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Archive for February, 2009

Man caught trying to take snakes (and lizards) on a plane


Sydney man busted for trying to smuggle snakes onto a plane

23/02/2009 8:33:00 PM. |

Reptiles allegedly concealed in baggage | Australian Customs

From Macquarie Network, February 23, 2009:

Sydney man busted for trying to smuggle snakes onto a plane

and a related more frightening smuggling story:

Two tonnes of live snakes seized on the way to China

Posted by Frank - February 23, 2009

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“Extinct” Bird Seen, Eaten


Something is not right here - From National Geographic News: 

PHOTO IN THE NEWS: “Extinct” Bird Seen, Eaten

image A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold at a poultry market, experts say.

Posted by Frank - February 19, 2009

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Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)


Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), originally uploaded by EcoSnake.

To honor Charles Darwin on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The tuatara lives only on some islands and nature preserves in New Zealand. They are not lizards but rather members of an order of reptiles which have descended mostly unchanged from before the age of the dinosaurs, some 225+ million years ago.  Photo of a poster of the tuatara by noted wildlife artist, Tel Hicks.

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Exotic animals trapped in drug trade


From Reuters:  Exotic animals trapped in net of drug trade


Animals continue to be used and abused and it’s just wrong!

Posted by Frank - February 9, 2008

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Ancient Snake Was as Long as a Bus



Giant extinct snake

The extinct giant snake (shown in an artist’s reconstruction) would have sent even Hollywood’s anacondas slithering away. Credit: Jason Bourque.

Full Size

02.04.09 | in Animals | by Jeanna Bryner

Ancient Snake Was As Long As a Bus

The largest snake ever recorded lived some 60 million years ago in South America.

Posted by Frank - February 4, 2009

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Ten New Species of Amphibians Discovered in Colombia


From Reuters:


An undated handout image shows a glass frog of the Nymphargus genus, which is Reuters – An undated handout image shows a glass frog of the Nymphargus genus, which is potentially new to science, …

Ten new amphibian species discovered in Colombia
Monday, 2 Feb 2009 03:53pm EST

Posted by Frank - February 3, 2009

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New species discovered with help of Google Earth



Science News

Many New Species Discovered In Hidden Mozambique Oasis With Help Of Google Earth


Scientific surveying Mount Mabu — Mozambique - found a wealth of wildlife including Pygmy Chamelons. (Credit: Julian Bayliss / Kew)

Posted by Frank - February 3, 2008

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New species of toads discovered in Tanzania


 In pictures: Tanzania’s toad haul

Species of toad from the Nectophrynoides genus (Image: Penelope Whitehorn/Frontier)

This toad from the Nectophrynoides genus is one of 15 amphibian species in Tanzania that have been described for the first time. They were found during research led by UK conservation charity Frontier.

From BBC News:

Note from EcoSnake - What is so profound and scary is that because of climate and other changes, many species may become extinct, even before we humans “discover” them…

Posted by Frank - February 2, 2009

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Snakes and legends of immortality - Boa in molt…


Boa in molt - Central American boa constrictor (Boa constrictor imperator), originally uploaded by EcoSnake.

 An educational picture: The flash shows what was not seen in natural light. “Chaucer” is close to shedding his skin. His eyes still have a faint blue color (opaque) caused by a secretion separating the dead outer layer of skin (brille) covering his eyes from the new layer underneath. The light also caught the dead outer layer of skin on his body…In a day or so when his eyes clear up, he will slough off the outer layer of skin. “Chaucer” is a Central American boa constrictor (Boa constrictor imperator). He’s approximately 10 feet long.

The act of the snake shedding it’s skin figures in the creation myths of almost every culture in the world. The snake shedding it’s skin symbolizes immortality and regeneration and renewal and eternal life because the snake looks like it’s sick and then when the skin is sloughed looks healed and “reborn.” Has a lot to do with why the snake is depicted on the cadeucus, the symbol of medicine and healing.

The snake shedding it’s skin has been a symbol of immortality for as long as our civilization has had written words. The Epic of Gilgamish as verbal history may date back some 8000 years BC and today is the oldest written document found in our “western civilization” dating back some 2500-3000 years BC) and preserved on stone tablets, discovered in the last century in what is now called Iraq. In this passage the snake gains immortality and shows it by shedding its skin:

Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, the ferryman, saying:
“Urshanabi, this plant is a plant against decay(!)
by which a man can attain his survival(!).
I will bring it to Uruk-Haven,
and have an old man eat the plant to test it.
The plant’s name is ‘The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.’”
Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth.”
At twenty leagues they broke for some food,
at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.
Seeing a spring and how cool its waters were,
Gilgamesh went down and was bathing in the water.
A snake smelled the fragrance of the plant,
silently came up and carried off the plant.
While going back it sloughed off its casing.’
At that point Gilgamesh sat down, weeping,
his tears streaming over the side of his nose.
“Counsel me, O ferryman Urshanabi!
For whom have my arms labored, Urshanabi!
For whom has my heart’s blood roiled!
I have not secured any good deed for myself,
but done a good deed for the ‘lion of the ground’!”

Posted by Frank - February 1, 2009


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