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Questions tagged [herpetology]

The study of reptiles and amphibians, and a subarea of zoology.

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45
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1answer
3k views

Help identifying leaf-like bone

I found two of these objects near a creek in Missouri. They feel like they are made out of bone but they do not look like any bone I have seen before. They also appear as though the could be some sort ...
31
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4answers
5k views

Were there any flying dinosaurs?

I've seen some articles which came in contradiction with each other. The first article was talking about flying dinosaurs, dinosaurs with feathers and so on. A couple of other articles are talking ...
22
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2answers
3k views

If dinosaurs could have feathers, would they still be reptiles?

I just finished watching a video where it was mentioned that nowadays birds are dinosaurs and non-avians dinosaurs could have feathers. I confirmed this from wikipedia: Birds are highly advanced ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Do birds emit infra-red radiation?

I'm an electronics engineering student and I am going to use a sensor that detects infra-red emitted by birds that invade rice paddies. Do birds emit infra-red radiation?
15
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2answers
26k views

What “emotions” can a snake feel?

Short: Thinking in particular of a Royal Python (US: Ball Python) such as some people keep as exotic companion animals, what sorts of "emotions" or "feelings" are they capable of? Long: http://...
12
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1answer
197 views

Can a lizard shed a regrown tail again?

Some lizards are famous for their ability to voluntarily shed their tail to elude predators (Autotomy). After a while, the tail will be regenerated, though with slightly different qualities, as ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Do snakes get dizzy?

I've seen snakes get captured in sacks and I've wondered if the snake would get dizzy if the sack were twirled around. I have not done any tests (and don't plan to) because snakes scare me.
10
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1answer
406 views

What is this snake

I took a picture of this snake in Switzerland (Geneva Area): It looks to be an adder but cannot be sure about which species. In Switzerland we have two kinds of adder: Vipera berus Vipera aspis ...
9
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1answer
951 views

Indian Snake Species Identification

Location: southern India Time: noon Approx. Size: Length: around 2 feet; Size: extremely small, like a straw. Diameter: less than 1 cm. Was very fast in climbing aisle of mud bed/uphill like 90 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the name of this snake?

This baby snake just came inside my house in Sri Lanka, and I'm wondering whether it is venomous. Do you know this snake? I am posting this from my phone so I am unable to format properly. And I have ...
8
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1answer
157 views

Is it Bufo bufo?

I find a couple of frogs. It was cca. 4inches long and 2inches wide. Photo was taken in Prague, Czech republic, middle Europe.. Same zoomed.
6
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1answer
586 views

What kind of snake is this

Found this outside on patio in northern Virginia, Ashburn area, September 2018. It's about 12 inches. Is it a water snake or rattlesnake?
6
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1answer
157 views

What species is this turtle in Houston?

This turtle was displaced by hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, USA (Buffalo Bayou and Dunlavy). It appears to be a snapper. Can someone identify the exact species?
6
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1answer
202 views

Lizard species identification

I managed to photograph a lizard in Haruvit Forest, Israel. I would like to know - what lizard species is this? Size appr. 20-25cm
6
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3answers
323 views

Identification of this species of Toad

I found a short video on the Internet of a toad and I wonder if anybody could identify it? It was posted on a social-media/blogging website called 'Tumblr', so I don't know much about it (e.g., ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What species of snake found in central Alabama, US?

The snake in the image below was found in the attic of a home in a relatively well-forested suburb of central Alabama, south of Birmingham about 20 minutes. It was safely released outside in the ...
6
votes
1answer
145 views

What is this tiny lizard?

This tiny guy stumbled into our house in the suburbs of Sydney. What species is it? It's dark and has two yellow stripes going along the length of its body. They start on its head and go right above ...
6
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1answer
99 views

Plural of “dibamus”

Migrated from English site. Dibamus is a genus of legless lizards in the family Dibamidae, of the infraorder Dibamia. Genera are usually given in singular, so what is the correct plural of Dibamus? ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Are fish and reptilian scales homologous?

Wikipedia: Fish scales are dermally derived, specifically in the mesoderm. This fact distinguishes them from reptile scales paleontologically. So aren't reptilia scales also dermally derived?
5
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1answer
1k views

Species Identification: Snake, New Mexico

The snake is about one and a half inches in diameter at its widest, a half inch at the head, and about two feet long. I found it in central New Mexico. It's hard to see the head in the pics, but it ...
5
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1answer
20k views

Is the swimming pool water harmful to frogs who jump in? If so, how?

Here is an odd question: Frogs have permeable skin. Indeed, via capillary action, frogs absorb water through their skin. Chlorine is in principle a harmful substance. I am sure what percentage of ...
5
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1answer
3k views

How big can cold-blooded animals get?

It seems impossible to have reptiles the size of dinosaurs, just because they are really big! Did they have different systems of maintaining body temperature or maybe they weren't the exact type of ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

Why would a python go after such large prey?

I read that most Pythons would go for smaller prey, around the size of a house cat, but that larger species enjoy crocodiles, deer and even a bit of antelope for dinner. But why? Now, I realise that ...
5
votes
1answer
826 views

What kind of tortoise is this?

Can you help me to ID this tortoise? It was walking around near to my house and then my mom found it, so we'd like to know more info. Its Straight Carapace Length is about 5+ inches. Found it in mid-...
5
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1answer
1k views

Can reptiles digest grains?

As a caretaker of a turtle, I sometimes struggle understanding the logic behind the inclusion of corn, soybean, and wheat meals in reptile food, such ingredients seem truly aberrant from what a ...
5
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2answers
7k views

Why do reptiles still move even after death?

I saw a video in which a decapitated snake head still tried to bite. I also saw a video in which a man was hit by the moving tail of a dead crocodile. So why do reptiles move even after death? ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Identification of this Salamander

This salamander was found in a small forest pond somewhat near the Oregon coast. In the area are many rough skinned newts and a small number of another type of salamander that I still can't find the ...
5
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1answer
168 views

How were (many) dinosaurs' brains so small?

Brain size (or its proxy, encephalization quotient) usually varies allometrically with mass -- larger creatures need larger brains to control their larger bodies, apparently. Dinosaurs are popularly ...
4
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2answers
214 views

Evolution of dinosaurs

What did dinosaurs evolve from? Was it the reptiles that evolved from amphibians? I have been researching this but am very confused with who their direct predecessor was. Amphibians evolved from fish.....
4
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1answer
409 views

Why are Oxyuranus snake species named Taipan?

It is interesting, why are Oxyuranus species called Taipan. The snakes are Australian but taipan looks like of Chinese origin word (it means big shot - important person).
4
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2answers
551 views

Do reptiles hunt?

I encountered the following passage in the book The Art of Interactive Design by Criss Crawford (bold formatting is mine): [...] From stalking and evasion to the chase, the [interaction between ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Minor differences in morphology of a snake: Why designate it a different species?

I was motivated to ask based on an answer to another question that I read on SE-Biology: You can differentiate this species [Ashok's Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis ashoki)] from closely related D. ...
4
votes
1answer
231 views

Extinction of non-mammal Synapsida

I am following M.J. Benton's Vertebrate Palaeontology, which explains how many groups of Synapsida were already extinct in the Mesozoic Era, with one obvious exception being the group of Cynodontia, ...
3
votes
1answer
421 views

What kind of snake is this?

First, we are located in Missouri. In between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. St. Francois county to be precise. We just walked outside and found this on the porch so we carried it off. Normally this ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Difference in reptile inner ear and otosclerosis

In reptiles, the sound is conducted from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear by a single bone. In the disease otosclerosis the stapes of humans become fused to the other middle ear bones( or to ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

What snake is this one?

I'm wondering what kind of snake is the one in the attached photo. It looks like Vipera aspis but It seemed a bit too big (lenght of about 1 meter). This photo was taken near Como, in the north of ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Can sexual selection operate in temperature dependent sex determining organisms?

Or more broadly, are distinct forms of genetic inheritance (ie. sex chromosomes) needed for sexual selection? My thinking was that since there are no sex determining loci, there could not be linkage ...
3
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0answers
202 views

How old is the action of sneezing?

Is there an estimate for when the ability of sneezing evolved? A little bit of research, and some critical review of my memories tell me that: Many, if not maybe all mammals sneeze. Some reptiles ...
3
votes
0answers
160 views

Identification of Anoles

Can anyone help me identify these anole species? All photos taken on St. Thomas, USVI, in close proximity to one another. (click to zoom in) Each photo is a different individual, but the overall ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What species is this lizard?

A small green lizard (20 cm in size). It was found in the direct neighboorhood of a house, in a small village in the Hungarian hills south of the Balaton lake. It was found in the middle of the day. ...
2
votes
2answers
302 views

Had there been a non-flying pterosaur?

Since there are non-flying birds and secondary non-flying insects, it is reasonable to assume there were also non-flying pterosaurs.
2
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1answer
2k views

Did modern alligators and caimans come from prehistoric crocodiles?

I know that crocodilians have been here since the time of the dinosaurs. I also know that crocodiles came first. But alligators have been here for a good 37 million years. Did alligators come from ...
2
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1answer
161 views

Do Blanding's Turtles die of old age?

I have recently found articles and various claims that turtles (Blanding's turtles as an exact example) could possibly live indefinitely. http://discovermagazine.com/2002/jun/featturtle This is said ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Recognition of snake (image)

I would like some help with the recognition of the snake shown in the image below. I was doing a fieldwork in a forest in Slovakia when I found it. I was thinking it could be a water snake but I am ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the Cordil that Edward Topsell describes?

In his "History of four-footed beasts and serpents", Edward Topsell describes a "serpent" called Cordil. Since he lists everything that crawls on the ground as a serpent, regardless of being a reptile,...
2
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1answer
335 views

How does the “heat vision” of some snakes work?

Some snakes have an infrared sense which is used to track warmblooded animals. How does that organ work? And would a similar organ be possible in a warmblooded animal?