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Questions tagged [herpetology]

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

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50 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Llew's user avatar
  • 542
32 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Rotari Radu's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Armfoot's user avatar
  • 343
19 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is this animal looking like an Axolotl?

My friend caught a strange looking animal and he's saying it is an axolotl. I keep telling him it's almost impossible, since they are almost extinct in their natural environment and he caught it in St-...
Samuel Fyckes's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
4k 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?
reeglysonforubuntu's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
29k 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://...
ClickRick's user avatar
  • 267
12 votes
1 answer
240 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
4k 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.
TheRealDanBiss's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
557 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 ...
рüффп's user avatar
  • 1,379
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
User323693's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Isuru's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
1 answer
176 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.
L.Diago's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
238 views

How do snakes determine the direction of prey from their thermal infrared sensing pit organs?

This answer to How does the “heat vision” of some snakes work? explains the basic idea and there are several linked sources within that go into greater detail on the sensing mechanisms on a physical ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
do-the-thing-please's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
137 views

Reptile identification - Is this a green iguana?

At first instance it looks like an iguana and since this photo was taken near the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil it could only be the green iguana, but as you can see from the photo the reptile is black. ...
Ricardo Alexandre's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
733 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?
Shay's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
32k 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 ...
ShanZhengYang's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
271 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?
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
352 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
Benjli's user avatar
  • 259
6 votes
3 answers
440 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., ...
user19679's user avatar
  • 404
6 votes
1 answer
122 views

Can you identify this snake?

On a walk through I’ON Swamp/Natural Forest in Mt. Pleasant, SC, we came upon this snake. We did not get too close for fear it may be poisonous. It had a very dark brown/taupe exterior with almost a ...
YoRock's user avatar
  • 63
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user622505's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
283 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 ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 303
6 votes
1 answer
112 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? ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
2 answers
8k 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?
Anixx's user avatar
  • 3,016
5 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
CDspace's user avatar
  • 193
5 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
Nick_Tsaftaridis's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Fmonkey2001's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
879 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-...
Mauricio's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user37026's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
2 answers
17k 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? ...
danish kumar's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
281 views

Cause of premature death in turtle eggs

Context I am a hobbyist turtle breeder and I have been keeping and breeding turtles for 15 years (I have hatched turtles in the high hundredths). Long story short, few years back, my friend and I ...
godo's user avatar
  • 171
5 votes
1 answer
225 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 ...
Tzacol's user avatar
  • 639
4 votes
2 answers
368 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.....
Vanessa's user avatar
  • 201
4 votes
1 answer
476 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).
rook's user avatar
  • 295
4 votes
2 answers
883 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 ...
nwk's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
206 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. ...
curious_cat's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
571 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, ...
Self-teaching worker's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
173 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 ...
p.s.w.g's user avatar
  • 1,427
4 votes
0 answers
302 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 ...
Lightness Races in Orbit's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the most recent common ancestor of reptiles and humans?

In the Phylogeny of humans and reptiles, what is/are some of the most recent common ancestors?
stevec's user avatar
  • 217
3 votes
1 answer
982 views

What snake is this? Is it venomous?

Location: Ozark Mountains in Northern Arkansas. Size: Perhaps 4-6 feet in length. Behavior: Mower uncovered a couple of these in tall grass/brush next to a log. They did not coil up. This one lay ...
mherzl's user avatar
  • 163
3 votes
1 answer
231 views

Are snake capable of love? (social bond in a male/female couple)

I'm wondering whether it has been noticed that some species of snake form male/female couples for life (or at least multiple reproduction cycles) like other types of animals do (penguins come to mind)....
Alexis Wilke's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
164 views

What animal is this? Caution, GRAPHIC!

One of my friends stumbled upon this half part of an animal. It seems lizard-like...I don't think I've ever seen a lizard that large, though. We live in Greece. Can you figure it out? Close-up and a ...
George Menoutis's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
165 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 ...
biogirl's user avatar
  • 8,621
3 votes
1 answer
115 views

Help identifying snake? (Southern California)

I just got home after a brief, surprise thunderstorm ... to find a pretty good size snake lounging in the breezeway at the garage side door. (Presumably, it was seeking shelter from the rain?) Could ...
someguy's user avatar
  • 33