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Latest Reptile Stories

a54fce59252dc27622facdc4be63f4221
2011-04-15 05:55:00

A new study by researchers at University of California-Davis finds that velociraptors had night vision that helped them stalk their prey at night. The study reverses conventional wisdom that dinosaurs were active by day while early mammals scurried around at night, said Ryosuke Motani, professor of geology at UC Davis and co-author of the report. "It was a surprise, but it makes sense," he said. Plant-eating dinosaurs also had some limited night vision, likely to satisfy their round the clock...

84e899576fe10764851e4e0432aed0cc
2011-02-02 21:53:09

Biologists from the UCLA Division of Life Sciences have reported the first quantitative evidence for an evolutionary link between habitat and body size in turtles and tortoises. The study, whose lead author is a high school student volunteer in the laboratory of UCLA evolutionary biologist Michael Alfaro, is currently available online in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society. It will appear in a print edition later this year. Turtles and tortoises, also called chelonians,...

48a8079b4dfd2432b0f6d46de3c92b251
2010-11-16 06:15:00

A new study finds that ancient pterosaurs took flight by "pole-vaulting" using all four of their limbs. The winged reptiles vaulted over their wings, initially pushing off with their hind limbs and then thrusting themselves upwards with their strong arm muscles, the researchers said. Pterosaurs roamed the Earth at the same time as the dinosaurs, existing from about 220 million to 65 million years ago from the Triassic Period until the end of the Cretaceous.  The study's findings...

96463e05936ea3fc708292a02d6def24
2010-10-07 08:54:54

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have found that a species of lizard in the Mojave Desert lives in family groups and shows patterns of social behavior more commonly associated with mammals and birds. Their investigation of the formation and stability of family groups in desert night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) provides new insights into the evolution of cooperative behavior. The researchers reported the results of a five-year study of desert night lizards in a paper...

e46188ea866dcf2d8661894b731c269e
2010-09-07 11:15:00

Using a moving 3D computer model based on the skull and teeth of a New Zealand reptile called tuatara, a BBSRC-funded team from the University of Hull, University College London and the Hull York Medical School has revealed how damage to dental implants and jaw joints may be prevented by sophisticated interplay between our jaws, muscles and brain. This research will appear in a future edition of the Journal of Biomechanics. The tuatara is a lizard-like reptile that has iconic status in its...

de7a5e517d0adc1851bffb3374aa4aa31
2010-08-24 09:30:00

The amount of available living space--not competition, as Darwin believed--may have been the catalyst of evolution, according to a new study published in the August 23 edition of Biology Letters. As part of the study, researchers at the University of Bristol analyzed the fossils of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians dating as far back as 400 million years ago. According to BBC News science reporter Howard Falcon-Lang, "the scientists showed that the amount of biodiversity closely...

7fcce92599fce3154b510a8f5b3bbc54
2010-08-04 15:40:00

Scientists reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature that they have discovered fossils of an ancient crocodile with mammal-like teeth in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Tanzania. The scientists said the new species of notosuchian crocodyliform is a small, cat-sized animal that was not as heavily armored as other crocodiles, except along the tail.  "If you only looked at the teeth, you wouldn't think this was a crocodile. You would wonder what kind of strange mammal or mammal-like...

cfd2d525b96eccafd2f4f149941d6cf41
2010-07-30 12:46:28

The 318-million-year-old reptile footprints were found in sea-cliffs on the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. They show that reptiles were the first vertebrates (animals with a backbone) to conquer dry continental interiors. These pioneers paved the way for the diverse ecosystems that exist on land today. The footprints were discovered by Dr Howard Falcon-Lang of Royal Holloway, University of London. The results of his study, undertaken with Professor Mike Benton of the University of...

2361b5a16ad25eab044b24491bf651f61
2010-05-26 14:05:00

Michael Lacoste, the heir of the French clothing giant known for its iconic crocodile logo, traveled to Colombia recently to meet with an endangered baby Orinoco crocodile that was raised in captivity. The crocodile, when fully matured, measures up to 23 feet and can trace its origins back to the drainage basin of the Orinoco River that flows through Colombia and Venezuela. The carnivore has 68 teeth and gray-yellow skin to scare off villagers.  However, its survival is essential to...

f24ebe5e3ec3ef3a4e203a0caffda8a41
2010-05-20 12:41:40

One type of turtle possesses an extraordinary organ that lets the reptile breathe underwater and stay submerged for many months. Scientists have discovered that the common musk turtle has a tiny tongue lined with specialized buds.  The turtles use their tongues to exchange oxygen, solving a mystery of how these reptiles can remain submerged for so long. The findings were reported in the journal The Anatomical Record. "I was very surprised, I really didn't expect that," zoologist Egon...


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
pungle
  • To take pains; labor assiduously with little progress.
This word comes from the Spanish 'pongale,' put it.
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