CREATURE FEATURE: Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus) is a reptile in the Boidae family of non-venomous, colubrid, boa constrictor snakes. It is a boid (pronounced bo-id). It is also known as the Garden Tree Boa or the Macabrel. 

The Amazon Tree Boa is long and slim. It varies in base colour from black, brown, grey, red, and orange to yellow. Its patterns can be banded, speckled, rhomboid shapes, or completely plain with no patterns or markings. It has a distinct head and it has dark, rounded eyes. It has sharp, long, needle-like teeth. 

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RESEARCH: Crocodile tears are true – reptiles and birds can cry

Animal evolutionary researchers have found that reptiles and birds cry similar tears to humans.

Researchers in Brazil, at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, published their new study in Frontiers in Veterinary Sciencein 2020.

They collected samples of the tears of captive healthy animals in conservation centres. The tears were from seven species of reptiles and birds. The reptiles included tortoises, caiman lizards, and sea turtles. The birds included macaws, hawks, owls, and parrots.

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Jacky Dragon

The Jacky Dragon (Amphibolurus muricatus) is a medium-sized reptile in the Agamidae family of agamid lizards. It is also known as the Tree Dragon, the Stonewalker, or the Blood-Sucker.

The Jacky Dragon has an elongated, rough-scaled, brown to pale-grey body with dark markings along the middle of its back. The dark markings are combined with pale blotches. It has a dark-brown bar between its eyes and its ears. It has five crests on its head. It has a bright yellow lining in its mouth, and orange-red corners of its mouth, with a broad, thick, fleshy tongue. Its hind (back) legs are longer than its front legs. Its feet have five clawed toes.

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Tana River Gecko

The Tana River Gecko (Hemidactylus modestus) is a small lizard and a reptile in the Gekkonidae family of house geckos. It is also known as the Moderate Leaf-Toed Gecko.

The Tana River Gecko is brown with dark-brown mottled markings. Its tail is long and tapered. It has a light underbelly. Its five toes on each foot has leaf-shaped pads that enable it to stick to surfaces. Its nose is elongated. It has bulging eyes with vertical pupils. 

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How do snakes move?

How do snakes move?

Snakes do not have legs, so they slither and slide. But what does this mean?

Snake locomotion (movement) can be serpentine, concertina, rectilinear, or sidewinding.

Serpentine movement is also called lateral undulation, and it is the most common way for snakes to move. The movement looks like an ‘S’ shape. Terrestrial snakes, that live on the ground, use this type of movement. Aquatic snakes, that live in water, also use this type of movement. 

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Desert Monitor Lizard

The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.

The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws. 

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Steppe Runner Lizard

The Steppe Runner (Eremias arguta) is a medium-sized reptile in the Lacertidae family of wall lizards. It is also known as the Mongolian Racerunner. 

The Steppe Runner varies in colour to camouflage itself with its environment. It has a wide body, deep head, and short tail. Around its head and neck, older males may have tubercles, which are small, rounded outgrowths of skin. It has a light underbelly. It has dark eyes. Its fourth toe on its hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. 

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Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard

The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard (Phrynocephalus helioscopus) is a small lizard in the agamid family. It is also known as the Fergana Toadhead Agama. 

The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard has a short, wide head, and a short nose. It has rough skin. It has scale fringes around its eyes to keep out the desert sand. It varies in colour from light-beige to grey to dark-brown, with white, black, and red patterns that camouflages it with its environment. It has a light underbelly. It has partially fringed toes to help it walk on sand. 

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Caspian Cobra

The Caspian Cobra (Naja oxiana) is a medium-sized venomous snake, and reptile, in the Elapidae family. It is an elapid. It is also called the Central Asian Cobra, the Ladle Snake, the Oxus Snake, or the Russian Snake. 

The Caspian Cobra has an elliptical, hooded head with medium-sized eyes that have round pupils. It is light-brown to chocolate-brown or yellowish. It has several dark bands under its throat. 

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Russian Tortoise

The Russian Tortoise (Agrionemys horsfieldii) is a small chelonian reptile in the Testudinidae family. It is also known as the Afghan Tortoise, the Central Asian Tortoise, Horsfield’s Tortoise, the Steppe Tortoise, or the Four-Clawed Tortoise.

The Russian Tortoise can be various colours, but it usually has a brown or grey-black top dome-shaped shell, called a carapace. It has faded yellow-beige markings between its scutes (scales). It has a paler bottom shell, called a plastron. Its body is straw-yellow and brown. It has a small head and brown eyes. It has four toes on its thick, stumpy legs. 

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