Reptiles

The Thoughtful Animal

Category archives for Reptiles

I’ve got a new piece over at the Scientific American Guest Blog: On Friday, March 11, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. People were displaced, a nuclear reactor was in trouble, and the world watched as a tsunami flooded Japan, threatened the islands of the Pacific, and ultimately hit the western coasts of North and…

Have you ever been at a party with lots of people chatting away, when for some unexplainable reason you felt compelled to turn and look at the front door of your friend’s house…and just as you were looking, someone was just coming in from outside and closing the door? You couldn’t have heard the door…

Robot Lizard Push-ups

Have you ever been walking through the forest and thought to yourself, “Damn, its loud here…it’s really, really hard to hear anything anybody else is saying”? Well, maybe that’s what prompted Terry J. Ord and Judy A. Stamps, respectively from Harvard and UC Davis to investigate lizard exercise routines. You ask: What do lizard calisthenics…

Predator-prey interactions are often viewed as evolutionary arms races; while predators improve their hunting behaviors and their ability to sneak up on their prey, the prey improve upon their abilities to detect and escape from their predators. The problem, of course, is that there is a trade-off between maintaining vigilance – the attention necessary to…

She: “What are you writing about?” Me: “Cognition in cold-blooded animals.” She: “Hot.” Most people who study cognition focus on mammals or birds. But I hope I’ve convinced you that other animals are important to investigate as well. One research group at the University of Vienna likes cold-blooded critters. Turtles and lizards and such. They…

Altruistic Tortoises?

This video has been winding its way through the interwebs. It’s pretty neat, but is it truly a case of tortoise altruism? Who knows. We don’t know anything about those specific turtles or that specific situation. We don’t know if they’re kin, we don’t know if they’re trained, if they’re pets or wild, we don’t…

This past weekend, I was searching around the interwebz looking for something interesting to write about for Monday Pets. Lately, Monday Pets has been somewhat cat- and dog-heavy, so I was looking for something a bit different. I asked on twitter if there were any requests or recommendations. Friend of the blog Dave Munger responded:…

Figure 1: Reggie the Alligator, in 2007. (source) Reggie is getting a girlfriend.