A look at Reptiles of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) rich biodiversity has always facinated both scientists and ordinary people the world over but apart from the few documentaries and beautiful images very little is done in documenting this rich biodiversity.

One of the few guides available on reptiles of Papua New Guinea. J

One of the few guides available on reptiles of Papua New Guinea. J

Pictured here is one of the rare catalogues available that can be used to identify different reptiles in PNG. This is a copy of “Reptiles of Papua New Guinea” by Rom and Zai Whitaker. Although I am inclined to say the year of publication is 1982, I am hesitant in mentioning this as there is no clear indication of its year of publication. What I am confident in saying is that this article was published a long time ago because the script looks to have been typed out on a typewriter and the images are clearly from a very old camera. Despite its intended purpose, I do not know just how effective this book would be for someone on the ground  trying to learn something more about an interesting reptilian species in front of him.

With that being said, I am now embarking on a quest to make a comparision on the information available in this article with what is available today and see how much the information has changed over time.

The article is divided into four parts; Crocodiles, Turtles, Lizards and Snakes. As I go through each section, I will give my own assessment of how resourceful this article would be today and how I feel the sections should be changed to be useful today. I will ask reviewers to rate my assessments and suggestions. I hope this would be fun for everyone involved and should also teach you a little about the rich reptile diversity of Papua New Guinea.

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