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Archive for May, 2015


   May 29

Elephants rejoice: China to end ivory trade

By Herp News The Chinese government announced today that it will ‘eventually’ shut down its legal domestic ivory market. The move, which surprised conservationists, could provide a major boost in efforts to stop the mass killing of elephants for their ivory. Go to Source …read more Read more here: herpetofauna.com  (658) AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Dog […]

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   May 29

First artificial insemination of Yangtze giant softshell turtle

By Herp News A female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) — potentially the last female of her species — has been artificially inseminated. The procedure, which brought together top scientists from China, Australia and the United States, provides a ray of hope in a continuing effort to save the world’s most endangered turtle. Go […]

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   May 29

The Indian monitor lizard

In all the time I’ve been writing for kingsnake.com, most of my posts have been about Indian snakes. It’s like I’ve forgotten there are other reptiles and amphibians that also exist in India. So here are some thoughts on the most common monitor lizard of India. The Indian or Bengal monitor, Varanus bengalensis, is a […]

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   May 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Rhino iguana

It’s the weekend and what better excuse to hang with your friends, just like the rhino iguana in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user spotsowner! Be sure to tell spotsowner you liked it here! Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! […]

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   May 28

120,000 dead: half of the world’s saiga die in less than a month

By Herp News No one knows what’s killing them, but scientists estimate that almost half of the world’s saiga (Saiga tatarica) have perished since May 10th. To date, researchers on-the-ground unofficially estimate that 120,000 saiga have died in Kazakhstan from what appears to be a wildly virulent disease, although no cause has been ruled out. […]

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   May 28

Two Texas map turtles and not one camera

Reduced in size and flow during a drought, at the bridge where we stood the river was still about 30 feet wide and looked to be cool and fairly deep with even deeper holes. Kenny and I were watching some very wary diamond-backed water snakes that were using some cracks in the bridge abutment as […]

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   May 28

Windsor Humane Society investigating disturbing watersnake killing

The Windsor-Essex Humane Society is decrying a violent attack on a northern watersnake, and asking the incident be taken as seriously as abuse against any other type of animal. From the CBC: Coulter said the Humane Society consulted a snake expert who said the snake died at the hands of a human and not another […]

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   May 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Desert horned lizards

This pair of horned lizards (aka horny toads) are just chilling like a pair of villians on their rock in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user radar357! Be sure to tell radar357 you liked it here! Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them […]

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   May 27

Drone Herders: Tanzanian rangers and researchers use UAVs to protect elephants and crops

By Herp News HEC, otherwise known as human elephant conflict, is a centuries-old problem responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of elephants. This ongoing battle between African farmers trying to grow crops and hungry elephants foraging for a meal, has motivated conservationists to find solutions for protecting the largest and one of the most […]

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   May 27

Turtle reunited with her veteran savior

A veteran was reunited with Ba Cu, a Vietnamese pond turtle he rescued nearly 50 years ago and the oldest known example of her species. From the Columbus Dispatch: On Thursday, Lowery and Ba Cu met again in a visit arranged by zoo officials in honor of Memorial Day. Though Lowery, now 72, lives in […]

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   May 27

Herp Photo of the Day: Parson's chameleon

CHOW TIME! This female Parson’s chameleon is just about to grab a bite to eat in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user rocknreptiles! Be sure to tell rocknreptiles you liked it here! Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more […]

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   May 26

Up to 11 stunningly colorful chameleon species discovered in Madagascar

By Herp News The panther chameleon, a lizard prized in the pet trade for its remarkable color changing abilities, may actually represent 11 different species, report researchers writing in the journal Molecular Ecology. Analyzing the genetics of more than 300 individual panther chameleons, Swiss and Malagasy researchers make a case that different color morphs of […]

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   May 26

Cash prizes offered for solutions to wildlife poaching crisis

By Herp News A coalition has launched an initiative, the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge to spark and drive investment in innovative science and technology solutions to help reduce the damage caused by wildlife trafficking. The initiative is backed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC. […]

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   May 26

Mozambique loses almost 10,000 elephants in just five years

By Herp News Mozambique has lost nearly half of its elephants to relentless, brutal, and highly-organized poaching in just five years, according to a new government survey. In 2010, the country was home to an estimated 20,000 pachyderms, today it houses just 10,300. Go to Source …read more Read more here: herpetofauna.com  (363) Simple Deluxe […]

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   May 26

Nepal’s rhino population rises by 72% in ten years

By Herp News A new survey in Nepal counted 645 one-horned rhinos, up from 375 animals ten years ago and 534 animals in 2011. This represent a rise of 72 percent over the last ten years, an impressive feat given that the world’s rhinos are facing a savage poaching crisis. Go to Source …read more […]

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   May 26

What is the most humane way to kill a cane toad?

By Herp News Like many pests, cane toads are killed in their thousands in Australia every year, especially by community-based ‘toad-busting’ groups. New research has now revealed the most humane way to do it. Go to Source …read more Read more here: herpetofauna.com  (633) Zilla Reptile Décor Malaysian Driftwood by Zilla (633) Buy new: $8.99 […]

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   May 26

Zoo teaching grade schoolers to be citizen scientists

Missouri school children will be using stuffed animals and telemetry data to learn about box turtles. From the KPLR News: Monday evening more than 200 grade school students will track soft plush box turtles to better understand their ecosystem. ‘We’ll have some of those plush turtles that have those telemetry devices so the kids will […]

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   May 26

An arboreal beauty: the green tailed rat snake

There’s just that something about a green snake! Whether they are of the comparative chunkiness of a tree viper or the slender build of a rat snake, it seems that snakes of green color are hobbyist favorites. The racer-thin, rodent and bird eating, red-tailed green rat snake, Gonyosoma oxycephala (this snake also occurs in less […]

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   May 26

Herp Photo of the Day: Green tree monitor

Climbing to greet the morning is this beautiful green tree monitor in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user roadspawn! Be sure to tell roadspawn you liked it here! Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more Read more here: King […]

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   May 25

World’s second most endangered turtle on road to recovery

By Herp News 60 captive-raised Myanmar roofed turtles—a species once thought extinct—have been released into their native habitat in Myanmar, conservationists report. The Myanmar roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata) was believed extinct until 2001, when two researchers found a single shell from a recently killed turtle at a village along the Dokhtawady River. Subsequently, live individuals […]

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   May 25

What did the first snakes look like?

By Herp News The original snake ancestor was a nocturnal, stealth-hunting predator that had tiny hindlimbs with ankles and toes, according to new research. Snakes show incredible diversity, with over 3,400 living species found in a wide range of habitats, such as land, water and in trees. But little is known about where and when […]

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   May 25

Ways to avoid catching diseases from pets

By Herp News Pets can pass diseases to humans, especially when a pet owner’s immune system is compromised. Here, veterinarians outline ways for families to avoid disease transmission by choosing the right type of pet–or making small changes in the ways they enjoy the pets they already have. Go to Source …read more Read more […]

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   May 25

Two new iguanid lizard species from the Laja Lagoon, Chile

By Herp News A team of Chilean scientists discover two new species of iguanid lizards from the Laja Lagoon, Chile. The two new species are believed to have been long confused with other representatives of the elongatus-kriegi lizard complex, before recent morphological and genetic analysis diagnosed them as separate. Go to Source …read more Read […]

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   May 25

Ocean myth busted: ‘Toddler’ sea turtles are very active swimmers

By Herp News It turns out sea turtles, even at a tender 6-18 months of age, are very active swimmers. They don’t just passively drift in ocean currents as researchers once thought. Researchers say it’s an important new clue in the sea turtle ‘lost years’ mystery. Where exactly turtles travel in their first years of […]

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   May 25

Frog uses different strategies to escape ground, air predators

By Herp News Frogs may flee from a ground predator and move towards an aerial predator, undercutting the flight path. Go to Source …read more Read more here: herpetofauna.com  (37) Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium, 24 by 18 by 12-Inch by Exo Terra (37) Buy new: $122.89 3 used & new from $122.89 The […]

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   May 25

For the first time, scientists tag a loggerhead sea turtle off US West Coast

By Herp News Fifty miles out to sea from San Diego, in the middle of April, under a perfectly clear blue sky, fisheries scientists leaned over the side of a rubber inflatable boat and lowered a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle into the water. That turtle was a trailblazer — the first of its kind ever […]

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   May 25

Evolution puts checks on virgin births

By Herp News It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, and perpetuate offspring without males. Researchers have found that in species where females have evolved the ability to reproduce […]

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   May 25

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes’ quest for fire

By Herp News The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has lost 97 percent of its habitat since Europeans first arrived in America. New research demonstrates the critical nature of one element of the diamondback’s home range, pine savanna. For conservationists seeking surrogate habitats for the now-rare species’ dwindling population, the results underscore the need for prescribed fire […]

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   May 25

BPA can disrupt sexual function in turtles, could be a warning for environmental health

By Herp News Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in food storage products and resins that line plastic beverage containers. Often, aquatic environments become reservoirs for BPA, and turtle habitats are affected. Now, a collaboration of researchers has determined that BPA can alter a turtle’s sexual differentiation. Scientists are concerned findings could indicate harmful […]

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   May 25

Malabar gliding frog: A flying amphibian

Here I come with my first amphibian blog post! India is home to good number of amphibians, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians. Toads and frogs are found in every part of India, whether it’s a city or a jungle, and according to me they are the cutest cold blooded creatures on earth. I have […]

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   May 25

When Prince Harry met lizard Harry

On a trip to New Zealand, Prince Harry met a Tuatara lizard named Harry who is over 100 years old. From the Sunday Express: The royal came face to face with a Tuatara lizard, also named Harry, during a welcome ceremony in the city of Invercargill. The Prince came up close and personal with the […]

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   May 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Tokay gecko

Despite their reputation of being angry, the beauty of a Tokay gecko puts it front and center in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user stingray! Be sure to tell stingray you liked it here! Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! […]

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   May 23

ainoa's Blog – Turtle Day

Okay, so today is Turtle Day. About 7 months ago while I was randomly walking around the city, I fell upon a pet shop, I went in just to have a look. And saw this tank full of baby red eared sliders, and being as impulsive as I am i decided to get one. Come […]

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   May 23

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes’ quest for fire

By Herp News The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has lost 97 percent of its habitat since becoming an American icon on the Revolutionary-era ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag. New research demonstrates the critical nature of one element of the diamondback’s home range, pine savanna. For conservationists seeking surrogate habitats for the now-rare species’ dwindling population, the […]

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   May 23

The injunction against USFWS: What you need to know now

USARK and its lawyers worked at a frantic pace to get a nationwide preliminary injunction (PI) for every single responsible reptile keeper in the continental United States since the recent USFWS Lacey Act listing of reticulated pythons and three species of anacondas. We submitted multiple legal briefs/memoranda to, and had several hearings before, the Federal […]

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   May 22

The Ceylon cat snake

If you are a hardcore fan of tree snakes, then I would suggest you put herping India on your to-do list. India is the place where you can find 50-60 species of tree snakes. Most of the tree snakes are from the family of Pit Vipers, Bronzeback Tree snakes, Vine snakes and Cat snakes. In […]

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   May 22

Herp Video of the Week: Crocodile dental care

You think getting your kids to brush their teeth is hard, imagine doing it with a croc! Check out the dental care given to Jaws over at Madras Croc Bank in India in our Herp Video of the Week. Submit your own reptile & amphibian videos at http://www.kingsnake.com/video/ and you could see them featured here […]

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   May 22

Consumer choice: Shade-grown coffee and cocoa good for the birds, farmers, ecosystems

By Herp News The next time you order that “wake up” cup of Joe or reach for a sweet treat, you may want to consider whether those coffee or cocoa beans were grown in the shade or open sun. Choosing the shade grown variety can offer huge benefits to tropical birds, their ecosystems and farmers […]

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   May 21

Burrow borrowers: the blotched tiger salamander

Black-tailed prairie dog burrows scar the landscape. Stop for a moment while driving through Wind Cave National Wildlife Refuge in the Black Hills during the hours of daylight and a dozen or more prairie dogs will come running in hope of a handout. Look both ways before you begin driving again because a curious bison […]

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   May 21

First new rattlesnake antivenom in over a decade approved by FDA

A newly approved rattlesnake antivenom is being tested in Arizona. From KVOA.com: The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson and the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center at Banner-University Medical Center in Phoenix will be conducting a study to find the most effective way to […]

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