Draco lizards ‘flying’, video


This BBC video says about itself:

16 November 2016

Draco lizards have the amazing ability to be able to fly from tree to tree in search of food, a mate and to avoid predators.

This clip was taken from the third episode of Planet Earth II which focuses on jungles.

Turtles in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

1 December 2016

Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana) also called the Florida red-bellied cooter or Florida redbelly turtle is an attractive reptile that doesn’t get too excited about much of anything. It spends a great deal of time sunning on logs in swamps and canals. One of my favorite turtles.

South African snake escapes from bird


This video says about itself:

BIRD vs SNAKE – Snake Uses Clever Technique to get Away

24 November 2016

Watch how cleverly deceptive the snake becomes by playing dead to fool its captor…

Awesome moment captured on film by 53 year old technician, Frank De Souza on 14 November 2016 in Marloth Park.

Frank told Latest Sightings: “I’ve seen many snakes over the years but never a southern vine snake. I know them to be very shy and highly venomous. There is no antidote if bitten by one of these snakes.

This was the first time I had ever seen a bird fighting a snake. There were 4 of us on a walk looking for birds to take pictures of when suddenly we saw a Grey Headed Bush-shrike on the dirt road jumping around and flying up and down.

As we slowly went closer we saw a snake not far off. The bush-shrike and snake began to fight each another until the snake pretended to be dead. The bird was not so easily fooled and the fighting then continued.

Suddenly the bird was now fighting with two snakes at the same time. We immediately started filming.

My wife Alida and I were both amazed to have captured this sighting, it was a fantastic experience.

The snake who originally acted dead woke up and shot off like a rocket into the bushes leaving the bird to attack the second snake until it also played dead. Finally he kept pulling the snake around and we left.”

Cottonmouth snake in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 November 2016

The Water Moccasin or Cottonmouth snake is the venomous snake a bird watcher in Florida is most likely to encounter. This video shows that the typical behavior of this beautiful snake is to freeze and then move away slowly and only display a threat of the wide open “cottonmouth” if you continue to invade its space. It goes without saying you should not mess with them!

After a few minutes of admiring and slightly annoying this majestic snake I let it move on into the roadside canal. The real danger with these snakes is that since they are heavy and not fast, they freeze in deep cover where they are near impossible to spot and if you’re walking in heavy grass and brush you might accidentally step on them leading to a leg bite and a life-threatening situation. I recommend staying on trails if at all possible and being very careful around the edges of wetlands.

(Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

Comments: VENOMOUS: Cottonmouth bites can be quite dangerous. The victim should seek immediate medical care from a physician or hospital experienced in treating snakebite.

Many baby crocodiles discovered in Egyptian mummy


Baby crocodiles discovered

From the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden):

Egyptian giant crocodile mummy is full of surprises

15 November 2016

The three-metre-long mummified Egyptian ‘giant crocodile’, one of the finest animal mummies in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden), turns out to be literally filled with surprises. Examination of detailed new 3D CT scans has led to the conclusion that, besides the two crocodiles previously spotted inside the wrappings, the mummy also contains dozens of individually wrapped baby crocodiles.

Exceptional discovery

This is an exceptional discovery: there are only a few known crocodile mummies of this kind anywhere in the world. Starting on 18 November, museum visitors can perform an interactive virtual autopsy on the crocodile mummy and the mummy of an Egyptian priest. On a large touch screen, they can examine the mummies layer by layer, learning about their age, physical features, and the mummification process. The amulets placed inside the linen wrappings with the mummies can also be examined in detail and from all sides in 3D.

Virtual autopsy in museum galleries

A new scan of the large crocodile mummy was recently performed at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam. An earlier CT scan in 1996 had shown that there are two juvenile crocodiles inside a mummy that looks like one large crocodile. The Swedish company Interspectral, which specializes in high-tech interactive 3D visualizations, has converted the results of the new scan into a spectacular 3D application and thus detected the dozens of baby crocodiles.

A reference to new life after death?

The museum’s Egyptologists suspect that the crocodiles of different ages were mummified together as a reference to the ancient Egyptian belief in rejuvenation and new life after death. Another possibility is that no large crocodiles were available at a time when they were needed as offerings to the gods. The mummy was given the shape of one large crocodile with various kinds of stuffing: bits of wood, wads of linen, plant stems, and rope.The ancient Egyptians mummified all sorts of animals, usually to pay homage to a particular deity that could manifest in animal form. For instance, crocodiles were offered to the god Sobek.

Museum’s curators excited about the find

The museum’s curators are excited about this remarkable find: “What was intended as a tool for museum visitors, has yet produced new scientific insights. When we started work on this project, we weren’t really expecting any new discoveries. After all, the mummy had already been scanned. It was a big surprise that so many baby crocodiles could be detected with high-tech 3D scans and this interactive visualization.”

Oviraptor dinosaur discovery in China


This video from China ays about itself:

10 November 2016

A newly discovered species of dinosaur has been identified from an extraordinarily complete fossil almost destroyed by dynamite.

Preserved raising its beaked head, with feathered wings outstretched, in the mud it was mired in when it died 72 million years ago, it was one of the last surviving dinosaurs in Asia.

From Science News:

Dragon dinosaur met a muddy end

Feathered oviraptorosaurs surged at the end of the age of dinosaurs

By Meghan Rosen

9:00am, November 10, 2016

A bizarre new birdlike dino was part of an evolutionary extravaganza at the end of the age of dinosaurs. And it was a real stick-in-the-mud, too.

Construction workers blasted Tongtianlong limosus out of the Earth near Ganzhou in southern China. “They very nearly blew this thing to smithereens,” says paleontologist Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The find is one of six oviraptorosaur species discovered from roughly the same place and time — around 72 million to 66 million years ago. Like its feathered cousins, Tongtianlong walked on two legs and had a sharp beak. But each species had distinct skeletal quirks.

Tongtianlong, for one, had a bony, domelike crest on its skull. Oviraptorosaurs were churning out lots of new species during the last stage of the Cretaceous Period, Brusatte says. Tongtianlong was part of “the final wave of dinosaur diversification before the asteroid came down and ended everything.”

This particular fossilized animal lies in a bed of reddish-purple mudstone, preserved in an unusually awkward position: head stuck out, neck arched, wings outspread. It may have died after a desperate struggle to free itself from mud, researchers suggest November 10 in Scientific Reports. That’s actually how the dinosaur gets its name: Tongtianlong limosus is a mix of Chinese Pinyin and Latin meaning “muddy dragon on the road to heaven.”

Smooth snake crosses sand


This video shows a smooth snake crossing sand in the Peel region in the southern Netherlands.

Hans Melters made this video.