Posts tagged reptile.
Updated pictures on the babies and some shots of Merlin whom has darkened a bit finally.
The Malagasy or Oustalets Chameleon is one of around one hundred and sixty species of chameleon found throughout Africa, Southern Europe and some parts of Asia. a very large species of chameleon reaching seventy centimetres in length. They are famous for two traits, one of these being the ability to change colour and the other being their tongues. These tongues can be twice as long as their bodies and are thought to be the fastest thing in the animal kingdom. The tongue can reach the prey in as little as 0.07 seconds and launch at accelerations of 50g.
In fact, the chameleon’s tongue isn’t even close to the fastest thing in the animal kingdom. Indeed, it’s not even the fastest tongue - that record belongs to Hydromantes salamanders, which have converged on a highly analogous structure. But the fastest known structure in the animal kingdom is actually the claw of the mantis shrimp I believe.
Also this is a lovely female Furcifer oustaleti. In its northern range, this species is sexually dichromatic; females are typically green, while males are grey, black, and red. It is one of the most widespread reptiles in Madagascar, and also holds the record for the longest chameleon in the world, and is therefore one of the two largest chameleon species (Calumma parsonii is not as long, but is significantly heavier). It grows to about the same size as your average house cat.
ball python morphs by constrictors unlimited
The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), also known as the gavial, and the fish-eating crocodile, is a crocodilian of the family Gavialidae, native to the Indian Subcontinent.
Gharials once thrived in all the major river systems of the Indian Subcontinent, spanning the rivers of its northern part from the Indus River in Pakistan across the Gangetic floodplain to the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. Today, they are extinct in the Indus River, in the Brahmaputra of Bhutan and Bangladesh, and in the Irrawaddy River. Their distribution is now limited to only 2% of their former range
The gharial is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The species is considered to be one of the most critically threatened of all crocodilians, and was alarmingly close to extinction in the 1970s. They are listed on Appendix I of CITES, which prevents the movement of individuals between countries without good cause and extensive documentation.
Fortunately, since their near extinct, there has been some recovery in population numbers. A reasonable amount of hope now lies with the conservation and management programs in place. Full protection was granted in the 1970s in the hope of reducing poaching losses. There are now nine protected areas for this species in India alone. They are linked to both captive breeding and ranching operations where eggs collected from the wild are raised in captivity and then released back into the wild, much like some salmon and sea turtle management. The first were released in 1981. Today, more than 3,000 animals have been released through these programs. But still, the total population, wild and captive, is estimated at under 1,000 animals
The major threat at present is habitat loss due to human encroachment, and disruption of populations through fishing and hunting activities. A lack of suitable release sites has also started to become a problem for the management of the gharial. Eggs are collected for medicinal purposes, and males are still hunted for the aphrodisiac properties associated with the snout. They may also be snared in fishing nets and killed by fishermen. The decline in gharial populations have been linked to a decline in fish catches, as predatory fish, of no interest to the fishermen, form a major part of the gharial diet.