e-book Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the Worlds Largest Viper

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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. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, I'm sure like me you won't be able to put it down.

Widely read may it become and long may it stand to tell the story of this remarkable man. 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.

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.


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. 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.

How an amateur snake hunter helped create the Bronx Zoo — in his attic

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Industry Reviews "This is a fascinating book about a fascinating man. Scientists Who Changed History. In Stock. Apollo 11 : The Inside Story. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. Life In His Hands.

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

Few linger at an illustrated information board near the reptile house entrance, and even fewer recognize the balding middle-aged man depicted in one of its sepia-toned images. Yet the man in the photo — smartly attired in a white three-piece suit and posing with a live python — arguably did more than anyone else in the 20th century to bring snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodiles to public attention, if not affection.

Born in , Raymond Lee Ditmars, the first curator of reptiles at the Bronx Zoo, showed an early affinity for the cold-blooded. Legend has it that as a toddler he taught 10 toads to dance in the family parlor, the amphibians believing the green carpet to be grass.

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He would spend days in Central Park gathering harmless chicken snakes and garter snakes. Soon venomous species living near the city, including rattlesnakes and copperheads, were added to the collection. Ditmars exchanged specimens with fellow snake collectors the world over. Leaving school at 16 with few qualifications, he joined the insect department of the American Museum of Natural History, worked briefly as a court reporter for The New York Times, then landed his dream job at the zoo months before its grand opening in November To the enormous relief of his long-suffering parents, Ditmars took his own snakes with him.

The attic collection then amounted to 45 animals, representing 15 species, and it would form the nucleus of the reptile house exhibit. Ditmars for a little while and give us, up here, a much needed rest.

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Remarkably, while still a teenager living with his parents, he had been sent a live specimen in the mail which, on being freed, promptly chased him around the room. The bushmaster died in captivity, but that hair-raising encounter kindled in him an obsession with the species.

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He failed to catch one, but in he was given a bushmaster as a gift on the island of Trinidad. There was a serious side to Ditmars as well. The venom collected helped scientists develop a cure to snakebite — a contribution that surely saved countless lives.

Bushmaster | NewSouth Books

At the time of his death in , Raymond Ditmars was a household name. Read Next. Holly Madison reveals hell with Hef in Playboy Mansion. This story has been shared , times. This story has been shared 38, times. This story has been shared 32, times. Learn More.

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