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190 × 135 mm
224 pages
104 illustrations, 68 colour illustrations
10 Jun 2013

Crocodile Dan Wylie

From the croc that terrorized Captain Hook in Peter Pan to the leviathans depicted in films like Lake Placid and Dinocroc, innumerable songs, stories and legends have characterized crocodilians as pitiless predators with insatiable appetites. Yet although we commonly associate crocodiles, alligators and gharials with ferocity and deceit, they have also often been respected and revered in human history. Crocodile tracks 23 crocodilian species from India and Egypt to North America, Africa, Australia and beyond, and compares what science has discovered about the lives of these reptiles with their depictions in myth, art and literature around the world.

Crocodiles were all but wiped out in the middle of the twentieth century by hunters and skin traders and are now making a comeback; as apex predators, they are today an increasingly important indicator of the health of an ecosystem. Indeed, they may outlive humans, just as they did the dinosaurs. Presenting a concise, cogent case for why we should respect these fearsome animals, this beautifully illustrated volume is a tribute to one of the world’s ultimate survivors.

Crocodile is the first volume in this series I have read, and I look forward to reading more . . . Crocodile will be enjoyed by a diverse readership. Anyone interested in crocodilians, human history (from a unique perspective), or human interactions with biodiversity will enjoy this book.’ – Quarterly Review of Biology

‘Lovable they may not be, but crocodilians are surely worthy of our respect and protection, for which Dan Wylie’s book makes a powerful and persuasive case.’ – IVU Online News

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Dan Wylie is Professor of English at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and the author of Elephant (Reaktion, 2008).