Sunday, July 24, 2016

Learning more about how the turtles shell evolved and why.






Scientists are finding out that the tortoise shell evolved for burrowing purposes not protection.
With the discovery of a fossil that predates others by 5 million years they are learning more about the function of the plastron and carapace. Follow the link below to learn all about it.

Below is a link to an older article that explains the importance of this fossil which was found in
2008. It had a fully formed plastron but the carapace was only partially developed. Perhaps the softshell turtle is the last remnant of this prehistoric ancestor.






With the evolution of the turtle shell it became what we see today on most chelonians. They are the only animal that has its ribs fused to the shell. With this change they could no longer breathe expanding the lungs. Below is an article discussing how turtles and tortoises breathe.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141107091449.htm

Hope you enjoy these articles that offer yet more insight to the wonder that is the turtle!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ball Pythons! Bill Keith will be speaking on these wonderful snakes at the SLHS general meeting, Sunday July 10th.

                       

Ball Pythons are a very popular snake in the pet trade. Many of them, if not most, are captive bred and within the last decade or so breeders have come up with some amazing color morphs. If you are interested in a pet python but do not want a snake that will one day become huge then the Ball Python is the snake for you. The natural color of these snakes is beautiful even without all the selective breeding and a normal color phase Ball Python is accessible to most anyone who would like to have one. With their smaller size (about four feet which is small in the python world!) and generally timid nature they are excellent snakes for beginners. Once, wild caught were all you could get and they were sometimes very hard to get to feed in captivity. But the captive bread babies available today are usually great eaters and will feed on thawed feeder rodents.

Come to the St. Louis Herp Society's meeting this Sunday, July 10th and learn more about these fantastic snakes from Bill Keith. Meetings take place at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Rd. Doors open at 6:30 and the meeting will begin at 7. Hope to see you there!

For more information about the SLHS visit our website. stlherpsociety.org


How it got its name. A Ball Python all balled up.

Mamma incubating her eggs.

  
A beautiful piebald color morph.

 
Nice golden color phase.














Ball Pythons! Bill Keith will be speaking on these wonderful snakes at the SLHS general meeting, Sunday July 10th.

                     

Ball Pythons are a very popular snake in the pet trade. Many of them, if not most, are captive bred and within the last decade or so breeders have come up with some amazing color morphs. If you are interested in a pet python but do not want a snake that will one day become huge then the Ball Python is the snake for you. The natural color of these snakes is beautiful even without all the selective breeding and a normal color phase Ball Python is accessible to most anyone who would like to have one. With their smaller size and generally timid nature they are excellent snakes for beginners. Once, wild caught were all you could get and they were sometimes very hard to get to feed in captivity. But the captive bread babies available today are usually great eaters and will feed on thawed feeder rodents.

Come to the St. Louis Herp Society's meeting this Sunday, July 10th and learn more about these fantastic snakes from Bill Keith. Meetings take place at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Rd. Doors open at 6:30 and the meeting will begin at 7. Hope to see you there!

For more information about the SLHS visit our website. stlherpsociety.org


How it got its name. A Ball Python all balled up.

Mamma incubating her eggs.

  
A beautiful piebald color morph.

 
Nice golden color phase.














Sunday, June 26, 2016

New species of Boa found on remote island in the Bahamas.

Chilabothrus argentum

"The entire silver boa population, which the team estimates to be fewer than a thousand animals, is found only in one small patch of Earth."


The good news is the island where they are found is a national parkland with very few human visiters. 

For more info on this beautiful silver snake read this article on the National Geographic website. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/snakes-animals-science-new-species-conservation/








Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sunday, June 12th SLHS General Meeting. Show and Tell Social.



Bring your favorite reptile to share with other SLHS members. This is a great opportunity to discuss the care and natural history of your unique pet with other herp enthusiasts. Please have all animals either caged or bagged. NO VENOMOUS ANIMALS PERMITTED! We hope to see you there and are excited to see everybody's critters. Go to the website if you need info on meeting time and location. www.stlherpsociety.org

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It is that time of year. GIVE 'EM A BRAKE!

Yes, it is that time when many of us like to get out and take a trip away from the hustle and bustle. This involves traveling on roads where wildlife will be encountered frequently. With reptiles this time of year brings lots of movement due to them just emerging from hibernation searching for food, a mate, or a suitable nesting site. Reptiles also enjoy sunbathing on the warm cement unaware of the dangers that presents. Box turtles are especially vulnerable due to their slow pace. Their time out on the road is longer so that means more of a chance they will be hit.

It is not too hard to avoid clipping these guys if you are aware. Most people are not mean-spirited and do not mean to hit them. They are just not paying attention. It is not on their radar that a turtle may be in the middle of the road around that next turn.


Anyone reading this blog is already probably traveling with a keen eye on the lookout for critters in the road but it is important to spread the word. As mentioned before, most people just don't think about it but when they hear stories of rescues off the road or see a PSA about looking out for wildlife crossing roadways it sinks in and hopefully it may have created another person now paying attention and avoiding the animals or even helping them cross safely to the other side.

Just letting people know you are a turtle (or any reptile) fan raises awareness too. I don't know how many friends who never paid any attention to them until they found out I was a chelonian enthusiast. I am constantly hearing how they thought of me and pulled over to help a turtle to safety. Does a soul good. 

And, as always, please be careful if you stop to move an animal. Do not risk your life if you cannot pull off the road safely or if traffic is too dangerous. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

March 15th, General Meeting. Ed Bielik will speak on "New World Rat Snakes"

Going to try this again! Since we had to cancel the meeting due to weather last February Ed has been kind enough to reschedule for the May meeting. See below for details and see you there!

Ed will be giving an informative talk on these fascinating snakes and their natural history and habits. New World rat snakes include the well known rat and corn snakes indigenous to the United States along with the western fox snake pictured below. Ed is encouraging anyone who keeps these snakes to bring one to the meeting this Sunday. It is always fun to see live snakes!

For anyone interested in reading how Old World rat snakes dispersed to the New World here is a link to an interesting article on the subject.