Category Archives: reptiles

Monday: Duck report

Both mallard hens have left Botany Pond, presumably to sit on their eggs, leaving one lone drake, who swims around in a desultory way, occasionally emitting a plaintive and muted quack. He’s a handsome lad, though, and I don’t worry too much so long as there is only one male.  Here he is: a foppish […]

A lizard that breathes underwater

by Greg Mayer This beats eating and swimming underwater: Lindsey Swierk, of SUNY Binghamton, reports, in the latest issue of Herpetological Review, that Anolis aquaticus can breathe underwater! Here’s a video she posted at Anole Annals: The lizard, of course, is not breathing water; rather, it is breathing air that is trapped around it’s body, […]

The occasionally marine iguana

by Greg Mayer Matthew sent me and Jerry this Tweet from PADI, of a wonderful video clip by Turtle & Ray Productions in Curaçao. It reminded Matthew of mosasaurs, an extinct group of giant marine lizards from the Mesozoic. It's not everyday you spot a land iguana roaming the reef in Curaçao 🦎. 🎥 : […]

Mongoose vs. mamba: no contest!

Here we have a fight to the death between a slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea) and the deadly black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), one of the most venomous snakes in the world. For some reason these YouTube battles of mongoose vs. snake always end with the snake losing, but of course there’s been strong natural selection for […]

That was not a 15-meter anaconda!

by Greg Mayer So here’s the wrap-up on anacondas. First, as I mentioned in the previous anaconda post, alert readers went digging and found out the true story. Reader Roger first suggested it was stretched, and, following a suggestion by infiniteimprobablit, determined it was changed from an aspect ratio of .550 (typical, I think of […]

How big is this anaconda?

by Greg Mayer The anaconda in the video posted this morning is real, but it is certainly not 15 m long. Alert readers went digging, and found clues (posted in the comments) as to what the story is. I’ll post on that later, but for now, here’s another anaconda, this one a specimen I saw […]

A 15-meter anaconda?

by Greg Mayer Matthew Cobb sent me and Jerry a Tweet that contained this video, purportedly showing a 15 meter long anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in Brazil. Commenters on YouTube suggest it’s a fake, but I see nothing to indicate that. My Portuguese is very poor: I can hear the narrator say “cobra” (=snake), “anaconda”, and […]

Bird versus chameleon

No animals were harmed in the making of this video, but one got scared. The YouTube notes: “I have 2 white bellied caique and originally I had 30 chameleons all hatched in my house after warming the eggs for 6 months without expecting them to hatch. He is one of them. The others, I donated […]

Alligators apparently swallow stones for ballast

Alligators and crocodiles are known to swallow stones, which are called “gastroliths” when they settle in the creature’s stomach. Some birds do this, too, but to help grind up their food. (Other marine creatures like seals also swallow stones.) Why do crocs and alligators do it? In the paper below, published in Integrative Organismal Biology […]

Sue’s new digs

by Greg Mayer Sue, the remarkably complete Tyrannosaurus rex discovered by (and named for) Sue Hendrickson, and excavated by Pete Larson and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, has long graced Stanley Field Hall at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Last year, the Museum announced that Sue would be moved upstairs, into the […]