Worm Salad

And, it’s done!
December 8, 2008, 2:01 am
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For all of you patient enough to stick around during my haitus (and everyone else, too) I have a new page on the blog: Taenia’s Pets, where I put up a picture and little blurb about every single animal that shares my house. Check it out, and please tell me what you think!


December 7, 2008, 6:25 pm
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Sorry about not blogging. I know I made a promise to post, and broke it just as quickly, but real life has a habit of interfering with my best intentions. Expect the next post in my awesome reptiles series later today, but, in the mean time, I offer you this picture of my baaaaaby blood python as a way to make things right.

Branwen, originally uploaded by Lady Shmee.

Remarkable Reptile #10
December 2, 2008, 5:01 am
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I have always been a fan of island  biogeography and one of my big passions in biology are the weird things that animals do on islands. From giant flightless birds to enormous tortoises to pygmy elephants, the variety of life on islands never ceases to amaze me. And while the science has its practical uses, beyond initial wonderment and amazement, from predicting alpine responses to climate change to managing wildlife preserves, my fascination with islands still stems primarily from their wondrous diversity of life.

(Incidentally, if this description of a fascinating science has piqued your interest at all, may I recommend David Quammen’s The Song of the Dodo to you?¬† It’s a really remarkable, well-written look at the scope of the science, and its practical implications, and while I may hold reservations about some of his assertions, it’s still a very good book.)

And so, we start my look at remarkable reptiles with one species that really exemplifies the magnificent and diverse beauty of islands — the common boa, Boa constrictor.

The subspecies that you’re probably familiar with is the one sold in pet stores across the world; the Colombian red-tailed boa, a locality specimen of B. c. imperator. With their charming disposition and fairly impressive size of up to about nine feet, they are an instantly recognizable snake. But, just in case you’ve never seen one, here’s a picture of one of these mainland beauties:

Mainland Colombian Boa, showing typical coloration

Mainland Colombian Boa, showing typical coloration

So, if you’re interested in what these beauties do when they get onto islands, read more after the jump. Continue reading

Oy vey…
November 11, 2008, 6:42 pm
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… I need to learn not to promise posts because when I do, my life invariably conspires to spring a hundred surprises on me. So, while I will get to a science post soon, it will probably be a little later this week (and obviously, I didn’t make it by Sunday).

However, I do have news — I have a new family member. Yesterday, I brought in a baby leopard gecko who was abandoned at a local pet store. He is pretty frail, but looks to be a trooper, and is curently in a quarrantine cage in my living room, where he is exploring his new space, establishing dominance over his territory and hiding whenever I go to check on him.

He’s too young to have gotten his spots, but is a beautiful bright yellow and dark brown gecko — I am betting that he will be a beautiful, high-contrast animal when he grows up. I will hopefully get up photos of him tonight — so check back for updates later today.

He is the second lizard and eleventh reptile to be sharing my house (the other nine are snakes); he’s also my eighth rescue reptile, and I hope that he does well. Reptile rescue is always a bit of a harrying, worrying process for me, since there are really no good guarantees on the health of rescued herps — I’ve seen a lot of problematic health conditions in my rescues — especially parasites, from mites to pinworms, and I’m particularly concerned about the risk of cryptosporidium associated with bringing in a gecko — but, I’ve also had rescues who have shown perfect health and have gone on to make great recoveries and live, long fulfilling lives: my oldest, best-loved snake was a rescue, as are some of my most interesting herps, from a Dumeril’s boa to a pair of remarkable green tree pythons.

The long and the short of it is that I am happy to be bringing him in and giving him a second chance at life. He’s a very handsome boy, and once he gets some weight on and his health clears, I am sure that he will be a great addition to my family.

Now I just need to think of a name for him — any ideas?