Reptiles and Amphibians

Category archives for Reptiles and Amphibians

Salamanders can be a proxyindicator for climate change. Changes in salamanders have been linked to climate changes during ancient times, and in a very recent study, salamanders in the US Appalachians seem to have changed in relation to anthropogenic global warming. In fact, the changes observed in these Appalachian salamanders is quite large, very rapid,…

A Very Cool Ancient Crocodile

I have never actually seen a snake eat a crocodile or a crocodile eat a snake, but I am pretty sure I’ve seen a snake planning to eat a Nile Croc. And that was in the geological present. In the geological past, about 60 million years ago (during the “Eocene” a.k.a. “dawn age”) there was…

Crocs Afar

One day, about six thousand years ago (or more like 15 thousand ? the timing of this is disputed) a volcano in the vicinity of Mwea, Uganda blasted a huge volume of stuff into the air, covering the surrounding landscape and choking off most of the life forms living in a nearby lake. (A very…

Alligator Alien in Australia

From the BBC: Wildlife officials in Australia are investigating how an alligator native to North America was found wandering around a campsite in New South Wales. Campers at the site in Pambula managed to snare the beast in a volleyball net and held its jaws shut. Police first issued a press statement saying it was…

Loggerhead Turtles

As you can see, this specimen of Leptotyphlops carlae is small enough to hang out on a US quarter. Scientists are still working out why this snake associates itself with coinage. But seriously, this snake was discovered by Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, who is famous for also having discovered the…

Frog The Major Histocampatibility Complex (MHC) is an adaptive feature of the immune system that probably evolved in basal tetrapods. The MHC is genetically diverse in most populations, so the pattern of genetic variation of the MHC is probably behind the pattern of morbidity and mortality when a population is challenged with a given pathogen.…