The Blue Tree Monitor (Varanus macraei) is an arboreal lizard and a reptile. It is also known as the Blue-Spotted Tree Monitor.
The Blue Tree Monitor is black with scattered blue scales. The tip of its nose is light-blue and its lower jaw is white with green scales along its neck, forming a V-shaped pattern. Its legs are spotted with turquoise eye-spots, called ocelli. Its throat is light with dark spots.
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The Ashe’s Spitting Cobra (Naja ashei) is a venomous elapid African snake and a reptile. It is also called the Giant Spitting Cobra.
The Ashe’s Spitting Cobra is brown, olive, black, grey, or reddish-brown with orange or pink bars on its neck. Its belly is paler. It has a big, broad head. It has smooth scales.
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The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander (Ambystoma dumerilii) is an endangered freshwater amphibian. Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and axoltols are amphibians. It is also called the Lake Patzcuaro Achoque. It is related to the Mexican Axolotl.
The Lake Patzcuaro Salamander remains in its tadpole form for its whole life. It has feathery external gills, which it uses to breath. It is yellowish with a lighter shade on its underbelly. It has a large head, a tail, and short legs. It has four toes on its front legs and five toes on its back legs. It does not have scales – it has moist, smooth skin like the skin of frogs.
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The Gidgee Spiny-Tailed Skink (Egernia stokesii) is a lizard and a reptile. It is a squamate.
The Gidgee Spiny-Tailed Skink has a thick, flattened body with small eyes. It has 26-36 rows of scales. Its tail is spiny.
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The Bluegreen Giant Clam (Tridacna derasa) is a marine (saltwater) reef bi-valve mollusk (mollusk). It is also called the Southern Giant Clam. It is related to the Cockle.
The Bluegreen Giant Clam is smoother than most clams, because it lacks ridging. It has a thick shell, called a mantle. Its shell is actually two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. The shell can open and close. Bi-valve means two valves (or two shells). It has 6-7 rippled edges, called folds or flute. It does not have scutes (scales). The mantle has stripes or spots and is blue and green, with some white patches. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system.
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The Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa) is a marine (saltwater) reef bi-valve mollusc (mollusk). It is also called the Fluted Giant Clam or the Scaly Clam. It is related to the Cockle.
The Giant Clam has a thick brown, green, or purple-coloured ridged shell, called a mantle. Its shell is actually two equal-sized calcareous valves connected with a flexible adductor muscle. The shell can open and close. Bi-valve means two valves (or two shells). The mantle has 6-7 rippled edges, called folds or flutes. It has scales, called scutes. It has spotted patterns on the mantle. It has a mouth, a heart, kidneys, a stomach, and a nervous system.
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The Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta) is a large reptile – it is a lizard.
The Rhinoceros Iguana is grey-brown or grey-green. It has a bony horn-like lump on its nose, which looks like a rhinoceros horn. It has a crest of pointed scales from the nape of its neck to to the tip of its long tail. It has blue eyes.
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The Rough Scaled Python (Morelia carinata) is a large Australian snake. It is one of Australia’s rarest snakes.
The Rough Scaled Python is slim with large dry-looking scales. It is light-brown and medium-brown with darker red-brown marks. Its belly is white.
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What is keratin?
Keratin is a strong, fibre-based protein material.
Keratin is found on amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.
Keratin is the material in animal beaks, bills, claws, feathers, fingernails, hair, hooves, horns, scales, shells, talons, toenails, and wool. It is also in the outer layer of human skin.
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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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External covering is the outside appearance of an animal. Animals can have fur, feathers, hair, short hair, long hair, smooth hair, bristles, skin, thick skin, moist skin, dry skin, scales, waterproof scales, small scales, overlapping scales, spikes, hard shells, soft shells, smooth shells, rough shells, wool, or no covering at all.
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Iridescence means shiny with many colours. Many animals have iridescent colours.
Iridescence is structural colour from refracted light (crystals), diffraction gratings (feathers or butterfly wings), thin film (oily surfaces), multiple layer interference (nacre in shells), or 3-D arrays of spheres (opals).
The word iridescence comes from iris, the Greek word for rainbow. An iridescent object has many tones of colour. Iridescence creates colour by splitting and reflecting light from different structures – which is why it is often called structural colour.
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