On today’s episode of Modern Notion Daily, we’re talking with Dan Eatherley, author of Bushmaster: Raymond Ditmars and the Hunt for the World’s Largest Viper (Arcade Publishing, June 2015). When he was working on various nature films and TV shows, Eatherley discovered Raymond Ditmars, an amateur herpetologist who went on to work for the Bronx Zoo in the first half of the 20th century. Ditmars became transfixed by the bushmaster, a kind of snake, and later in his career he searched for the beast in Panama. We’ll even hear some archival footage of Ditmars and his daughter; the amateur herpetologist was also an amateur filmmaker. Later in the hour, contributing editor Emma Bryce unearths the Nazis’ plan to build a Jewish “super-ghetto” on the island of Madagascar.

Music this hour: