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Tag archives for reptiles

A Sky-Island Forest Vanishes on Mt. Namuli

The sky-island expedition in eastern Africa arrives at fabled Mount Namuli, after many obstacles, only to discover a sad new truth.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Alligators and Regenerators

How long can alligators live out of the water? Are there more animals out there that can re-grow body parts? Read this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: Spiders and Other Animals With Bite

We love getting questions with teeth, and this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions tackles animals and their various bites.

The Hidden World of Mozambique’s Sky Island Forests

PROJECT UPDATE: Civil unrest in Mozambique for the first time in 21 years has brought threat of civil war. We are therefore postponing the field work until February in the hopes that things will be settled and the roads passable by then.

4 Weird Legless Lizard Species Found

Four new species of legless lizard have emerged from a railroad track, vacant city lots, oilfields, and even an airport runway, a new study says.

Geography in the News: Cobras

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM MISSING COBRA! EEEEK! The escape of a highly venomous Egyptian cobra in March 2011 forced part of the Bronx Zoo’s reptile unit to close for more than a week. The 20-inch-long (52 cm) snake was found within the zoo’s Reptile House less than 100 feet…

Caught Giant Alligators Break Records; How Big Do Gators Get?

By Ker Than Two record-setting heavyweight alligators were killed by hunters in Mississippi this weekend, just three days into the start of the official gator hunting season. One animal, a male, was 13-feet and 6.5-inches (4.13 meters) long and weighed 727 pounds (330 kilograms). “When we finally got an arrow in him, it took us…

How Did a Decapitated Snake Bite Itself?

A herpetologist weighs in on how a decapitated snake in a viral YouTube video can still move—and even bite—without its head.

Iguana Research on Gaulin Cay, Bahamas

The final installment in a series of posts by Chicago area college students enrolled in the John G. Shedd Aquarium’s Marine and Island Ecology course offered through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA). Our students work closely with Shedd staff through both field work and onsite classes. At the end of the course,…

Bumpy-Headed Reptile Fossils Discovered

New fossils of an ancient reptile with a knobby head and armored body have been found in Niger, a new study says.

Ancient Embrace: Amphibian, Mammal Ancestor Buried Together

An injured amphibian and a sleeping mammal ancestor shared a home before a flash flood trapped them 250 million years ago, a new study says.

Philippine Freshwater Crocodiles: Freshwater Species of the Week

This month 36 Philippine freshwater crocodiles were introduced into the wild on Siargao Island, in an effort to bolster the population of this endangered reptile. The Philippine freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), also called the Mindoro crocodile, is found only in the Philippines. The Philippine crocodile shares the island chain with the much more common Indo-Pacific crocodile or saltwater…

Galapagos Expedition Journal: In Search of Giant Iguanas on Dragon Hill

Day five of our expedition to the Galapagos islands took us to the northwest slope of Santa Cruz for a walk up Cerro Dragon, “Dragon Hill.” This place was once home to a thriving colony of the massive Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subcristatus. The lizard is making a comeback here after being nearly wiped out by cats, rats, and dogs introduced to the Galapagos by humans.

Galapagos Bombarded with Poison in Effort to Rid an Island of Rats

Following tests on smaller islands, the government of Ecuador today begins the second phase of dropping massive amounts of specially designed poison on a Galapagos island thought to be infested with nearly 200 million invasive rats. Introduced centuries ago by pirates, whalers and other visitors, the rodents wreak havoc among the wildlife of Galapagos by preying on eggs and hatchlings of bird and reptile species.

Spiders Take Control as Birds Fade From Guam

As bird populations plummet worldwide, will Earth become the Planet of the Spiders? Research on Guam, a 30-mile-long U.S. island in the Pacific, found that arachnid populations increased as much as 40-fold in the wake of insect-eating birds being eaten into oblivion by invasive brown treesnakes.