News

No Omelette Jokes, Please!

The fossil of the largest soft-shell egg on earth has been discovered in Antarctica, and it looks like it might have belonged to a distant ancestor of some of our reptile friends. Discovered in 2011 by scientists from Chile, and then shelved to research (as in Raiders of the Lost Ark) until recently, the fossil egg is the second largest egg of any known animal on the planet. Theories have been posited about how the reptilian parent (presumed to be something like a mosasaur) laid and maintained the egg(s). It's clear we have much to learn about the ancient development of our favorite scaly creatures! The full article may be found here.

It’s A Croc! (No, Really–)

A recent discovery of fossilized reptilian footprints from the Early Cretaceous in what is now South Korea has led to scientific speculation that crocodile ancestors may have been speedy bipedal creatures, not unlike the infamous T. Rex. The concept of a crocodile ancestor that traveled leaving complete footmarks (i.e. both toes and heel) may prompt a reevaluation of crocodilians in general. As they say, if the footprint fits...! The full article may be found here.

He Once Was Lost, But Now Is Found!

An almost unknown species of agamid lizard—seen only three times in over one hundred years—has reemerged onto the world stage. The Modigliani lizard, with its bright coloring and prominent nose horn, looks like something that leaped out of the latest Godzilla movie! (Alas, the lizard's namesake was an Italian natural historian / explorer, not the modernist painter.) To say that the creature is endangered is an understatement, but because it has been rediscovered, there is at least a ray of hope for its conservation. The full article may be found here.

Move Over, Murder Hornets! We’ve Got… Venomous Frogs?

Yes, we know, the article is from 2015, but the discovery of not one but *two* species of venom-injecting frogs in Brazil (one with venom 25 times the potency of a pit viper) is still pretty scary. And ominous: the article concludes that "researchers think several more frogs could have evolved to be venomous". Best take-away from this news: do not pick up strange frogs! The full story can be read here:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/08/amid-agony-scientists-discover-world-s-first-venomous-frog