A British government agency recently asked the Internet to suggest a name for a $287 million polar research ship. The top suggestion? The R.S.S. Boaty McBoatface. People are understandably disappointed at suggestions that the agency will not adopt this noble appellation, and we at the HSI share in that disappointment 😦 With that in mind, … More Name Our Lizard!
For a society run entirely by volunteers, it can seem like the work is never ending. For this reason, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on what we have achieved, and to remind ourselves that all the long nights in front of a computer, wet days rambling around in ponds, and early mornings … More 2015: Year in Review
Name: Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) Range: From southern Mexico, through Central America and down into tropical South America as far south as Corrientes, close to the Paraguay-Argentina border. Diet: Carnivorous Conservation Status: IUCN – Least Concern The Spectacled caiman is a medium sized crocodilian (~1.8 – 2.5meters) from the family Alligatoridae, which is comprised of … More Species Profile: Spectacled Caiman
Introduction of an Alien: In 1947, Roswell, New Mexico was famously rumored to be the site of an unintended landing. Strange reptilian beings were reported to have been removed from the debris of a metallic vessel. The area has since become synonymous with all things “extra-terrestrial”. Around the same time on Guam, an island in … More Alien Autopsy: Anatomy of an Invasion
Name: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) Range: Southeastern United States Diet: Carnivorous. Primarily feeding on small mammals, but will also feed on birds. Conservation Status: IUCN – Least concern This species, along with the bald eagle, has attained iconic status in the United states, and its cultural significance cannot be overstated. The snake appears on the Gadsden … More Species Profile: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
I killed a frog when I was twelve years old – I stepped on it accidentally while walking through the yard. I hadn’t killed it outright, but I had eviscerated it and there was nothing I could do to save it. I tried to walk away and put the animal out of my mind, but … More Animal Rights Gone Wrong?
This is the story of PhD research carried out by Bastian Egeter, an Irish herpetologist and molecular ecologist who, until recently, was studying and working in New Zealand. I arrived in New Zealand in 2008 to undertake a postgraduate diploma in wildlife management at the University of Otago and became enamoured by the country’s incredible endemic amphibians. Incredible, not … More Wildlife CSI – Using Forensics to Find Frog’s Foes
The last glacial maximum in Ireland made the island inhospitable to the common frog (Rana temporaria). As the ice retreated about 12,000 years ago, a population of common frogs was able to slowly recolonise the island from ice-free refugia to the south. This pattern of distribution shift, typifies the model applied to most reptiles and … More Salamander Expansion On Ice, As Climate Heats Up
The typical life cycle of an amphibian is often exemplified by that employed by Ireland’s native Common Frog (Rana temporaria). A large number of eggs are laid in a lentic water body and externally fertilized. The young undergo an aquatic larval stage before emerging on land as froglets. Once the eggs have been laid, the … More Amphibian Reproductive Strategies
I have recently finished my undergraduate degree in Zoology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. I was given the opportunity to go out to Borneo with the University for a Field Course that is run for masters students studying relevant post-graduate courses. The trip would see me spend 10 days in Sabah with the rest of … More Photographic Diary: Borneo Field Trip