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Posts Tagged "herpetology"

The Artful Amoeba

Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

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When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to  accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this [...]

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Symbiartic

Road Kill So Perty You Can Bring It Home To Ma

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Most people swerve around road kill in hopes of avoiding the gore, or worse, the dreaded thwump that indicates you added your treadmarks to the list of said road kill’s insults. But a few crazy people will screech to a halt to see what got hit. Two of these folks just happen to be researchers, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Turtles that eat bone, rocks and soil, and turtles that mine

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I have had extensive turtle guilt of late – that is, there just haven’t been enough turtles on Tet Zoo for a while… by which I mean, there haven’t been any. But fortune smiles on the thing that it smiles on, and a few neat photos have recently fallen into my proverbial lap, encouraging me [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Hell yes: Komodo dragons!!! (again)

Komodo dragon feeding scrum. Not sure what's in the middle, but I somehow doubt that it's alive.

What with all the monitor-themed goodness around these parts lately (see links below), it seems only fitting that I provide a re-vamped, substantially updated version of this Tet Zoo ver 2 classic (originally published in September 2007). Here we go… Without doubt, one of the coolest living animals on the planet is the Komodo dragon Varanus [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Plesiosaur Peril — the lifestyles and behaviours of ancient marine reptiles

The storyline of Plesiosaur Peril is mostly based around the association between a juvenile Cryptoclidus and her mother. Based on what we know, there are good reasons for thinking that parental care of some sort really did occur. In this image, the mother and juvenile surface for breath. Image from Plesiosaur Peril by Daniel Loxton, used with permission.

Between the later part of the Triassic and the very end of the Cretaceous, the seas of the world (and some of its rivers, lakes and estuaries as well) were inhabited by the remarkable group of swimming reptiles known as the plesiosaurs. All plesiosaurs – so far as we know – were predators, the shapes [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The New World crocodile assemblage: crocodiles part VII – last in series!

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A momentous thing is about to happen. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Today is the day when… I finish my series of articles on the crocodiles of the world. As you’ll recall if you read the previous six parts of this series (all of which are linked to below), I’ve managed so far [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

“Lean, green and rarely seen”: enthralling prasinoid tree monitors

A tree monitor montage, images by Darren Naish.

I said in the previous Tet Zoo article on monitor lizards that I really wanted to cover the prasinoids; that is, the arboreal tree monitors of New Guinea, Cape York Peninsula and various of the islands surrounding these areas. So, let’s get to it. Tree monitors or prasinoids, also termed the Varanus prasinus species group, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Obscure and attractive monitor lizards to know and love

Varanid portraits.

Everybody loves monitor lizards, or varanids. And there is so much to learn about, and to appreciate, in these remarkable, charismatic, complex, sophisticated lizards that scientists across many disciplines are being encouraged to study them and – lo – to make remarkable discoveries. In recent months we’ve seen the discovery of a mammal-like rate of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Australia, land of dragons (part II)

Dwarf bearded dragon (Pogona minor), a semi-arboreal Pogona that lacks many of the spines present in other Pogona species. Image (c) Stephen Zozaya, used with permission.

Time for more Australian agamids, or amphibolurines, or dragons, whichever you prefer. Last time round, we looked at the water dragons, Moloch and a few other taxa, meaning that ‘all’ that’s left to get through is… the remainder. And there are quite a few of them: bearded dragons, earless dragons, bicycle dragons (yes, really) and [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Can’t get me enough of that sweet, sweet Temnodontosaurus

Early Jurassic Europe had a fantastic ichthyosaur fauna. As this chart shows (from Hungerbühler & Sachs 1996), in parts of the Toarcian there were contemporaneous temnodontosaurs, eurhinosaurs and thunnosaurians like Stenopterygius. Spot the typo.

One of my favourite ichthyosaurs is the generally large, archaic, long-snouted Temnodontosaurus, and if you have an especially good memory you’ll recall it being mentioned here and there on Tet Zoo over the years (see links below). We have lots of Temnodontosaurus fossils here in southern England and I feel pretty familiar with the ‘genus’ [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Happy 8th birthday Tetrapod Zoology: 2013 in review

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It’s January 21st, meaning that, once again, a year has passed and that much-loved internet phenomenon known at Tetrapod Zoology is fully one year older. Eight years of Tet Zoo… it seems incredible that I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade now. In fact, that’s scary. As is tradition, my aim here is simply [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Australia, land of dragons (by which I mean: agamids) (part I)

Frilled dragon of the especially dark sort seen in Cape York Peninsula: I love the fact that you can see the large caniniform teeth in this shot. Image (c) Stephen Zozaya, used with permission.

Agamids are a widespread, diverse iguanian lizard group that I have a special fondness for and consequently have featured several times on Tet Zoo (see links below). Of course, I’ve never featured them enough, nor discussed or even mentioned whole groups of species that really should get adequate coverage here. In a recent article I [...]

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