduras to Brazil, Ditmars could never capture a bushmaster for himself. Now, British author Dan Eatherley follows in Ditmars’s footsteps, revisiting his early haunts in the United States and South America. He attempts to do what Ditmars himself failed to achieve: to find a bushmaster in the wild. But eighty years later, will Dan have any more luck? Through the author’s own quest, Bushmaster reveals the life of a pioneer herpetologist, wildlife filmmaker, and zoo curator.
Dan Eatherley is a writer, filmmaker, and environmental consultant. He has made natural history documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel, and worked as an assistant producer on two BBC series hosted by David Attenborough. He currently resides in Exeter, England.
Title:Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the World's Largest ViperFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:June 2, 2015Publisher:ArcadeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1628725117

ISBN - 13:9781628725117


Editorial Reviews

"This is a fascinating book about a fascinating man. Snake people are special and the greatest of them, like Ditmars, are inspiring in their devotion to one of the most extraordinary forms of life on this planet. He describes his respect for snakes as having 'a religion all his own'—and nobody was more devout." —Desmond Morris, writer, artist and filmmaker"Eatherley offers an intriguing story that’s also packed with details on the history of the Bronx Zoo, New York, snakebite treatments, zoology, and the development of the idea that nature conservation is important." —Library Journal, starred review“Bushmaster is a skillful work that combines the author’s own journey of discovery while shadowing the footsteps of one of the world’s most celebrated herpetologists and early pioneers for the conservation of reptiles with a fascinating history of the early evolution and modernization of the Bronx Zoo and herpetology in general.” —Austin Stevens, herpetologist, author, and adventure wildlife filmmaker“Bushmaster proves that a passion for all that is wild is exceptionally contagious. Ditmars’s adventures provided the spark that fueled Eatherley to write this compelling book. That flame will ignite a powerful untamed spirit and desire in all who experience this work of art. —Casey Anderson, naturalist and wildlife filmmaker"There is perhaps no snake that so captures the imagination as the bushmaster, creature of myth, a real life dragon in serpent form. This quest to find one in the wild is a personal odyssey driven by fascination, and an intriguing read for any herpetologically minded wildlife fiends." —Steve Backshall, naturalist, writer, television presenter"The world's greatest snakehunter, his quest for a legendary serpent, and a modern Boy's Own adventure, three stories elegantly intertwined in Bushmaster. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, I'm sure like me you won't be able to put it down." —Nigel Marven, television presenter"A worth-while tribute. Widely read may it become and long may it stand to tell the story of this remarkable man." —Well-Read Naturalist“A considerable number of persons can trace their interest in herpetology to days reading the many books by Raymond L. Ditmars. Those of us who have worked with bushmasters feel fortunate to have had this wonderful opportunity. Dan Eatherley has captured their essence and the nexus with Ditmars—unearthing a plethora of new information about one of our famous and most productive herpetologists.” —James B. Murphy, research associate zoologist, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History“When I was a mere stripling my mother bought me Snakes of the World by Raymond L. Ditmars. My innate fascination for snakes soared to the skies with this book. But I never did realize what an incredible character Ditmars was. In Bushmaster Dan Eatherley brings to life this enigmatic hero to uncounted, obsessed herpers.” —Romulus Whitaker, herpetologist, conservationist, and filmmaker"Bushmaster is a wonderful read. Raymond Ditmars's quest for the elusive snake is chronicled in an easy-to-read format and is a story that many interested in snakes are familiar with. I highly recommend it for any naturalist library." —Mike Dee, former curator of the Los Angeles Zoo"I picked it up and read it from start to finish without putting it down. I have always admired Ditmars and appreciate all the research and hard work Eatherley put into this book and he blends nicely the natural history facts into the story." —Marc Morrone, animal breeder, author and television presenter