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Posts Tagged "squamates"

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

“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

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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Tetrapod Zoology

A Squamotastic Christmas at Tet Zoo

A-Squamozoic-Christmas-Dec-2013-600-px-tiny-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-Zoology

My plan was to get something else finished for Tet Zoo before Christmas but, alas, that just wasn’t possible. So here’s this… And for those of you who want to see more detail, here are enlarged versions… And for all of you Squamozoic fans who need a labelled version… For more on the Squamozoic go [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Leiosaurus: big heads, bold patterns

Leiosaurus belli: a short tail, broad, well-muscled head and distinctive 'shark tooth' dorsal patter. Photo by Oliver Rauhut, used with permission.

I like iguanian lizards – who doesn’t? Among the enormous number of taxa that you hardly ever hear anything about is the endemic Argentinean taxon Leiosaurus, type species of Leiosauridae. I did a quick check online and was surprised to find that there’s hardly any information out there on these neat little South American lizards, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tale of the Takydromus

Female T. sexlineatus; image by Acapella, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

I said a while back that I intended to make some overdue headway into the diversity of lacertid lizards: Lacertidae being the clade that includes many of the more familiar, conventionally ‘lizard-shaped’ lizards of Europe, Asia and Africa. Beleaguered by commitments and absolutely unable to produce anything lengthy for Tet Zoo (and unwilling to repost [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

It’s high time you were told about Psammodromus

>Massively< simplified lacertid phylogeny, showing early divergence into Gallotiinae and Lacertinae. Acanthodactylus by Richard Hing, Gallotia by Petermann, Psammodromus by Wolfgang Wüster.

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). European people tend to think of our lacertids as small, boring brown things (bar the few big green species). That might be true [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The enormous liolaemine radiation: paradoxical herbivory, viviparity, evolutionary cul-de-sacs and the impending mass extinction

Liolaemus pictus in its montane home. Is the montane liolaemine fauna set to change dramatically in future decades? It would seem so. Image by Nsimean, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Did I mention that I spent time in Rio de Janeiro recently? Ha ha, kidding. While there I didn’t just look at birds and pterosaurs: I also pursued lizards when I could. Rio is home to a special, unique iguanian: Lutz’s tree iguana Liolaemus lutzae, an omnivorous, burrow-dwelling, beach-living liolaemine endemic to the Brazilian coast. [...]

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