Diploglossines – popularly called galliwasps – are an extant group of anguid lizards that inhabit South and Central America as well as the Antilles (Anguidae is the group that includes alligator lizards, slow-worms, glass lizards and kin). Most galliwasps are robust-bodied lizards with normally proportioned, complete limbs. A reduced digit count and reduced limb size is, however, present in the obscure taxa Ophiodes, Sauresia and Wetmorena. The vast majority of species are included within Celestus (with about 30 species) and Diploglossus (with about 17 species).
Are pet collectors about to drive another species into extinction? This time around it's the prehistoric-looking Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus).
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).
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 thats left to get through is the remainder.
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).
Artist: Darren Naish Source: Monitor musings, varanid variables, goannasaurian goings-on... it's about monitor lizards, by Darren Naish on Tetrapod Zoology If you’re not a herpetologist, you may be of the mindset that lizards all look the same, but that would only expose you for what you are: a human primate, finely attuned to the faces [...]
Lizards don’t get much bigger than the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), which can reach three meters in length and may weigh as much as 70 kilograms.
In recent articles I've made an effort to review the skinks of the world and today - it's a momentous occasion - we see the last part of this series.
Terror skinks, social skinks, crocodile skinks, monkey-tailed skinks… it's about skinks (skinks part II)
October 2014 continues - for no particular reason at all - to be Lizard Month here at Tet Zoo and right now it's time for more skinks. The previous article is a sort of general introduction to the group as well as a review of the limbless acontiines/acontids and weird feylinines.
Skinks (properly Scincidae… though read on) are one of the most successful of squamate groups, accounting for approximately 1500 species - in other words, for about 25% of all lizards.
There's been a bit of a monitor lizard thing going on here for the past few months: articles have covered Australian goannas, the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, Dumeril's monitor and Timor and Peachthroat monitors, and the `prasinoid' tree monitors.
I'm feeling the urge to blog about lizards. So, today I'd like to talk about the Aprasia species, a group of short-tailed, near-limbless gekkotans that belong to the Australian Pygopodidae family, the so-called flapfoots, flap-footed lizards or pygopods.
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.
Hop on over to the photo-sharing site Flickr and you’ll find dozens of photos and videos of people eagerly feeding grapes to hungry iguanas on the beaches of the Bahamas.
Today: LIZARDS. Even better: obscure Australian agamids, or dragon lizards, or dragons, if you prefer. Ive written about agamids a few times on Tet Zoo but have never gotten to say much (if anything) about the Australian radiation, grouped together into the clade Amphibolurinae.
Neither stream-dwelling nor crab-eating are common behavior in lizards. Madagascar is home to a morphologically and behaviorally diverse group of skinks, and a few of those are confirmed stream-dwellers. Here I discuss a case in which biologist Asia Murphy has succeeded in photographing—perhaps for the first time—one of these stream-dwelling skinks eating crabs...
Once again, I have squamate guilt. For a while now I’ve been planning to discuss the lacertid lizard fauna of Europe (or, the European Field Guide Region, or Western Palaearctic, or whatever).
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.
It’s a simple equation, really: If a species can’t reproduce, it will go extinct. A critically endangered species in Honduras faces that risk in a notable way.
Here are some amazing things that me and my friends have been talking about lately. They all concern fascinating discoveries or insights into unusual aspects of tetrapod behaviour.