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Latest Reptile Stories

Turtles Began Living in Shells Earlier Than Previously Thought
2013-05-30 16:35:52

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online While there are several species that have shells, the turtle is the only animal to form such a shell on the outside of its body through a fusion of modified ribs, vertebrae and shoulder girdle bone. This makes the turtle´s shell a unique modification, one that has fascinated and confounded biologists for more than two centuries. How and when it originated has remained mostly conjecture. However, a team of researchers led...

Biologists Create Squamate Reptile Family Tree
2013-05-09 18:14:59

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Those feeling as if there had been something missing in this world can rest easily tonight: A George Washington University (GWU) biologist and a team of researchers have finally finished the first large-scale evolutionary tree of every known squamate in the world. Squamates are reptiles such as snakes and larger lizards. This project had been underway since 2008, but according to GWU the last five years have been particularly...

Crocodiles’ Sensitive Faces Help Understand Ancestors
2013-04-05 11:23:20

Watch the video "Measuring a Crocodile's Smile" redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The ultra-sensitive nerves in the faces of crocodilians could help biologists understand how both modern and ancient animals interact with their environment, according to a new study in this month´s edition of The Anatomical Record. These nerves are so sensitive that they can detect changes in a pond when a single droplet of water hits the surface several feet away....

DNA Sequencing Used to Learn The History Of Native Snakes
2013-03-13 09:38:42

George Washington University Alex Pyron´s expertise is in family trees. Who is related to whom, who begat whom, how did they get where they are now. But not for humans: reptiles. In 2011, his fieldwork in Sri Lanka studying snake diversity on the island led him to confirm the identity of 60 known species of snakes. With Sri Lankan collaborators, Ruchira Somaweera, an author on snakes and expert on amphibians and reptiles, and Dushantha Kandambi, a local naturalist and snake expert,...

Lizards Facing Mass Extinction
2013-03-08 05:14:08

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One adage has held true throughout the whole of global history for every living organism on earth; When faced with a challenging situation, a species must either adapt or die. Researchers from the University of Exeter (UofE) and the University of Lincoln (UofL) believe they have discovered a dire situation for one specific species where its earlier adaptation will likely lead to its eventual death and ultimate extinction. In...

2013-02-12 23:02:19

The Black Caiman is currently attempting a comeback from 90% extinction caused by hunting and habitat loss, but is threatened by another crocodilian. An article in the March 2013 issue of the journal Herpetologica examines the dietary relationship between these two crocodilians. Lawrence, KS (PRWEB) February 12, 2013 Herpetologica — As the Black Caiman, a relative of the alligator, attempts a comeback from near extinction, its biggest threat is not humans or predators, but another...

Bones Reveal Prehistoric Ocean Predator
2013-02-01 05:05:54

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online It's always exciting to see scientific topics running rampant in the viral circles of the Internet, and the latest hit on the Web concerns the new discovery of a prehistoric ocean predator. Scientists found a partial skeleton, including a jawbone and teeth, that belongs to an ancient group of ocean-dwelling beasts called Tyrannoneustes lythrodectikos that was almost a cross between a dolphin and a crocodile. The remains of the...

Giant Marine Predator Fossil Unearthed In The Nevada Desert
2013-01-08 08:15:49

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In a new report, a multinational research team details the recovery of a fossil marine predator. The animal, which measured about 28 feet in length, was recovered from the Nevada desert in 2010. This fossil, found in what is today a remote mountain range, represents the first top predator in marine food chains feeding on prey similar to its own size. A major portion of the animal was preserved, including the skull, parts of the fins,...

Scientists Name Extinct, Ancient Lizard After Obama
2012-12-11 05:12:51

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Despite the name, a new species of lizard reported about in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is not related to our President, because it went extinct when the giant asteroid hit Earth millions of years ago. Obamadon gracilis was one of the lizard species that suffered from the asteroid event that ended the reign of the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago. Previous studies suggested that some snake...

Crocodiles And Alligators Are Actually Sensitive Creatures
2012-11-08 14:12:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Crocodiles and alligators are well-known for being cold-blooded and having thick skin, but new research from a pair of Vanderbilt University scientists has shown that the ancient reptiles can be quite sensitive. More specifically, the scientists demonstrated that these reptilian predators have small pigmented domes that dot their skin-- conveying a sense of touch is even more responsive than that of humans, according to the pair´s...


Latest Reptile Reference Libraries

0_8f023dda3e8dc6d6beae9a3c48deec69
2007-04-15 20:58:50

The Brown Basilisk or Striped Basilisk, Basiliscus vittatus, is a species of lizard native to Central America, but have been introduced into the wild in the U.S. state of Florida. They are also called the common basilisk and, the "Jesus Lizard" because when it flees from predators it runs very fast and can even run on top of water. Basilisks actually have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. The fact that they move quickly across the water, aided by their web-like feet,...

41_494fd8b7a6b410724559fb7ea5a8f7c8
2007-02-12 21:53:31

The Diamondback Terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal swamps of the eastern and southern United States. They are found from as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts to as far south as Corpus Christi, Texas. The species is named for the diamond pattern on top of its shell, but the pattern and coloration varies greatly by species. The coloring of the shell can vary from browns to grays, and their body color can be gray, brown, yellow, or white....

41_a0daff1f5ebb65f11d0909cf4bbc58a5
2007-01-23 14:56:02

The Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilus, is a crocodilian reptile found in much of Central and South America. It lives in a range of lowland wetland and river habitat and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh. Due to this adaptable behavior, it is the most common species of caiman. Males of this species are between 6 and 8.2 feet long, while females are smaller, usually around 4 and a half feet long. The species' common name comes from the bony ridge between the eyes, which give the...

41_93e4f388ab06b6a0e833d14535bd3020
2007-01-02 11:35:55

The Perentie is the largest monitor lizard native to Australia. They are found west of the Great Dividing Range in the arid regions of Australia. They are not a common sight and can usually escape detection before it has a chance to be seen. An adult Perentie can grow up to 8 feet long although its average size is 5.5 to 6.5 feet long. It is likely the third largest lizard on earth, after the Komodo Dragon, and the Water Monitor. Crocodile Monitors rival the Perentie in being the third...

36_5237f625c5a54ce7651ce0b01e5f94dc
2005-06-15 17:26:29

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest lizard in the world, growing to a length of about 10 feet (3 meters) and weighing between 175 to 310 lb (80 and 140 kg). It is a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae. Dragons have keen senses and are considered among the most intelligent living reptiles. They are carnivorous, hunting live prey with a stealthy approach followed by a sudden short charge (they can run briefly at speeds up to 20 km/h). They have a strong bite...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'