The Snakeman Raymond Hoser
- the most experience
of all in Australia's reptiles….
While it could be argued that this is a subjective claim and in fairness to others,
is one that can perhaps be disputed, there are readily measurable criteria, which easily put the snakeman Raymond Hoser on top.
The snakeman's experience is seen in the published papers in peer reviewed and other journals, books and similar and then of course how frequently they are cited as definitive by others in their own publications, as well as such things as species of reptiles discovered and named, other new discoveries and the like. The snakeman's record exceeds that of all other Australian herpetologists.
For those doing a check on Snakebusters reptile shows or the Snakeman Raymond Hoser, below is a quick rundown on snake man Raymond Hoser's expertise in Australian
snakes and reptiles.
The snake man's CV so to speak follows. However it is only a brief summary of the snakeman's CV at that. But most importantly it is all easily verified.
If comparing Snakebusters to another reptile show outfit or "snake handling course" teacher, just ask a few basic questions of the other. What qualifications they have. How much experience (in years)?. And note that it's easy for a person to claim many years experience, without being able to prove it.
But here's a way to get the proof. Ask for copies of journal papers and articles they've published on reptiles. That's always a good way to set a timeline on their serious reptile activity. No scientific or technical papers in recognised publications, indicates no serious or generally accepted reptile expertise at the time in question. In other words, if a person claims snake and reptile expertise spanning, say, twenty years, but doesn't have hard copy publications going back that far, then treat the claim with the skepticism it deserves.
Be generous if you want and say you accept tabloid news clips. Try getting something more than 20 years old. You won't get that from any Snakebusters competitors, but you will from us!
Here's a brief rundown of the snake man Raymond Hoser's reptile qualifications.
The snakeman started catching and keeping reptiles at age four or five (1967) and published
his first paper on them at age 14. He's since published over 150
definitive scientific papers and articles on all manner of reptiles,
their taxonomy, captive husbandry, breeding, medicine, ecology, genetics,
venom properties and so on. You'll see the list starts from about 1980, which was when Raymond Hoser was in his teens and has been continuous since then showing a non-stop activity with reptiles over the following three decades. Yes you can even view most of these papers online (Click on this text) and with the original hard copy citations to enable you to verify them all.
Few, if any other Australian herpetologists can make such a claim. Hoser's
papers and articles are routinely cited by peers and his book "Australian
Reptiles and Frogs" is one of Australia's benchmark publications,
still regarded as a reference of choice, even though the 240 page book
came out way back in 1989.
Raymond Hoser has had hands-on direct experience with most Australian reptile
species, including all the well-known ones and the most "dangerous",
be they snakes, lizards or crocodiles.
Most types of reptiles have been kept by snakeman Raymond Hoser over the years and
keeping methods he trialled first have since become standard, although notwithstanding this, Raymond's also been quick to adopt other people's ideas when they were superior to earlier methods, and unlike a (small number of) certain others in the reptile game, Raymond has always cited other people's works and credited them when due. This again is easily verifiable by checking out the citations lists at the ends of Raymond's books and papers (click here for examples).
In terms of "firsts" no one else comes close to Raymond Hoser.
Here's just a few …
- Hoser was the first person in the world to breed by artificial insemination snakes and lizards of numerous species using a method now used to breed endangered species globally.
- First to capture, keep and breed the Ant-hill Python
(Antaresia perthensis) in the early 1980's.
- First to decipher the genetics of red/grey colour in Death Adders and
other Australian taxa also in the early 1980's.
- He pioneered numerous keeping methods in the 1980's now regarded as
- Discovered and named numerous reptile species including 8 out of 15
known Death Adders, pythons and other high-profile species.
- Raymond Hoser is the only living person to have named a subspecies of Coastal Taipan
(believed by some to be the world's deadliest snake species).
- The first to accurately discover, diagnose and develop a treatment
for a particularly deadly (to snakes) form of reovirus that affected Australian
reptile collections in the period 2002 and onwards.
- The first to pioneer use of numerous unorthodox foods for snakes and
lizards including Calamari, steaks, sausages, certain fish, etc for snakes
and other unorthodox foods for lizards.
- Pioneered new and simplified methods for keeping a diversity of species,
including some formerly regarded as "difficult".
- Quantify and use various methods to calm down otherwise aggressive
reptiles including close-group caging and frequent handling so that they
can be handled without biting.
- Hoser's best-selling books Smuggled and
Smuggled-2 from the 1990's forced for the first time in decades a change in laws to allow average Australian citizens to legally keep reptiles in captivity. State and federal Governments opposed the change in laws and the books (even banning them after publication, which was overturned following media publicity and public outrage).
- The first to breed Death Adders (Acanthophis antarcticus) (get
babies born) from snakes under 25 months of age.
- The first to hybridise Southern (Sydney) with Northern (Darwin) Death
- The first to have (and photograph) cross-genus matings in Australian venomous snakes (Northern Death Adder X Lowlands Copperhead, Northern Death Adder X Tiger Snake, Eastern Brown Snake X Jaffa/Collett's Snake).
- The first in Australia to successfully remove venom glands from deadly
snakes by going through the roof of the mouth, including successful operations
on Death Adders, Tiger Snakes, Black Snakes, Brown Snakes, King Brown Snakes, Taipans, etc. This includes breeding the above taxa for which pairs were operated on (Death Adders, Tiger Snakes, Brown Snakes and Red-bellied Black Snakes, all bred in 2005/6)
- The first to identify an Australian species of snake that is not immune to it's own venom.
- The first to show that a major factor determining the distribution of many species of snakes is a readily identifiable hierarchy between species, which often outranks other "Known" factors such as alleged habitat preferences, alleged temperature tolerance and so on.
- The one man who singlehandedly exterminated the King Brown Snake from the island of New Guinea, when in 2000 he published a ground-breaking scientific paper formally naming those snakes as a very different new species "Pailsus rossignollii Hoser 2000", (Cited occasionally as "Pseudechis rossignollii Hoser 2000"). All current texts now accept that Hoser "exterminated" King Browns from New Guinea and the validity of the new taxa as first discovered and named by Hoser. The snake is in fact threatened by feral Cane Toads!
- The world's first to breed snakes and lizards using artificial insemination (AI), the method of which can now be used to save countless endangered species!
- Discovered, named and reclassified more pythons than anyone else in history at the genus, species and subspecies level, including Broghammerus Hoser 2004, the genus for the Reticulated Python, the world's longest snake; Leiopython hoserae Hoser 2000, the Black White-lipped Python; Chondropython viridis shireenae Hoser 2003, the Australian Green Python, that within five years was recognised by all Australian herpetologists and sells for three times the price of New Guinea Green Pythons (C. viridis viridis); and other python taxa formally named for the first time by Hoser - all verified and supported by other independent researchers, including with new molecular methods.
- Discovered and named hundreds of species, genera, tribes and families of snakes, from all major landmasses in the world excluding frozen places, this being a greater number than named by any other scientist born in the last 100 years. This includes Cobras (Spitters and Forest), Brown Snakes, King Brown Snakes (3 of 5 species), Death Adders (most species), Rattlesnakes (about half the genera), other Pitvipers, True Vipers (over a dozen species from Europe and Africa), Garter Snakes, Water Snakes, File Snakes, Boas, Dwarf Boas, Pythons, Blind Snakes (most genera and numerous species), Tree Snakes, Crowned Snakes, Small-eyed Snakes, Kukri Snakes (most genera), Tree Snakes and others.
- Discovered and named dozens of species, genera and tribes of lizards (including skinks, monitors and dragons) from all major landmasses in the world, excluding frozen places, but including Australia, New Guinea, south-east Asia, Southern and Eastern Asia, The Middle East, Africa, Madagascar and the Americas, as well as discovering and naming species of Turtle and Crocodile, including two of three Alligator Snappers from the United States.
Snakebusters website "front page" entry.
Put simply, in four decades, Australia's Snake Man, Raymond Hoser's been at the leading edge of
Australian herpetology, whether it's been the science of classification
and identification, the science of keeping and breeding, the practicalities
of conservation and so on.
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