Hundreds of new animal species have been found in Asia’s remote Mekong region, say scientists, due to the inaccessibility of humans and other animals in the mountainous area. Not only new animal species, but also new plant species have been found, reported the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in May 2023.
The greater Mekong region is a forested mountain area around the Mekong River that separates the countries Laos and Thailand, and also covers areas in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. It has no roads, making it remote and inaccessible to humans.
Scientists from universities, research institutes, and conservation organizations have, to date, found 290 new plants, 19 new fish, 24 amphibians (such as frogs), 46 reptiles (such as snakes), and one mammal (a bat).
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Kai Kupferschmidt, the author of the 2021 book, Blue: In Search of Nature’s Rarest Color says that the colour blue is rare in birds, reptiles, insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and fish, but even rarer in mammals.
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What is herpetophobia?
Herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles.
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What is a group of cobras called?
A group of cobras is called a quiver of cobras.
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What is a group of snakes called?
A group of snakes is called a den of snakes, a nest of snakes, a pit of snakes, a knot of snakes, or a generation of snakes.
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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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Do big animals have big ears and small animals have small ears? No, animal ears are many sizes and shapes.
Most ears have an outer ear (a pinna, a canal, and an eardrum), a middle ear, and an inner ear.
The pinna is the fleshy part that is visible. It is made of cartilage, not bone, so it is soft. It usually also has an ear lobe. The pinna directs sound through the canal to the eardrum.
The pinna has a muscle that moves the ear. For example, elephants and dogs can move their ears. Animals move their ears in the direction of a sound so that they can hear better.
Not all animals can move their ears because they have weak and non-functioning ear muscles. Animals that cannot move their ears include gorillas and monkeys. Humans cannot move their ears (without touching them).
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The Gippsland Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii howittii) is an arboreal eastern Australian reptile in the Agamidae family of agamid lizards.
The Gippsland Water Dragon is a brown-green-grey lizard with a row of spikes at the base of its head (called a nuchal crest), and can change colour to camouflage itself in its environment. It has black bands across its back, tail, and legs. Its throat has yellow, orange, or blue blotches. It has brown eyes. It has long legs and claws, which are good for climbing trees, and a long, muscular tail, which is good for swimming.
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The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a large reptile, and also a crocodilian, in the Alligatoridae family and Crocodilia order. Crocodiles, alligators, gharial, and caimans are all crocodilians.
The American Alligator is dark grey, black or olive-brown, with a broad U-shaped snout (nose) and sharp, triangular teeth. Its teeth are not visible when its mouth is closed. Its underbelly is creamy-yellow. It has a long tail and short legs with claws.
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What is a claw?
A claw is the curved, pointed endpart of a toe or finger, that is made from hard protein called keratin. Most amniotes (mammals, reptiles, and birds) have claws.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
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What’s the difference between a Nile Monitor and a Savannah Monitor Lizard?
The Nile Monitor Lizard is not as stocky as the Savannah Monitor Lizard.
The Nile Monitor Lizard has a narrower snout than the Savannah Monitor Lizard.
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The Savannah Monitor (Varanus exanthematicus) is a medium-sized African lizard, living in East Africa, southern Africa, and some areas of West Africa. It is a reptile.
The Savannah Monitor Lizard has a blackish or dark grey body, with five or six rows of yellow blotches, but there can be other colour variations. It has a broad, bulbous snout and a rounded tail. It has short legs.
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The Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) is a medium-sized African lizard. It is found in most of Africa, except West Africa. It is a reptile – the second largest reptile in the Nile River (second to the Nile Crocodile).
The Nile Monitor has mainly grey-brown muscular body with rough scales, green-yellow bars on its tail and green-yellow irregular spots on its back. It has a yellowish throat and underbelly. It has short, strong legs, with sharp claws. It uses its claws for digging, climbing, and for defense. Its long tail is powerful, which it can whip in defense.
It has powerful jaws with sharp, pointed teeth that become blunt with age, and a snake-like, forked tongue. It has large nostrils on its snout, and it has an excellent sense of smell. It is a good climber and swimmer.
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The Brown House Snake (Lamprophis fuliginosus) is a medium-sized non-venomous snake found in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The colour of the Brown House Snake varies, and can be spotted, striped, or solid colour.
It can grow to 120 centimetres (47 inches) long.
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The Rhinoceros Chameleon (Furcifer rhinoceratus) is a chameleon lizard with a horn-like nose. It is a reptile from Madagascar.
The male Rhinoceros Chameleon has a long horn-like nose above its mouth, with the horns pointing forward. The female has a smaller nose. It is generally grey or light brown and the nose can often be bluish. They have a white line on each side of their body.
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What’s the difference between the African Eastern Striped Skink and the African Five-Lined Skink?
The African Eastern Striped Skink (Trachylepis striata striata) and the African Five-Lined Skink are lizards found in East Africa and southern Africa. They are similar in size and colour.
The African Eastern Striped Skink has two yellowish stripes that run lengthwise on either side of the spine, whereas the Five-Lined Skink has five lines.
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The African Five-Lined Skink (Trachylepis quinquetaeniata) is an African lizard found mainly in East Africa. It is also called the Blue-Tailed Skink.
The African Five-Lined Skink is a slim, long brown lizard with smooth glossy scales that has five pale stripes on its back and sides, merging into a blue tail. It has small legs.
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The African Eastern Striped Skink (Trachylepis striata striata) is a lizard found in East Africa and southern Africa.
The African Eastern Striped Skink is brown or bronze-coloured with two yellowish stripes that run lengthwise on either side of the spine. It has smooth glossy scales, with metallic reflections, sometimes with pearly whitish spots.
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Alligator teeth and crocodile teeth are different.
An alligator has a large, fourth tooth in the lower jaw that fits into a socket in the upper jaw.
A crocodile does not have a fourth tooth in the lower jaw.
An alligator’s teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.
A crocodile’s teeth are visible when the mouth is closed.
Both alligators and crocodiles have between 74 and 80 teeth. As they wear down, they are replaced. They can have 3,000 teeth in a lifetime. Continue reading “Alligator Teeth, Crocodile Teeth”
The Green Plated Lizard (Gerrhosauridae major) is a medium-sized lizard found in Africa. It is also known ad the Sudan Plated Lizard or the Great Plated Lizard.
It is mainly brown but can be variable colours. It has rough scales of armour that look like plates. It is broad with no distinct neck, and with a wide tail.
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