The Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is a freshwater, aquatic reptile. It is also known as the Snapper or the Common Snapping Turtle.
The Snapping Turtle has powerful beak-like jaws. It has a slightly domed, serrated-edged (saw-toothed) upper shell, called a carapace. The lower shell, called the plastron, is narrower than the upper shell. It has a long tail – as long as the upper shell – and a long, snake-like neck. It is mostly greyish-brown. It has stumpy legs with claws, and webbing between the claws, which enable it to walk on land and swim in water. It does not have flippers like the sea turtle.
Continue reading “Snapping Turtle”
The Greek Tortoise (Testudo graeca graeca) is a small chelonian reptile. It is also known as the Spur-Thighed Tortoise.
The Greek Tortoise varies in colour and shell pattern, from dark-brown to bright yellow. The shell, called the carapace, is domed, and in some sub-species it bends upwards at the edges.
Continue reading “Greek Tortoise”
The Frilled-Necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) is a medium-sized reptile. It is also known as the Frilled Agama or the Frilled Dragon. It is an agamid (a dragon lizard).
The Frilled-Necked Lizard has a large frilled collar around its neck. The frill stays mostly closed, but will open up when the lizard is startled, and also for courtship. It is mainly grey or brown with dark spots and blotches that are often red or orange. The colour depends on the lizard’s environment as a form of camouflage.
Continue reading “Frilled-Necked Lizard”
The European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) is a medium-sized freshwater wetland chelonian, and a reptile. It is also known as the European Pond Terrapin because it lives some of the time on land and some of the time in water. It has webbed toes to enable it to swim and walk on land.
The European Pond Turtle has a brown flattish shell, called a carapace, with a green tinge and radiating black lines. It has large brown eyes.
Continue reading “European Pond Turtle”
The Spiny-Tailed Monitor Lizard (Varanus acanthurus) is a medium-sized reptile. It is also known as the Ridge-Tailed Monitor or the Ackies Dwarf Monitor.
The Spiny-Tailed Monitor Lizard is grey with light markings. Its scales are six-sided hexagons. It has a large mouth, large nostrils, and large brown eyes. Its feet have five toes with long, sharp claws.
Continue reading “Spiny-Tailed Monitor Lizard”
The Columbian Rainbow Boa (Epicrates maurus) is a non-venomous colubrid snake, a reptile in the Boinae family of boa constrictors. It is a boid, pronounced bo-id.
The Columbian Rainbow Boa is usually brown with dark-brown rings and S-shaped patterns. It changes its colour from day-time to night-time – from lighter to darker. It has a thick, heavy body.
Continue reading “Columbian Rainbow Boa”
Why does the Giant Tortoise have a long life span?
Why does the Giant Tortoise, particularly the Galapagos Island Giant Tortoise, a land tortoise, live for a century – a 100 years – or more?
An individual Pinta Island Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), called Lonesome George, died in 2012, at the age of 100 or more. Scientists used his body for research to determine why he lived so long.
Continue reading “RESEARCH: Why does the Giant Tortoise live for a century or more?”
The Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) is a non-venomous lizard. It is a reptile. It is also known as Pacific House Gecko, Asian House Gecko, House Lizard, and Moon Lizard.
The Common House Gecko is light to medium brown with a pinkish tinge. Its skin is covered with small nodules. Its feet have five toes with toe pads to help them stick to surfaces, even upside down. It has large orange-brown eyes.
Continue reading “Common House Gecko”
The Oscillated Skink (Chalcides ocellatus) is a lizard – and a reptile. It is also known as the Eyed Skink or the Gongilo.
The Oscillated Skink is elongated with a small head. Each foot has five toes. It is varied in colour, but it is usually light brown with dark-brown and white markings. It has a creamy-white underbelly. It has dark eyes and a dark-coloured tongue. It has very short legs, with five toes on each foot.
Continue reading “Oscillated Skink”
The Chameleon has zygodactylous feet. Zygo means paired, joined, or fused, and dactyl means digit (finger or toe). Scientists would like a more appropriate word, because the chameleon does not have true zygodactylous feet, like the parrot.
It has five toes on each foot. The toes are grouped into two fascicles (a bundle of structures).
Two or three toes in each fascicle are fused together, which makes its feet look like tongs (the tongs people use in the kitchen to pick up food).
Continue reading “Zygodactylous Feet – Chameleon Feet”
The Chameleon has very distinctive eyes.
The upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through.
Each eye can pivot and focus independently, allowing the chameleon to observe two different objects simultaneously.
Continue reading “Chameleon Eyes”
The Chameleon (family Chamaeleonidae) is a lizard – and a reptile.
The Chameleon can be a variety of colours, and many can change colour to match its environment – this is called camouflage. It is usually green, brown, olive-green, or grey-brown. It is elongated, usually with a raised or slightly-domed back, and a tail that can curl around plants. It often has a crest of spines along its back, and a fleshy lump at the back of its head. It has zygodactylous (fused) feet for climbing trees. It has a long tongue, and independently mobile eyes with stereoscopic vision.
Continue reading “Chameleon”
The Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) is a semi-aquatic freshwater reptile. It is also known as the Guyana Caiman Lizard. It is related to the Tegu.
The Northern Caiman Lizard has a heavy bright green body with short legs. It has dark bands on its body. Its head is large and usually red or orange. Its jaws are muscular and powerful. It has a long tail. It has a clear third eyelid, which is like a pair of goggles when it swims underwater. It has five toes, and its fourth toe is longer than its other toes.
Continue reading “Northern Caiman Lizard”
The False Water Cobra (Hydrodynastes gigas) is a venomous colubrid snake. It is not related to the cobra, but it can flatten its neck to make it look larger, just as a cobra does. It does not rear up like a cobra. It is also known as the Brazilian Smooth Snake.
The False Water Cobra is olive-green or brown with dark spots and bands. It has large eyes with circular pupils. Its colour becomes darker towards its tail. It has good vision. It has rear fangs. Its tongue is black.
Continue reading “False Water Cobra”
The Levant Blunt-Nosed Viper (Macrovipera lebetina obtusa) is a large endangered venomous snake, and an viperid reptile.
The Levant Blunt-Nosed Viper has light-grey and dark-grey scales edged with white. It has a broad, triangular head, and a rounded, blunt nose (snout). It has a faint pattern on its scales.
Continue reading “Levant Blunt-Nosed Viper”
The European Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus apodus) is a reptile. It is also called the Sheltopusik and the Giant Russian Legless Lizard.
The European Glass Lizard is legless – it has no legs, but it is not a snake. Actually, there are two knobs (2mm in length that are undeveloped legs. It has eyelids (and snakes do not have eyelids). It is brown to olive-green in colour. It has a long tail that can grow back (regenerate) if it falls off.
Continue reading “European Glass Lizard”
The Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia) is a venomous snake, and a reptile. It has an O-shaped monocellate hood pattern, which is different from the spectacled pattern of the Indian Cobra.
The Monocled Cobra may be brown, yellow, grey, blackish, or albino, with or without banded markings. It becomes paler as it ages. It has a black spot on each side of its hooded head. It has a pair of fixed anterior (front) fangs.
Continue reading “Monocled Cobra”
The Taylor’s Cantil (Agkistrodon tylori) is a venomous snake and a reptile. It is related to a pit viper. It is also known as the Ornate Cantil.
The Taylor’s Cantil has a thick dark-brown to black body with white, orange, or yellow bands. It also has white stripes with orange or yellow along both sides of its head and mouth. Its head is triangular. It has long, hinged fangs.
Continue reading “Taylor’s Cantil Snake”
The Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor) is an agamid reptile. It is in the family of Agama Lizards. It is also known as the Oriental Garden Lizard and the Eastern Garden Lizard.
The Changeable Lizard ranges in colour from light-brown to greyish. It has a short crest above the neck with small spines, which continue to the tail. There are light-grey lines radiating from its eyes. Like chameleons, the Changeable Lizard can move its eyes in different directions.
Its fourth toe on the hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes. The male has swollen cheeks and, when it is mating season, its head turns bright orange and its throat turns black.
Continue reading “Changeable Lizard”
The Yellow-Headed Water Monitor (Varanus cumingi) is a large lizard, and a reptile. It is also known as the Philippine Water Monitor, the Mindanao Water Monitor, or the Cuming’s Water Monitor.
The Yellow-Headed Water Monitor is yellow with dark-brown or black markings. Its head is often all yellow with only a few markings. Its scales are six-sided hexagons. It has a large mouth, large nostrils, and dark orange-brown eyes. Its feet have five toes with sharp claws.
Continue reading “Yellow-Headed Water Monitor Lizard”