A species discovered on Flickr

by Greg Mayer A recent paper by Shaun Winterton, Hock Ping Guek, and Stephen Brooks describes a new species of lacewing (a type of insect in the order Neuroptera). There is nothing unusual in this– new species of animals, especially insects, are described all the time, and we have a few million more to go. […]

Extinct frog rediscovered– sort of

by Greg Mayer Since I first read about them when I was about 12 years old, I’ve been intrigued by the somewhat mysterious Vegas Valley leopard frogs. Known from a handful of springs, all in what is now more or less metropolitan Las Vegas, they had disappeared before the middle of the 20th century, and […]

Neanderthals are us?

by Greg Mayer At least since Socrates explored the meaning of the Greek maxim “Know thyself”, and Alexander Pope added that “the proper study of Mankind is Man”, we have been interested in knowledge about ourselves. But who are we? A paper in press in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Ron […]

Clouded leopards and the species problem

by Greg Mayer Alert WEIT-blog reader Dominic has drawn my attention to a not yet published study of clouded leopards, that I’d seen mentioned by the BBC, but I had not seen the actual paper (well, actually, nobody has seen the actual paper— more below on this). There are two issues here, both of which […]

Tuataras and the species problem

by Greg Mayer Tuataras are very interesting animals: endemic to New Zealand, and the sole survivors of an ancient and once more widespread order of reptiles, the Sphenodontida, whose closest relatives are the squamates (lizards+snakes). I noted some of their distinctive traits in an earlier post. When a friend went to New Zealand for a […]

That lizard was delicious– what kind was it?

by Greg Mayer That’s more or the less the question Ngo Van Tri, a Vietnamese herpetologist, must have asked himself after having a meal like that shown below, which surely rivals anything Jerry’s had in Colombia. Tri contacted Lee Grismer of La Sierra University and his son Jesse Grismer, a graduate student at Villanova University, […]

Caturday felid: the Spotted Lion

by Greg Mayer One of the most enigmatic of the felids is the spotted lion. Indeed, it’s so enigmatic that it might, in some senses, be said to not even exist. As you may recall from Jerry’s earlier posting of a video of lion cubs, lions are born with spots, which disappear as they mature. […]

An iguana appetizer

by Greg Mayer No, it’s not a reptilian hors d’oeuvre. It’s pictures of a Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subcristatus, to whet your appetites for those Jerry will have when he gets back. I toured the Galapagos 20 years ago, and took loads of pictures, but they’re Kodachromes (which I haven’t scanned), so the pictures of […]

Caturday felid

by Greg Mayer Until Jerry settles back in there’ll be a bit of overlap in our posting, so I’m providing this Caturday’s felid. Actually it’s two felids: the lion and the tiger (both of these links come from a wonderful page maintained by Virginia Hayssen of Smith College), both photographed today at the Racine Zoo […]