snakes lizards – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 02:35:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://phrynosoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/profile-150x150.png snakes lizards – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ 32 32 Sparkle’s Animal Meet & Greet Sessions Build Kids’ Confidence https://phrynosoma.org/sparkles-animal-meet-greet-sessions-build-kids-confidence/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/sparkles-animal-meet-greet-sessions-build-kids-confidence/ A SPECIAL group of visitors helped bring children with disabilities or developmental difficulties out of their shells. Sparkle, the charity partner of the Serennu Children’s Centre, offered a number of activity sessions with the help of various animals in the weekly clubs run by the charity. A and S Animal Encounters provided animals including meerkats, […]]]>

A SPECIAL group of visitors helped bring children with disabilities or developmental difficulties out of their shells.

Sparkle, the charity partner of the Serennu Children’s Centre, offered a number of activity sessions with the help of various animals in the weekly clubs run by the charity. A and S Animal Encounters provided animals including meerkats, snakes, lizards and turtles for the sessions.

Dawn Watkins, supervisor at Sparkle, said: “They loved it, absolutely loved it. Each young person was enthusiastic about the experience.

“A youngster really came out of his shell, he would never have touched an animal before. And it boosted their confidence talking to new people.

Funding to help the centre’s projects has been provided by the Welsh Government and Newport City Council’s Winter of Wellbeing Fund.

South Wales Argus:

Sparkle offers accompanied leisure activities at the Serennu Children’s Center in Rogerstone and throughout Gwent for children and young people with disabilities and/or developmental difficulties. It also offers support and advice to children, young people and their families.

NO MORE NEWS:

The charity’s aim is to ensure that children, young people and their families can participate in valuable childhood experiences with access to the same range of opportunities, life experiences, community activities and services than any other child and family.

South Wales Argus:

Learn more about Sparkle at https://www.sparkleappeal.org/

Sparkle is on Facebook, Instagram (@sparkleappealofficial) and Twitter (@sparkleappeal).

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The animal shelter continued to seek donations after being stripped of its charitable status | Ireland https://phrynosoma.org/the-animal-shelter-continued-to-seek-donations-after-being-stripped-of-its-charitable-status-ireland/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 00:01:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/the-animal-shelter-continued-to-seek-donations-after-being-stripped-of-its-charitable-status-ireland/ An exotic animal sanctuary has been warned by the regulator about seeking donations from the public more than a year after it was stripped of its charitable status. The National Exotic Animal Sanctuary (NEAS) at Co Meath houses and cares for animals such as wallabies, peacocks, parrots, snakes, lizards, meerkats, llamas and emus. Documents released […]]]>

An exotic animal sanctuary has been warned by the regulator about seeking donations from the public more than a year after it was stripped of its charitable status.

The National Exotic Animal Sanctuary (NEAS) at Co Meath houses and cares for animals such as wallabies, peacocks, parrots, snakes, lizards, meerkats, llamas and emus.

Documents released under freedom of information legislation show the charities regulator removed NEAS from the list of registered charities on April 29, 2019, after Revenue withdrew its tax exemption to charities. charitable purposes on April 9. his accounts.

The sanctuary, run by Kevin Cunningham, was warned by the regulator as it continued to pose as a charity and ask donations until May 2020.

Cunningham said in a statement: “NEAS is currently defending legal proceedings for its removal from the Sanctuary House and pending the conclusion of these proceedings, no further comment can be made.

“All animals currently at the sanctuary are being fed and cared for with the sanctuary’s normal love and compassion. No further comment will be made at this time.”

Cunningham declined to say whether he knew the sanctuary was accepting donations for more than a year after it was delisted. He also declined to comment on the amount collected during this period. The association received €18,033 in donations in 12 months between 2015 and 2016 and €47,633 over the same period in 2017 and 2018.

Cunningham said the dispute would not harm animal welfare at the sanctuary

CIARA WILKINSON

Complaints were filed against NEAS with the regulator between 2018 and 2019. The first, on August 13, 2018, said the sanctuary was subject to eviction proceedings in a circuit court in early 2017 by Yvonne Smalley, the landowner and former trustee of the charity. Smalley, who co-founded the sanctuary, resigned from the organization in November 2016. The complaint said it was wrong that NEAS raised funds for a new wallaby enclosure when it was in this “precarious situation. regarding the potential eviction.

Another complaint filed with the regulator on May 15, 2019 said the charity’s Facebook page and website still displayed a charity number and offered people the option to donate. . He added that the website stated that NEAS had benefited from tax exemptions for charities. A few days later, the complainant contacted the regulator to say that the charity was raising money at a sporting event. They wrote again in June 2019 and said the charity was still accepting donations.

In April 2020, after several engagements with the sanctuary, the regulator told those who had raised concerns that the Charities Act violations had been resolved as the sanctuary had taken down its website, deactivated its page of donations and removed references to a charity on its Facebook page. .

It is understood the sanctuary is still operating and eviction proceedings are ongoing.

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The king cobra is probably a “royal family” of four species https://phrynosoma.org/the-king-cobra-is-probably-a-royal-family-of-four-species/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 15:47:51 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/the-king-cobra-is-probably-a-royal-family-of-four-species/ Herpetologists have long wondered how the king cobra, which weaves through the vast Asian landscapes, got separated by seemingly inscrutable divisions such as the Himalayas might be a single species. It also intrigued them that the world’s longest venomous snake, which can grow up to 18 feet, often looks or behaves differently depending on where […]]]>

Herpetologists have long wondered how the king cobra, which weaves through the vast Asian landscapes, got separated by seemingly inscrutable divisions such as the Himalayas might be a single species. It also intrigued them that the world’s longest venomous snake, which can grow up to 18 feet, often looks or behaves differently depending on where it lives.

Now it all makes sense: The king cobra is actually a “royal family” of four distinct species, according to new research.

last august, P. Gowri Shankarbiologist and king cobra expert at the Kālinga Foundationa nonprofit conservation organization in Shivamogga, India, and colleagues reported four genetically unique lines of king cobra. They identified them by region: Western Ghats (southwestern India), Indochinese (eastern India and China), Indo-Malaysian (Indonesia and Malaysia) and the island of Luzon (Philippines). The scientific names of the snakes have yet to be approved by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

Years of fearless snake trapping in the tropics rainforests, combined with new technology capable of analyzing severely degraded museum specimens, finally produced enough DNA for scientists to correctly identify the additional species.

“If it’s a frog, if it’s a turtle, it would have been easier,” Shankar says of their work. “The king cobra is another story.”

When disturbed, a king cobra can rear up to eye level and deliver enough venom to kill an elephant. Shankar says he is one of the few people to have survived a king cobra bite, a fortune he attributes to the small amount of venom injected by the snake. The experience also motivated him to find a more targeted treatment for king cobra bites.

Indeed, whether cobras are different enough to be four distinct species could have major consequences. real-world ramifications, he says, particularly the possibility of producing a more effective antivenom that could specifically target the individual venoms of these species. (Read how harnessing the power of venom could lead to new drugs.)

What’s more, adds Shankar, identifying the new species could boost conservation efforts for the snakes, which are shrinking across their range due to deforestation and urbanization. the The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the king cobra as vulnerable to extinction.

In light of the findings, the IUCN plans to reassess the conservation status of the king cobra, says Philip Bowlescoordinator of the organization’s Red List of Snakes and Lizards Authority, which studies reptiles in the wild around the world and determines their conservation status.

A snake of another color

” After having watched [king cobras] closely for over 50 years, you could see that they are… different,” says Romulus Whitaker, a longtime snake expert and founder of India’s Chennai Snake Park, a nonprofit that educates the public about the snakes.

“We just needed someone to do the hard work to prove it,” he says. (Read more about “Snake Man”‘s unconventional life in India.)

For example, scientists have wondered why adult king cobras in Thailand and neighboring countries have more than 70 off-white cobras. bands encircling their bodies, while those in the Philippines have only a few barely discernible.

There are also variations in nesting behaviors. The female king cobra is the only snake that builds nests for her eggs, which is no small feat for a limbless creature. She uses her body to put twigs and leaves in place. (Go inside the largest gathering of snakes in the world.)

Western Ghats females abandon their eggs soon after they nest, while Indochinese mothers keep the eggs in the nest until about a week before they hatch.

A misunderstood reptile

Shankar hopes the new attention to king cobras will help change attitudes towards them.

In rural India, many Hindus revere the king cobra and see its presence in their fields as a sign of generosity. But elsewhere the serpent is despised, often leading to indiscriminate killings.

“There’s a lot of hype about this snake, so people are scared to death of it,” says Whitaker. “In polls, people will inevitably say king cobra when asked about the most dangerous snakes,” he says. There are no official statistics on how many people have been bitten by king cobras, but Whitaker says they are likely only responsible for a handful of snakebites.

King cobras are generally shy, and if a person comes face-to-face with one, its formidable size and dog-like “grunt” are more than enough to avoid any conflict.

Hunters who pursue animals for their skins and body parts to use in traditional medicine are the most likely bite victims, but wildlife rescuers who remove king cobras from people’s homes are also at risk. (Learn more about the Arabian cobra, which was recently added to National Geographic’s Photo Ark.)

Far from being a serious threat to humans, king cobras help us by mainly eating other snakes, including their own. Among their meals are poisonous snakes such as vipers, whose bites kill up to nearly 140,000 people worldwide each year.

Better antivenoms to come?

People bitten by a king cobra are usually given a generic antivenom produced by the Thai Red Crosswhich is not always effective against king cobra bites in various parts of the snake’s range.

Because the chemical composition of venom can vary even in species, there might be a limit to the immediate usefulness of this finding, says Kartik Sunagar, snake venom expert and associate professor at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Because king cobra bites are relatively rare, there’s also not much incentive for a company to develop relevant products. (Learn more about finding a better antivenom.)

Several antivenom producers in India, including the Haffkine Institutedid not respond to National geographic‘s requests for comment on the potential for creating a new king cobra antivenom.

But this better understanding of the snake could still help in the development of slightly more targeted antivenoms in the short term and a drug more effective against all king cobra bites in the long term, Sunagar says.

“In the sense that we know that these populations require very specific treatment, this [discovery of new species] contributes to our efforts to develop better antivenoms,” he says.

Saving a “Majestic Serpent”

Conservationists are concerned about the future of some of the king cobras, including those on the island of Luzon. Their population is not known, but Shankar says it is likely small and susceptible to being wiped out by major natural disasters, such as an earthquake and tsunami, which are common in the region.

“One more tsunami and this species in Luzon could be extinct in a few years,” Shankar says. “We wouldn’t have known that without the knowledge of those specific bloodlines.”

Meanwhile, Shankar and his colleagues haven’t finished their search for other king cobra species: they think there may be at least one more in Indonesia.

“To me, the king cobra is a majestic snake,” Shankar says. “It made me fall in love.”

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Scientists publish first record of false widow spider feeding on protected bat species https://phrynosoma.org/scientists-publish-first-record-of-false-widow-spider-feeding-on-protected-bat-species/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 15:21:38 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/scientists-publish-first-record-of-false-widow-spider-feeding-on-protected-bat-species/ Scientists in Galway have released the first record of a noble false widow spider feeding on a protected species of bat in the UK. The new study, titled Webslinger Versus Dark Knight, published in the international journal Ecosphere, shows that false widow spiders continue to impact native species. This is the first time a member […]]]>

Scientists in Galway have released the first record of a noble false widow spider feeding on a protected species of bat in the UK. The new study, titled Webslinger Versus Dark Knight, published in the international journal Ecosphere, shows that false widow spiders continue to impact native species.

This is the first time a member of the spider family Theridiidae has been recorded hunting a bat anywhere in the world, or any vertebrate in the UK. The event also marks the first time a species of false widow spider has been recorded feeding on mammals.

The study of the noble false widowhood feeding on Pipistrelle bats has been published by scientists at the National University of Ireland in Galway. The discovery was made by wildlife artist Ben Waddams at his home in North Shropshire.

For two consecutive days, bats living in the attic were found entangled in the spider web under the entrance to the roost. The first bat, a young pup, was completely immobilized with its limbs pinned tightly to the torso with silk. It was slightly shriveled and discolored from the spider feeding on the remains.

A second, much larger adult bat was also captured and entangled in the web, but as it was still alive the bat was rescued and released.

In the UK, Pipistrelle bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

The gruesome occurrence isn’t as rare as people might expect – three years ago the noble false widow spider was reported feeding on a protected species of lizard native to Ireland.

Native to Madeira and the Canary Islands, the noble false widow Steatoda nobilis has the potential to become one of the most invasive spider species in the world.

It was first recorded in southern England in 1879 and has increased its range and population density in recent decades, spreading north towards Scotland and east. west through Wales and Ireland. During this period, the species also spread worldwide from Europe, East Asia, North America and South America.

The species is known for its medical importance, having the ability to cause a range of mild to severe symptoms in those bitten, but little is known about its impact on native species.

Over the past five years, the team led by Dr Michel Dugon at the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, has studied a wide range of species-specific characteristics, including its venom, symptoms after envenomation, ecology and behavior .

Dr Dugon, head of the Venom Systems Laboratory at the Ryan Institute, said: “We’ve been working on the noble false widow for five years and have learned a lot about this species – yet we’re still amazed at its ability to s “adapt to new environments and make the most of available resources. This is a truly remarkable species.”

Dr John Dunbar, Irish Research Council postdoctoral researcher at the Venom Systems Laboratory and lead author of the study, said: “In more exotic parts of the world, scientists are documenting such spider predation events on small vertebrates for many years, but we are only beginning to realize how frequently these events occur.

“Now that this exotic species is well established in Ireland and the UK, we are witnessing such fascinating events on our doorstep.

“Even other, much smaller, false widow species have been known to capture and feed on snakes and lizards. This study presents yet another example of the invasive impact of the noble false widow on native species. know that they are much more competitive than native spiders, and this further confirms their impact on prey species.”

He added: “Although the spider has been present in Ireland for over 20 years, we do not know what its impact on the environment and ecosystem is in terms of competition with native spiders or impact on the native prey species This is important as we are beginning to have a better idea and understanding of what prey he can handle.

“In this case, bats being vertebrates, the spider’s venom has a powerful neurotoxin and this allows it to take down vertebrate prey. This makes them much more competitive than native spiders. Some studies show that the Noble False Widow’s venom is significantly more potent than native spiders.”

He said the spider would not consume the entire bat, but would feed on it until the spider was full. Spiders possess a fast-acting neurotoxic venom with a composition very similar to true black widow spiders that can cause neuromuscular paralysis in terrestrial vertebrates, allowing them to occasionally feed on small reptiles and mammals.

Aiste Vitkauskaite, a researcher at the lab, said: “The false widow spiders, much like their close relatives the black widow spiders, have extraordinary prey-catching techniques and a remarkably potent venom that allows them to capture small vertebrate prey multiple times. larger than the spider itself with surprising ease.”

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]]> Texas biology professor charged with illegally smuggling exotic animal parts into US https://phrynosoma.org/texas-biology-professor-charged-with-illegally-smuggling-exotic-animal-parts-into-us/ Mon, 31 Jan 2022 17:29:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/texas-biology-professor-charged-with-illegally-smuggling-exotic-animal-parts-into-us/ A University of Texas biology professor faces charges of allegedly smuggling exotic animal parts into the United States, prosecutors said. Richard Kazmaier, 54, who is an associate professor at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, was charged with allegedly importing protected wildlife items into the country without declaring them or obtaining the proper permits […]]]>

A University of Texas biology professor faces charges of allegedly smuggling exotic animal parts into the United States, prosecutors said.

Richard Kazmaier, 54, who is an associate professor at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, was charged with allegedly importing protected wildlife items into the country without declaring them or obtaining the proper permits from US Fish. and Wildlife Service.

He received a summons last Thursday at his university office, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say that between 2017 and 2020, Kazmaier imported skulls, skeletons and taxidermy mounts of a number of exotic animals, including a golden jackal, caracal, Eurasian otter, vervet monkey and a variety of exotic birds.

It was unclear what Kazmaier, who is an expert on western snakes, lizards and tortoises, was using the animal parts for.

A message left for Kazmaier was not returned, and it was not immediately clear whether he had retained a lawyer.

In a statement, West Texas A&M said the case against Kazmaier — who has taught at the school since 2001 — did not involve the university.

“West Texas A&M University is aware of the situation involving a faculty member,” the statement said. “We are not specifically commenting on ongoing court cases, but the indictment does not implicate the University. WT will follow the matter closely.

The Endangered Species Act and federal regulations require anyone importing wildlife to report what they are bringing into the country to Customs and US Fish and Wildlife Service officials. Special permits for certain protected species are also required, including many animals that Kazmaier is said to have imported.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 if convicted, prosecutors said.

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Animal rights groups concerned over sale of private Chatham-Kent Zoo https://phrynosoma.org/animal-rights-groups-concerned-over-sale-of-private-chatham-kent-zoo/ Thu, 27 Jan 2022 00:37:23 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/animal-rights-groups-concerned-over-sale-of-private-chatham-kent-zoo/ Breadcrumb Links Local News Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in the Chatham-Kent area is up for sale, along with its more than 450 animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys and more. A lion sits in its cage at Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in Chatham-Kent in this file photo from 2010. Photo by Jason Kryk […]]]>

Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in the Chatham-Kent area is up for sale, along with its more than 450 animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys and more.

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Want to own a 20-hectare zoo with over 450 animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys and more?

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It’s up to you if you can afford the $4.5 million asking price for the Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in the Chatham-Kent area.

“There are all kinds of animals here that you can imagine,” Cody Kraus, a Century 21 real estate agent, said in a video promoting the MLS listing.

“It’s an amazing business with multiple revenue streams.”

Located at 12734 Talbot Trail in the community of Morpeth, Greenview Aviaries officially went on sale earlier this year.

The family business was established 38 years ago. Since then it has grown to offer amenities such as a restaurant, picnic and play area and a water park.

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But the zoo’s vast menagerie is its main attraction and a vital part of the sale of the property.

Besides lions and tigers, the collection of predatory big cats includes cougars and jaguars.

There are large grazing ungulates like llamas and bison. There are exotic birds, from peacocks to African cranes; Reptiles such as snakes, lizards and turtles; Small primates, large marsupials and many other creatures requiring special care.

“It’s a proven family business that has been running well for many, many years,” enthused Kraus in his video — which only briefly mentions animal responsibilities.

“You’re assuming you’re taking over the whole business — not just ownership,” Kraus told potential buyers. “All animals come with it. Everything you need to get this business up and running is in this property, all under one purchase price.

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A kangaroo looks out of its enclosure at Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in this August 2021 file photo.
A kangaroo looks out of its enclosure at Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in this August 2021 file photo. Photo by Peter Epp /Chatham this week

The possibility of hundreds of zoo animals suddenly changing hands has raised alarm among animal rights groups.

“There are no regulations in Ontario on who can own and operate a zoo,” said Julie Woodyer, campaign director for the group Zoocheck Canada.

“You don’t need to be trained in providing animals with proper nutrition, how to handle them, how to build a proper cage – or anything else.”

According to Woodyer, the province actually has more regulations regarding the ownership of native wildlife species — like raccoons — than for exotic animals such as those held at Greenview Aviaries.

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A bald eagle stays cool at Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in this file photo from 2010.
A bald eagle stays cool at Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo in this file photo from 2010. Photo by Jason Kryk /Windsor Star

“The current system puts both people and animals at risk,” Woodyer explained.

Woodyer said Zoocheck Canada became aware of the housing announcement about a week ago and is monitoring the situation.

Asked if she thought Greenview Aviaries would do their due diligence to ensure potential buyers are able to care for the animals, Woodyer replied, “Who knows? This is the problem. There is no obligation to do so. »

“Ontario is the only province in Canada without legislation dealing with captive wildlife…The key issue is that this is an industry that needs to be regulated.

Michele Hamers, wildlife campaign manager for the group World Animal Protection, has similar concerns. She said Greenview Aviaries had been mentioned in previous reports from her organization.

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“A lot of animals are kept in small cages. Social animals are kept alone or in unnatural conditions,” Hamers said.

“It’s a matter of public health and safety. Do big cat enclosures meet professional safety standards? And this zoo can be bought by anyone. It’s something to really worry about. »

“In Ontario, you are not required to have any expertise, training or knowledge to run a facility like this.”

A Google Maps satellite image of the Greenview Aviaries Park & ​​Zoo in the Chatham-Kent area.
A Google Maps satellite image of the Greenview Aviaries Park & ​​Zoo in the Chatham-Kent area. Picture by Google Maps /Windsor Star

The owners of Greenview Aviaries did not respond to Star requests for comment.

Over the past few months, Chatham-Kent police have been investigating the theft of exotic birds from the property. Six to seven parrots and cockatoos were stolen from Greenview aviaries in three break and enter incidents between October and November last year.

Zoo co-owner Brian Daly told the Chatham Daily News at the time that the series of events was unprecedented at Greenview Aviaries and that he had invested in safety improvements.

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New species of lizard discovered in Arunachal Pradesh https://phrynosoma.org/new-species-of-lizard-discovered-in-arunachal-pradesh/ Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:02:46 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/new-species-of-lizard-discovered-in-arunachal-pradesh/ A team of Indian and Russian researchers have unearthed an unknown group of skink family lizards from Arunachal Pradesh. The team consisted of researchers from the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (NCBS), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai (BNHS), Abasaheb Garware College, Pune (AGC), and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat (VNSGU) and Moscow State […]]]>

A team of Indian and Russian researchers have unearthed an unknown group of skink family lizards from Arunachal Pradesh.

The team consisted of researchers from the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (NCBS), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai (BNHS), Abasaheb Garware College, Pune (AGC), and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat (VNSGU) and Moscow State Lomonosov. Moscow University (LMSU), according to a press release.

The new genus and species, Protoblepharus Apatani, was discovered by the team that had previously discovered Salazar’s viper and several other new species of snakes and lizards in the state, which were discovered during their expedition in 2019. Zeeshan A. Mirza (NCBS), Harshal Bhosale (BNHS) and Gaurang Gowande (AGC), who toured Arunachal Pradesh for 1.5 months during the months of June to August 2019, led the team of shipment.

Read also | A prehistoric winged lizard discovered in Chile

The team found the new genus and species of skinks under longfalls in the Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

These lizards are small and active, with a dark brown body with two pale stripes with a bright iridescent sheen on their scales.

The team compared morphological characters, DNA and skull characteristics to ensure correct identification. Based on the preliminary results, the Arunachal skink was distinct and required comparison of additional DNA data, provided by Russian researchers Andrey Bragin and Nikolay A. Poyarkov.

Andrey is working on skinks related to the one found in Arunachal under Nikolay’s direction.

Read also | From lizards to water, eco-bumps hang the Tesla factory in Berlin

Their expertise, together with that of Harshil Patel (VNSGU) helped shape and refine the findings and a joint paper was submitted which has been published in the current issue of the international multidisciplinary journal PeerJ.

Skinks are mostly small-sized, ground-dwelling lizards that actively move among leaf litter during the day.

They are generally more elongated, shiny with distinctly shorter legs. The new species is named after the Apatani tribe of the Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The authors acknowledge their help, support and hospitality during their stay in Talle Valley.

It is the fifth new species of reptile to be described by the team from surveys carried out in a single expedition in 2019. The rapid survey yielded five new species in a month and a half. This highlights the poor nature of herpetofauna documentation in the region.

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Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Sittingbourne hit by new row of rubble https://phrynosoma.org/happy-pants-ranch-animal-sanctuary-in-sittingbourne-hit-by-new-row-of-rubble/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 09:45:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/happy-pants-ranch-animal-sanctuary-in-sittingbourne-hit-by-new-row-of-rubble/ The beleaguered Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary has now been singled out for rubble. Owner Amey James and his partner Phil Greenhalgh used hardcore to reach and feed the 450 animals scattered around their 20-acre site in Bobbing near Sittingbourne. Challenged and hardcore rubble at Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Bobbing, Sittingbourne But Environment […]]]>

The beleaguered Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary has now been singled out for rubble.

Owner Amey James and his partner Phil Greenhalgh used hardcore to reach and feed the 450 animals scattered around their 20-acre site in Bobbing near Sittingbourne.

Challenged and hardcore rubble at Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Bobbing, Sittingbourne

But Environment Agency inspectors were warned and paid a surprise visit in October.

They found that the bricks and concrete also contained “large volumes” of plastic bottles and packaging, wire, electrical equipment and metal unlike the sanctuary’s U1 waste exemption certificate.

When inspectors returned in November, they found that the illegal items still had not been removed and said there was a risk of ground and surface water pollution.

They also witnessed the illegal burning of manure and blanket and offered advice on the safe storage of slurry.

They also demanded to see the waste transfer notes and said they were told transporters were allowed to dump waste at the Iwade Road site, Bobbing, without this being verified.

Founder Amey James with Roosters at The Happy Pants Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Iwade Lane, Bobbing
Founder Amey James with Roosters at The Happy Pants Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Iwade Lane, Bobbing

Ms James admitted that some of the hardcore had been tainted and was “not as clean as it should have been” but said she planned to remove unauthorized items.

She added, “It wasn’t our fault. We’ve had so much to do. It’s endless. We continue to be reported to authorities.

“We are now taking legal advice to see if we have a harassment case.

“There have been a series of malicious calls about us since we arrived on January 15 of last year. They complained about the smoke from our bonfires, the sound of our cows and roosters and our upsetting newts. Yet we are in the middle. of 20 hectares.

“We’re not bothering anyone. We’re just trying to make homes for the animals. I wish people who complained would leave us alone.”

Challenged and hardcore rubble at Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Bobbing, Sittingbourne
Challenged and hardcore rubble at Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary in Bobbing, Sittingbourne
Amey James, founder of Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary, in the mud when she first took over the 20-acre site at Iwade Road, Bobbing a year ago
Amey James, founder of Happy Pants Ranch animal sanctuary, in the mud when she first took over the 20-acre site at Iwade Road, Bobbing a year ago

The rubble was deposited so that volunteers could reach animals, such as cattle and chickens, without having to wade through the mud.

Ms James said: “Some ended up in mud up to their knees. There are still rubber boots stuck at the site.”

The sanctuary, which takes care of 450 animals including 19 pigs, seven dogs, 28 cats, 34 turtles and turtles, a herd of 40 geese and ducks, nearly 100 hens and roosters, nine cows, 15 sheep, 17 goats, two emus, 32 guinea pigs, three snakes, two lizards, six ponies, a peacock and 50 goldfish, was plagued by bureaucracy.

He is fighting Swale’s planners to change the status of his farmland to a wildlife sanctuary and his cows and roosters have been given notice from the council’s environmental health team to shut up after complaints from neighbors.

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Some of them come with batteries https://phrynosoma.org/some-of-them-come-with-batteries/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 11:12:23 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/some-of-them-come-with-batteries/ Last year, the first year of the pandemic, people needed so much to cheer themselves up that they clung to all kinds of wellness stories, many of which turned out to be false. There were dolphins and swans returning to the canals of Venice… because the water was beautiful and clear… because all these tourists […]]]>

Last year, the first year of the pandemic, people needed so much to cheer themselves up that they clung to all kinds of wellness stories, many of which turned out to be false.

There were dolphins and swans returning to the canals of Venice… because the water was beautiful and clear… because all these tourists stayed away.

The story went viral, but it wasn’t true.

Ditto for this group of elephants who paraded through a locked village in China, got drunk on corn wine, and passed out in a tea garden. Not true either.

To restore your faith in animal stories, here are some threads from 2021, some cute, some amazing, and all real.

The smallest reptile in the world, probably

The diameter of our five-cent coin is 19.41 millimeters.

From snout to tail, a newly discovered “nano-chameleon” is 21.6 millimeters long, possibly the smallest on Earth.

Researchers announced the discovery of this tiny new species of chameleon in February.

A male and female pair were found in a high altitude rainforest in Madagascar, where scientists were believed to be walking very cautiously.

German and Malagasy researchers named the new species Brookesia babe.

“With a body length of only 13.5 millimeters and an overall length of only 22 millimeters including the tail, the male nano-chameleon is the smallest known male of all ‘higher vertebrates’,” said Dr Frank Glaw. , curator of herpetology at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology and first author of the study that describes the new species.

The female is larger at 19 millimeters in body length and 29 millimeters in total length.

Despite intensive efforts, the authors could only find two individuals.

The man’s genitals were “unusually large” – about 20 percent the size of the man’s body.

The genitals are called “hemipenes,” a pair of penis-like reproductive organs found in male snakes and lizards.

Juvenile Brookesia micra on a match. It is no longer the smallest chameleon in the world. Photo: Frank Glaw

These unusual proportions are probably explained by the difficult mechanics of the much smaller male attempting to mate with the female.

An even smaller chameleon might exist.

In 2012, scientists discovered four new species of super tiny chameleons in Madagascar.

The smallest of them was Brookesia micra – which, measured from nose to tail, measures a maximum of 29 millimeters.

It was considered probably the smallest in the world.

Bees use social distancing

Honey bees increase social distance when their hive is threatened by a parasite, according to British and Italian researchers.

Scientists have discovered that honey bee colonies respond to a pest mite infestation by altering space use and interactions between nesting mates to increase social distance between young and old bees .

When the hive is at risk of infection, honey bees practice social distancing. Photo: Getty

Dr Alessandro Cini of University College London is co-author of the new study, published in November.

He explained, “Bees are a social animal because they benefit from the division of responsibilities and interactions such as mutual grooming.”

But when these social activities can increase the risk of infection, “bees seem to have evolved to balance risks and benefits by embracing social distancing.”

Just like we did during the pandemic.

Love dogs

According to a US survey of 2,000 dog owners, 66% of pet owners believe their dog has a “better social life” than them.

More than half say their pet has “more friends”.

And while 85% worried their pets wouldn’t socialize enough with other puppies during quarantine, dogs made an average of three new furry friends. during confinement.

Read more here.

Tweet of the day

A few years ago there was a story of a young college student in Arizona who dressed as a man to avoid harassment on the streets.

It involved wearing loose clothing and drawing on a fake beard.

She told the college newspaper it was a bit of a joke, but it seemed to work.

animal stories
Female Jacobean white-necked hummingbird in masculine colors. Photo credit: Irène Mendez Cruz

A recent study found that a species of hummingbird does the exact same thing.

About 20 percent of all female Jacobean white-necked hummingbirds disguise themselves as showy males, to avoid harassment and violent attacks when feeding on flowers.

This behavior may have lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years.

But it is only now that scientists have embarked on the strategy of cross-dressing.

Read more here.

Funnel spiders to the rescue

The venom from a funnel-shaped spider can kill you in about 15 minutes … or potentially save your heart from a death spiral, according to Australian researchers.

Experiments with beating human heart cells have led to a drug candidate – developed from a molecule found in the venom of the Fraser Island funnel-web spider – that can “prevent damage from heart attack and prolong the life of donor hearts used for organ transplants ”.

Read more here.

Catnip not just for getting high

When cats rub catnip or silver vine on their face and the top of their heads (so cute!), It’s not just to create a buzz – they also purposely protect themselves from mosquito bites. .

In other words, catnip is like an Aerogard spray – with mind-altering benefits.

Scientists have known for years that nepetalactone – an essential oil that serves as a feline attractant in catnip – is responsible for the euphoria that causes cats to lie down in stupor.

But nepetalactone also has powerful insecticidal properties.

The big question is: do cats know that catnip and silver vine have these protective properties?

Read more here.

Rambo the fox: he’s still here

About three years ago, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service fenced in 5,800 hectares (58 square kilometers).

The idea was to provide a safe and predator-free habitat for extinct species in the region, such as brush-tailed bettong, plains mouse, Shark Bay bandicoot, and western quoll.

animal stories
Rambo, the fox that cannot be caught. Not yet anyway. Photo: AWC

Topped with an electric wire and a flexible overhang, the fence was designed to keep animals out, especially species that are top-notch killers.

Sadly, a very cunning fox with the nickname Rambo already lived in the compound – and played and won a game of hide and seek with the authorities.

This despite an average of 97 cameras deployed, 2,800 poisoned baits laid, weeks of scent-tracking dogs on the hunt and even multiple searches by helicopter.

He had a few close calls, however.

Read more here.

Patients thought robots loved them

A fascinating new study – from the College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University – has found that interactive and affordable robotic pet cats can help improve mood, behavior, and cognition in older people with mild to moderate dementia.

In the study, 12 patients attending an adult daycare were given a robotic cat as a pet.

Participants were told that “their pet was a robot and not a living animal”.

Each of them chose a name for their cat, which was fitted with a collar and a personalized name tag. The patient and animal were observed during 12 visits.

Before and after the intervention, the researchers assessed the mood and behavioral symptoms of the participants.

They also assessed cognition via the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

The MMSE is a set of 30 questions commonly used to check for cognitive impairment.

The results showed that engaging with a robotic cat improved all mood scores over time, with significant improvements in the Observed Emotions Rating Scale and the Cornell Depression Scale in Dementia.

Over half of the participants scored higher on the MMSE post-test than on the pre-test, with slight to moderate improvement in attention / math, language and recording.

Researchers frequently observed study participants “smiling and talking to their robotic cats and expressing feelings such as ‘The cat looks at me like someone who listens to me and loves me.’

They believed the robotic pet “was responding to their statements by meowing, turning its head, or blinking and having a conversation with the animal.”

Read more here.

First the love song, then the species

The fate of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater of Australia may depend on how many young birds learn the species’ particular love song – and other tunes passed down from generation to generation.

Regent Honeyeater do not learn their love songs. Photo: Murray Room

Research from the Australian National University (ANU) found that the Regent Honeyeater – with around 200 to 400 left in the wild – is losing its “song culture” by which it communicates.

These few hundred birds are confined to territories spread over an area of ​​south-eastern Australia “which is larger than the United Kingdom”.

This means that many of these birds never meet.

If young male birds do not meet older males, then they have no one to teach them the songs they need to maintain territory or court.

If there is no successful courtship display, there is no new generation of honeyeater.

But scientists have a harmonious plan.

Read more here.

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Case against owner of pet show accused of animal cruelty still pending https://phrynosoma.org/case-against-owner-of-pet-show-accused-of-animal-cruelty-still-pending/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 23:32:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/case-against-owner-of-pet-show-accused-of-animal-cruelty-still-pending/ December 23 — The owner of a local pet store whose criminal case is at the heart of today’s animal rescue stories is still fighting his charges in court. Timothy Charles Lorraine, 61, of Whitley City, is next due in Pulaski District Court for a pre-trial conference on January 19. Lorraine last summer pleaded not […]]]>

December 23 — The owner of a local pet store whose criminal case is at the heart of today’s animal rescue stories is still fighting his charges in court.

Timothy Charles Lorraine, 61, of Whitley City, is next due in Pulaski District Court for a pre-trial conference on January 19.

Lorraine last summer pleaded not guilty to 19 counts of second degree animal cruelty after authorities closed her store in Burnside.

The charges stem from an April investigation into Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics. The store was located off the southern US 27 at the old Tri County Flea Market. According to the warrant served on Lorraine by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the animals inside the store were subjected to “cruel and abusive treatment for failure to provide sufficient food, drink, space. [and] health care.”

During the execution of the search and seizure warrant on September 1, Burnside Police investigated with the assistance of Pulaski County Animal Control, Kentucky Department Special Investigative Unit. of Fish and Wildlife, Pulaski County Attorney’s Office, and Somerset-Pulaski County Humane Society.

Due to the scale of the operation, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – based in Washington, DC – was also enlisted by BPD to help rescue some 150 exotic animals that were in the store during its closure. Of that number, Burnside Police Chief Mike Hill estimated there were 80 animals – like snakes, lizards, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils – to deal with, the rest being fish.

Chief Hill told the Commonwealth Journal authorities had been there for more than seven hours.

HSUS officials said in a press release that the guinea pigs and several turtles were forced to share the same enclosure, which was covered in cobwebs. The water in the aquariums was cloudy and most animals apparently had no access to food or drinking water. The hamsters frantically gnawed at the metal siding of their makeshift pen, and some rabbits were found in sterile cages with nowhere to find relief thanks to the wire floors.

The animals underwent initial veterinary examinations on site and were turned over to the Burnside Police Department before being placed in several organizations ready to provide specialist care. According to HSUS, these organizations include Liberty Nature Center, Thoroughbred Exotics, Bourbon County Rescue, Paws 4 the Cause, Lexington Humane Society, Wildlife Matters Rehabilitation Haven, and KY Fish and Tank Rescue.

Second degree animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky – punishable by 90 days to 12 months in prison plus a fine of up to $ 500.

Lorraine was released after her arrest on a $ 2,500 cash / property bond.

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