Loved or loathed by humans, snakes and other reptiles have had a special relation with the people OF India through the ages. While many snakes, turtles and crocodiles are revered, being considered as the vehicles of one of many hundred Hindu gods, or whether for more pragmatic reasons (e.g. as protectors of grain through their predation of rodent pests) large numbers of snakes and monitor lizards continue to be removed from the wild for the- now illegal- reptile skin industry. At present, approximately 490 species have been recorded within India. This photographic guide describes and illustrates 243 of these. And for every species covered, there is a brief description and a summary of known biology of the species.


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