A Primer on Reptiles and Amphibians

Learn about reptiles and amphibians with this award-winning collection of easy-to-read lessons. Download this critically acclaimed eBook for FREE!

The Primer is still getting some finishing touches,
but you can download a pre-release draft now.

Click here for the standard resolution PDF.
Or click here for the mobile version.

The Primer is taking orders NOW on IndieGoGo!

Click here for a promo flyer about the Primer. 

This is a low volume list (we hate Spam, too!).

What others are saying about the Primer…

“I hope it gets, because it deserves, wide attention. It is a must-read for anyone, child or adult, interested in or just curious about herps or nature.”
—Dr. Brian Crother, Professor of Biological Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University; Chair of the Committee On Standard English And Scientific Names, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

“A Primer on Reptiles & Amphibians” looks like an outstanding educational product.  I can tell from my first look that Micha has done an excellent job of covering a variety of herp topics everyone wonders about.” 
—Dr. J. Whitfield “Whit” Gibbons, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, University of Georgia; renowned author of numerous books and hundreds of papers on herpetology

“If I were still teaching herpetology, the Primer would be required reading for all students, both graduates and undergraduates. I am going to recommend to others to do the same.” 
—Dr. J. Whitfield “Whit” Gibbons, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, University of Georgia

“A truly extraordinary and exceptional website and a most remarkable effort to put this amount of herpetological information together. I commend Micha’s thorough dedication to the teaching and welfare of herps.”
—Dr. Stan Trauth, Emeritus Professor of Zoology, Arkansas State University; Past President (2012-2013), Herpetologists’ League

“I’d be really excited to see this distributed widely because to me it reads as a lot more accessible than most of what’s out there, and that’s really important for reaching new audiences and changing behaviors.”
—Dr. Andrew M. Durso, Technical and Scientific Publications Editor at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry; Author of Life is Short, but Snakes are Long

“This is an unusually broad primer on the subject, with very readable, illustrated, page-long essays on nearly every issue imaginable, within the topic. It would make a great gift for that budding herpetologist that every family has, somewhere.”
—Dr. Leslie V. Boyer, Professor Emerita of Pathology at The University of Arizona; Founding Director, VIPER Institute

“I have had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at this book and it is really fabulous. The author, Micha Petty has done an exceptional job truly creating a primer. I can’t wait to add it to my bookshelf!” 
—Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Arkansas State University

“This book is going to make a difference!”
—Dr. Harry W. Greene; Professor Emeritus; Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow; Faculty Curator of Herpetology, Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates

Click here to read the Foreword by Dr. Crother. 



A Primer on Reptiles and Amphibians

The Primer is about helping people understand and appreciate the diversity of life on Earth. This project inspired the International Herpetological Symposium to select Micha as the 2018 recipient of the Laszlo Award for “new and exciting views and advances in herpetology.” 

The PDF will always be a free download, but most people say they want a hard copy, so L.E.A.R.N. has an IndieGoGo campaign to help make that happen. I am collaborating with Taylor Specialty Books to produce an elegant, durable, and attractive hardcover that will look great on any bookshelf or coffee table.

Click here to view the Table of Contents

From the back cover: 

A Primer on Reptiles and Amphibians is an innovative educational resource designed to forge a connection between the reader and the creeping critters of the world. Turtles, frogs, lizards, salamanders, snakes, and crocodiles… these animals evoke fear and fascination. This primer dispels myths and unlocks mysteries surrounding these diverse survivors which have mastered virtually every habitat on Earth. Tragically, these animals now face pressures of unprecedented severity, but there is still time to make a difference if more of us work together. 

Micha Petty is an international award-winning Master Naturalist and wildlife rehabilitator. This critically-acclaimed debut volume is a collection of Micha’s interpretive writings, carefully crafted to make learning easy for everyone. These bulletins display his passion for Conservation Through Education while covering topics such as living harmoniously with wildlife, physiology, natural history, observation, and conservation. Flip to any page to be instantly introduced to new facets of reptiles, amphibians, the perils they face, and how you can join the fight to save them.


This attractive book is a diverse array of full-color bulletins covering a wide range of topics. Each page is an independent lesson that can be copied and shared. Besides being fun to read, my intent is to arm nature center employees, state parks, teachers, herpetology clubs, and conservationists with the tools to help their community better understand and appreciate these fascinating animals. I balance imparting science with accessible language and provide information that will connect with a broad readership. These lessons are equally at home in the hands of tweens or baby boomers and can serve as casual reading, as a classroom resource, or as handouts at your next event. There’s even a special bonus section in the middle that everyone loves where you try to find the animal in the photos.

You are welcome to come and collaborate or witness its development in the group that will support its distribution- Introduction to Herpetology on Facebook.

About the Author- Micha R. Petty

Micha rarely sleeps.  He is a Louisiana Master Naturalist, wildlife rehabilitator, and the President of L.E.A.R.N.  He funds his rescue and conservation efforts through his businesses as a contractor and REALTOR®.  He has loved reptiles and amphibians (also known as herps) since childhood and is glad to have a chance to be helping them now.  He has been observing and identifying herps in the wild for thirty-five years and has twenty-five years of experience with reptile husbandry.  His primary love is indigenous reptiles, and he practices Conservation Through Education whenever possible.

He is a member of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, the Herpetologists’ League, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.  He serves as the Public Relations and Outreach Officer for the Louisiana Master Naturalist Association, on the board of the Northwest Chapter of the LMNA, and is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Society for Amphibian and Reptile Education. Micha has done over 50 news and television segments about animals and conservation.  To watch an ABC interview with the author at his rescue center, visit our Staff page.

Volume Information (hardcover)

Title: A Primer on Reptiles and Amphibians: A Collection of Educational Nature Bulletins
Author: Micha R. Petty
Designer: Micha R. Petty
Editor: Joseph Mitchell, Ph.D.
Contributors: Sean M. Perry, DVM; Andrew M. Durso, Ph.D.; Lori A. Neuman-Lee, Ph.D.; Sarah Phillips; Mike Van Valen; Spencer Greene, MD, MS, FACEP, FACMT
Illustrations: 375 full-color
Illustrators: Listed in Index
Page count: 176
Format: Case (hardcover, round-spine, Smyth sewn)
Publisher: Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network
ISBN: 978-0-692-15712-1
Printer: Printed in the USA by Taylor Specialty Books
Language: English (translations planned)
Size: 8.875″ x 11″
Cover finish: Soft-touch lamination
Inside paper: 100# matte (tentative)
Type: Non-fiction
Genre: Nature, Reptiles and Amphibians, Conservation


“An excellent effort, to be commended for it’s up to date, research based take on husbandry and full of other interesting information. Well done Micha Petty and LEARN, this sets new standards for the hobby!” 
—Advancing Herpetological Husbandry, London, England

“I’ve been working in the field of conservation and wildlife education for ~8 years, and Micha’s volume is one of the best resources I have come across. Whether you’re a veteran herpetologist or have a budding curiosity about our scaly and permeable-skinned friends, this book is a good one to have around.” —Laura Lux

“Guys… get in on this now! This is a wonderful resource for both professionals and novices. I have a photo in here so I’m a bit biased but this book has received praise from the likes of Whit Gibbons and others. Micha Petty has put a ton of work into this project and it shows. Do it!!” —Paul-Erik Bakland

“This book is filled with great stuff! It’s an amazing educational resource, so get yourself a copy!”  —Denise Cameron

“I just ordered Micha Petty‘s epic Primer on reptiles and amphibians and I suggest anyone that’s into herps and education do the same! I haven’t wanted a book this bad in a while!”  —Aaron Paul Tullock

“This is Awesome. Not only is it the absolute best literature for learning about reptiles and amphibians,  but it has amazing photos. It’s free to download and read but I highly suggest getting a hardback copy.”  —Colt Mooney

“This is an amazing learning tool developed and written by Micha Petty. I recommend this to anyone seeking foundational knowledge and understanding of reptiles. I’ll be adding it to my library as well, but you can’t borrow mine. You need your own copy of this “labor of love”. A tremendous amount of passion and love for reptiles went into it. Order this book!” —Matthew E. Ruff

“Micha’s passion for animals warms my heart and has even helped me get over my phobia of snakes! He has devoted his life to protecting critters and teaching people how to do the same.”  —Kelsie Marie

“You can preview the entire volume with quality images for free on the PDF version. After you do so, I think most of you will agree a very reasonably priced hardcover is a worthy purchase that goes to good cause.” —Mark Lotterhand, Author, In Search of New England’s Pit Vipers

“This is one of the very best texts I have ever read (multiple times) on the subject of reptiles and amphibians. There is even a free pdf version of the book if you’d like a sneak peek at the content or can’t afford to contribute.
This book deserves all of the support it can possibly get. It is innovative, educational, and has some incredible photography. The amount of work that has gone into this book by the author is absolutely astounding.”  —Paul Beck

“A must have if you are interested in reptiles and amphibians at all!”  —Lisa Powers


If you are a photographer who might consider licensing some of your photos of reptiles and amphibians, please click here.

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