Great Padloper

The Great Padloper (Homopus femoralis) is a small chelonian reptile in the Testudinidae family of land tortoises.

The Great Padloper Tortoise has a brown domed-shaped shell called a carapace, although it can be reddish-brown or olive-brown. It has darker markings bordering its scutes (scales). As it ages, the dark markings often become thin white lines. The top part of the carapace is slightly flattened. Its pale cream bottom shell is called a plastron. It has a small head and brown eyes. It has four toes on its thick, stumpy legs. 

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How does a Python eat?

How does a Python eat? 

The jaws of a python are not like a human’s jaws. Humans cannot open their mouth very wide, but a python can.

The jaws of a python are extremely flexible because they are not fused together and they are not connected to the back of its mouth. 

A python can open its jaws so wide that it can eat a medium-sized animal whole – such as a deer, antelope, pig, cat, or dog.

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Komodo Dragon’s Tongue

The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large reptile in the Varanidae family of monitor lizards. It is an ectotherm varanid. 

The Komodo Dragon has sharp teeth and a long, yellow, deeply-forked tongue. 

It eats invertebrates, birds, and mammals, such as monkeys. It uses venom to kill its prey, because the toxins stop the prey’s wound from clotting. The animal loses blood pressure and lots of blood. The Komodo Dragon takes a bite out of an animal, even a large animal, and the animal dies within a few days. 

The Komodo Dragon can eat a monkey or a deer whole. So, why does it need a long tongue? 

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Jackson’s Forest Lizard

The Jackson’s Forest Lizard (Adolfus jacksoni) is a small to medium-sized reptile in the Lacertidae family of wall lizards. It is a lacertid. 

The Jackson’s Forest Lizard is long and slender with shiny scales and a long tail. It has brown stripes on either side of its body with rows of greenish spots. It has a pale underbelly. It has large black eyes with yellow eye rings. It has short legs with five toes on each foot.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Eastern Vine Snake

The Eastern Vine Snake (Thelotornis mossambicanus) is a venomous reptile in the Colubridae family of vine snakes. It is also known as the Eastern Twig Snake, African Creep Snake, or the Savanna Vine Snake. It is a colubrid snake.

The Eastern Vine Snake is a thin, grey snake, with a beige underbelly. The top of its head is green, often with black speckles. Its body also has speckles. Its eyes have horizontal pupils, often in the shape of a keyhole. When startled, it inflates (swells) its throat to show black spots between its scales. 

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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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