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Latest Reptile Stories

2009-09-21 09:26:56

U.S. and British scientists say they've determined the transition of extinct sea creatures from egg-laying to live-born opened up evolutionary pathways. Scientists at Harvard University and the University of Reading say they also determined the evolution of such live-born young depended crucially on the advent of genes -- rather than incubation temperature -- as the primary determinant of offspring sex. In the study of three lineages of extinct marine reptiles -- mosasaurs, sauropterygians...

2009-09-16 14:04:24

Live birth -- key to much marine life -- depends upon evolution of chromosomal sex determination A new analysis of extinct sea creatures suggests that the transition from egg-laying to live-born young opened up evolutionary pathways that allowed these ancient species to adapt to and thrive in open oceans. The evolutionary sleuthing is described this week in the journal Nature by scientists at Harvard University and the University of Reading who also report that the evolution of live-born...

2009-09-02 23:55:00

Reptiles are not known to be the most social of creatures. But when it comes to laying eggs, female reptiles can be remarkably communal, often laying their eggs in the nests of other females. New research in the September issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology suggests that this curiously out-of-character behavior is far more common in reptiles than was previously thought. Dr. J. Sean Doody (The Australian National University) and colleagues, Drs. Steve Freedberg and J. Scott Keogh,...

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2009-09-02 14:44:32

Turtles and other reptiles offer clues to the development of 4 chambers and to congenital heart disease Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have traced the evolution of the four-chambered human heart to a common genetic factor linked to the development of hearts in turtles and other reptiles. The research, published in the September 3 issue of the journal Nature, shows how a specific protein that turns on genes is involved in heart formation in turtles,...

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2009-08-20 06:25:00

Scientists have discovered a small strip of land found frozen in time in petrified mud where a pterosaur once landed in search for food 140 million years ago. When the ancient reptile touched down, its feet pressed into soft mud leaving behind prints that fossilized and have now been identified.  After examining the preserved footprints, scientists determined that the pterosaur stalled in the air shortly before touching down, a technique also used by many modern birds. Scratch marks left...

2009-07-29 09:50:00

Mammals and many species of birds and fish are among evolution's "winners," while crocodiles, alligators and a reptile cousin of snakes known as the tuatara are among the losers, according to new research by UCLA scientists and colleagues."Our results indicate that mammals are special," said Michael Alfaro, a UCLA assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and lead author of the research.The study, published July 24 in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National...

2009-07-28 19:49:11

Australian researchers have created the first genetic linkage map for the giant saltwater crocodile, aiding in its genetic sequencing, the researchers said. The crocodile is a very charismatic organism, but with surprisingly very little genetic or genomic resources available prior to this map, University of Sydney genomics researcher Lee Miles said. The research will also help in understanding the molecular evolution of reptilian and other genomes of egg-laying animals, including mammals and...

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2009-07-17 11:45:00

Scientists have discovered that a tiny lizard drifts slowly to the ground like a feather when it falls.  Looking from the outside, the neon blue tailed tree lizards (Holaspis guentheri) seem adapted to flying, gliding or moving through the air as they go from branch to branch in the trees of the African forest. There have even been stories about the African tree lizard gliding through the air. However, lacking the apparent adaptations necessary to upgrade their moves from a leap to a...

2009-07-09 13:58:28

A U.S. study indicates more than 40 percent of animals living in mangrove ecosystems around the world are threatened with extinction. Researchers led by David Luther of the University of Maryland and Russell Greenberg of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center said their study of amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds that are restricted to mangrove ecosystems was based on an extensive literature search and consultations with various experts. They said their findings emphasize the...

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2009-07-01 06:40:37

Extinction looms for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds restricted to declining mangrove forests More than 40 percent of a sample of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds that are restricted to mangrove ecosystems are globally threatened with extinction, according to an assessment published in the July/August issue of BioScience. The study, by David A. Luther of the University of Maryland and Russell Greenberg of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, was based on an extensive...


Latest Reptile Reference Libraries

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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,...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.