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Latest Herpetology Stories

Controversial Finding Changes Previous Belief That Ancestor Of Snakes And Lizards Laid Eggs
2013-12-17 13:54:14

George Washington University The ancestor of snakes and lizards likely gave birth to live young, rather than laid eggs, and over time species have switched back and forth in their preferred reproductive mode, according to research published in print in Ecology Letters Dec. 17. "This is a very unusual and controversial finding, and a major overturn of an accepted school of thought," said Alex Pyron, Robert F. Griggs Assistant Professor of Biology in the Columbian College of Arts and...

Climate, Nesting Patterns Suggest Loggerhead Turtles Are Recovering
2013-12-17 10:06:48

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online For loggerhead sea turtles, the number of returning nesting females in the Northwest Atlantic combined with favorable climate conditions in the preceding years are strongly related to the number of nests produced in a given year, according to a study published this month in the journal PLOS ONE. Furthermore, in what may be good news for loggerheads, which are considered threatened under the US Endangered Species Act, nesting...

Chameleon Colors Used To Communicate
2013-12-12 09:28:13

[ Watch the Video: Communicating Chameleons Rely On Color ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While the color-changing abilities of chameleons are typically thought of as a defense mechanism, new research published online Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters suggests that the lizards could actually use the trait to communicate with other chameleons as well. Doctoral candidate Russell Ligon and associate professor Kevin McGraw of the Arizona State University...

Endangered Iguanas Health Compromised By Being Fed By Tourists
2013-12-06 05:54:37

Oxford University Press Feeding wildlife is an increasingly common tourist activity, but a new study published online today by the journal Conservation Physiology shows that already-imperilled iguanas are suffering further physiological problems as a result of being fed by tourists. Charles Knapp, PhD, of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and colleagues compared the differences in physiological values and endoparasitic infection rates between northern Bahamian rock iguanas...

Crocs Use Lures To Catch Birds
2013-12-05 13:03:19

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Alternately lethargic and viciously violent, crocodilians are not often thought of as cunning, duplicitous predators. However, a new study in the journal Ethology, Ecology and Evolution has found that these massive reptiles sometimes use sticks and twigs to lure in unsuspecting birds, particularly during nest-building season. "Our research provides a surprising insight into previously unrecognized complexity of extinct reptile...

2013-12-04 23:04:31

The authors of an article featured in Herpetologica studied whether male water dragons use their colorful bellies for social dominance, as observed among other lizard species. The dragons used their bellies in various behavioral displays, some resulting in fights and others in less intense responses. Lawrence, Kansas (PRWEB) December 04, 2013 Herpetologica – Many lizard species rely on a conspicuous color to warn other males trespassing on their territory. Male Eastern Water Dragons in...

Beaks Were Functionally Important In Protecting Dinosaur Skulls
2013-12-03 08:20:52

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One typical hallmark of modern birds that comes in a huge variety of shapes and sizes is the beak. While this is common knowledge, it is less well known that during the Cretaceous Period keratin-covered beaks had already evolved in different groups of dinosaurs. A international team of scientists, composed of Dr Stephan Lautenschlager and Dr Emily Rayfield of the University of Bristol with Dr Perle Altangerel of the National...

Research Shows Forty Percent Of Post-released Marine Turtles Die
2013-11-26 10:59:20

Universitat de Barcelona When a marine turtle is incidentally by-caught by a longliner, fishermen try to cut the line —without hauling it on board— and release the turtle into the sea. However, research published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series alerts that about 40% of post-released turtles die some months later due to the impact of longline fishing. The study is signed by experts Lluís Cardona and Irene Álvarez de Quevedo, from the Department of Animal Biology and the...

King Of Gore: Super Predator Cousin Of T. Rex Found In Utah
2013-11-07 14:47:55

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online You may have noticed your local paleontologist has had an extra bounce in his step this week. That might have something to do with a monumental find of a new super-predator dinosaur in the Wahweap Formation within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah. Known as Lythronax argestes, this super predator lived 80 million years ago and is a distant, older cousin to the larger Tyrannosaurus rex. Measuring...

Snake Eyes: Threats Cause Change In Blood Flow To The Eyes In Snakes
2013-11-05 04:13:07

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Snakes can optimize their vision when they perceive a threat by controlling the blood flow to their eyes, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. The coachwhip snake's visual blood flow patterns change depending on what is in its environment, according to Kevin van Doorn, PhD, from the School of Optometry & Vision Science, and Professor Jacob Sivak, from the Faculty of  Science. “Each species' perception...


Latest Herpetology Reference Libraries

Asian Common Toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus
2014-09-16 16:12:49

The Asian Common Toad, Duttaphrynus Melanostictus, is most likely a compound of more than one toad species that’s widely distributed in South Asia. This toad is commonly called the Asian Common Toad, Asian Toad, Black-spectacled Toad, Common Sunda Toad and the Japanese Toad. This species has the potential to grow to about 8 inches long. The species breeds during the monsoons and the tadpoles are a black color. The young toads may be seen in large numbers after the monsoons. The top of...

Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, Rana boylii
2014-09-16 08:43:34

The Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii) is a small frog measuring about 1.46 to 3.2 inches. It belongs to the genus Rana within the Ranidae family. This species can be found from northern Oregon, down California’s west coast, and into Baja California, Mexico. Both the Columbia Spotted Frog and the Cascades Frog, also part of the Rana genus, reside in the northern regions of this frog’s territory. They show a preference for living in streams and rivers, and lay their eggs in masses...

Rio Grande Leopard Frog, Rana berlandieri
2014-09-16 08:16:44

The Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Rana berlandieri) is a species of aquatic frog that is native to the southern United States in Texas and New Mexico, and south through Mexico and Central America. It is also occasionally referred to as the Mexican Leopard Frog. The handle berlandieri honors the Belgian naturalist Jean Louis Berlandier, who worked for the Mexican government on one of the first biological surveys of Texas. These frogs grow up to 2.2 to 4.5 inches long. They are normally tan,...

Malabar Tree Toad, Pedostibes Tuberculosus
2014-09-15 16:22:26

The Malabar Tree Toad, Pedostibes Tuberculosus, is a species of toad located in forests along the Western Ghats of India south of Goa. It is small and it can be found in wet tree hollows or leaf bases that contain water. This slender frog features a moderately sized head with a pointed snout and vertical lores. The distance between the eyes is as wide as the width of the upper eyelid. The opening of the ear is well marked and is about a third of the diameter of the eye. The fingers are...

Golfodulcean Poison Frog, Phyllobates Vittatus
2014-09-12 08:59:50

The Golfodulcean Poison Frog, Phyllobates Vittatus, is a species of frog belonging to the Dendrobatidae family that is native to Costa Rica. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical, moist, lowland forests and rivers. It’s threatened by habitat loss. Like all members of the genus Phyllobates, Golfodulcean Poison Frogs have highly potent neurotoxin alkaloid poisons in their skin. While it’s only the fourth most toxic of the genus, the Golfodulcean Poison Frog is still a highly...

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Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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