Turtles, snakes and lizards head toward extinction

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 15, 2013   View Article

Nearly one fifth of all reptiles — turtles, snakes, lizards and crocodiles — are on a slippery slope toward extinction due to loss of habitat, overharvesting and other factors, a new report says.

The study is the first of its kind to summarize the global conservation status of reptiles. More than 1,500 species were selected at random from around the world for conservation assessments in an effort to gain a representative sample.

Climate warming? Snakes are cool with that

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 11, 2013   View Article

Several snake species appear to have enough flexibility in what time of day they hunt in order to survive — and perhaps thrive — on a warming planet, according to a recent study.

The result is “contrary to what I had anticipated,” Patrick Weatherhead, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Illinois, told NBC News.

Biggest Snake Discovered; Was Longer Than a Bus

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 4, 2009   View Article

The world’s biggest snake was a massive anaconda-like beast that slithered through steamy tropical rain forests about 60 million years ago, says a new study that describes the ancient giant.

Fossils found in northeastern Colombia’s Cerrejon coal mine indicate the reptile, dubbed Titanoboa cerrejonesis, was at least 42 feet (13 meters) long and weighed 2,500 pounds (1,135 kilograms).

Ten scariest animals in nature

Publication:   Date: October 28, 2008   View Article

Boo! Halloween is a time for trickery, treats and fright. Some members of the human species transform themselves into devils, witches and ghouls. But if you’re looking for something completely different, and completely scary, let nature be your guide.

Animal Photos Weekly: Doused Cobra, Leopard Cub, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 13, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include a recently hatched Chinese box turtle, a cobra doused with milk, a flamingo twisted into an “8,” rare Przewalski’s horses, and a snow leopard cub.

New Snake Footage Uncoils Mystery of Flying Serpents

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 7, 2002   View Article

Watch out—there’s a snake flying through the air!

No, it’s not a paranoid hallucination. Along the west coast of India and in parts of Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka, some snakes slither through the jungle, bite with venom, and glide from tree to tree.

Save the Scales? – Experts Push for Snake Protection

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 5, 2002   View Article

Snakes—the dry and scaly reptiles who strike fear in the human soul—may be slithering unnoticed toward extinction, warns a team of scientists. The researchers say more funding for basic snake ecology research is imperative if we want to conserve the species.

“Historically, reptiles get the short end of the conservation stick—they aren’t furry or feathery and thus tend to not engender much public sympathy,” said Robert Reed, a research associate at the Savannah River Ecology Lab in Aiken, South Carolina. “Snakes are especially reviled in much of the Western world.”

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach