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||Alan Channing & Kim M. Howell
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East Africa is well known for its wealth of plants and animals, represented in game reserves, such as the Serengeti in Tanzania, the Maasai-Mara in Kenya, and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Nature Reserve in Uganda. These reserves and others like them have been the localities of wildlife television documentaries that cover the well-known large mammal predators, the crocodiles, the herds of migrating buffalo, and, of course, the gorillas. Less well known, but playing an important role in the East African ecosystems, are the amphibians. The ancestors of the present-day frogs and caecilians were in attendance before the rift valley started to form, and long before the first true mammals shook off the last vestiges of their reptilian ancestry.-from the Introduction
In the first field guide and reference book about the amphibians of East Africa, Alan Channing and Kim M. Howell provide identification keys and detailed accounts for 194 frog species and 9 caecilians. These descriptions will be of great interest to all herpetological enthusiasts, travelers to the region, and conservation biologists who track the health of amphibian populations. Amphibians of East Africa is exhaustively illustrated with 185 color images on 24 plates, 24 halftones, 74 line drawings, 202 maps, and 1 table.
The species accounts are comprehensive-they include a statement of description, known habitat preferences and distribution, advertisement call, and breeding biology. If known, the characteristics of tadpoles are provided in their own chapter. The authors explain the meanings of the amphibians' scientific names and list local names and other common names. A section of notes and a guide to key references for further reading complete each species account.
The frogs found in this volume include representatives from 8 families: squeakers (Arthroleptidae), toads (Bufonidae), snout-burrowers (Hemisotidae), tree frogs (Hyperoliidae), narrow-mouthed frogs (Microhylidae), clawed frogs (Pipidae), common frogs (Ranidae), and foam-nest frogs (Rhacophoridae). The East African caecilians are from the families Caeciliidae and Scolecomorphidae.
Alan Channing is Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He is the author of Amphibians of Central and Southern Africa, also from Cornell. Kim M. Howell is Professor of Zoology and Marine Biology at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is coauthor of Field Guide to Reptiles of East Africa.