Cool Snakes Confuse Scientists

Cool snakes confuse scientists, according to an article in Journal of Experimental Biology 5 September 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.182121. Scientists from San Diego University and University of California, Davis have carried out a study of how rattlesnakes respond to warm objects in the environment.  Rattlesnakes are a kind of pit viper – snakes that have heat sensing […]

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Oldest Pterosaur

Oldest pterosaur found, as reported in Science (AAAS) News 13 August 2018, BBC News 14 August 2018, and Nature Ecology & Evolution 13 August 2018 doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0627-y. Palaeontologists excavating a fossil site in Utah, USA have found remains of a pterosaur, an extinct flying reptile.  The fossil site where it was found has yielded over […]

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Crocodiles, not Lucy, Butchered Bones

Crocodiles, not Lucy, butchered bones, according to Science (AAAS) News and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716317114, published online 6 November 2017. In 2010 anthropologists claimed that marks on bones found in the Afar region in Ethiopia were the earliest evidence of human ancestors using stone tools to butcher animals. The bones were dated as 3.4 million years, […]

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Mesosaur Scoliosis

Fossil Bone Diseases

Fossil bone diseases found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News, PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185338, 21 September 2017 and ResearchGate conference papers June 2017. Scientists from Poland and USA have found the fossil of a mesosaur, an extinct marine reptile, with a spinal deformity that caused an abnormal curvature of its spine. The deformity is […]

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Anole Lizard

Blizzard Lizard Evolution

Blizzard Lizard Evolution, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 3 August 2017, and Science vol. 357, pp. 495-498, doi: 0.1126/science.aam5512, 4 August 2017. In the winter of 2013-2014 a polar vortex blasted mainland USA with unusually cold weather. Just before this a group of scientists had studied Anole lizards in various […]

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Velvet Black Viper

Velvet black viper revealed in reports in Wired Science 16 May 2013, ABC News in Science 17 May 2013 and Nature Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep01846 16 May 2013. The West African Gaboon viper, Bitis rhinoceros, has a distinctive geometrical pattern of black, brown and white patches on its skin. The black patches are a particularly dense […]

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Unique Pressure Receptors

Special pressure receptors unique to crocodilians described in Nature, vol 417, p241, 16 May 2002. University of Maryland biologist Daphne Soares has studied the small pigmented dome shaped lumps on alligators’ faces and found they are highly sensitive receptors that enable the animals to detect tiny disturbances in the water surface as they lie semi-submerged. […]

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Sticking a Frog Foot on It

Sticking a frog foot on it, described in ABC News in Science, 12 October 2007. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur have developed a reusable adhesive tape inspired by frog feet. Conventional sticky tapes are not reusable because they crack when removed from one surface, and they collect dust and other particles and […]

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Snakes Recycle Poison

Snakes recycle poison according to reports in news@nature, New Scientist 29 January 2007, and New York Times and Science Frontline, 30 January 2007. Scientists studying the Japanese grass snake Rhabdophis tigrinus have discovered it can eat poisonous toads and store their poison in glands on the back of its neck. Female snakes also transferred poison […]

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Snakes Ate Dinosaurs

Snakes ate dinosaurs, according to articles in ScienceDaily, BBC News and PLoS Biology, 2 March 2010. An international team of scientists has found a fossil snake buried with several dinosaur eggs and a newly hatched baby dinosaur. The snake was about 3.5m (11 ft) and had a mouth large enough to swallow whole the half […]

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