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Subjects Reptiles : Nature Closeups

Crypsis Challenge #9 Reveal

February 28th, 2011 - 6:56 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

Looks like all commenters easily spotted the snake in this photo.

January 18, 2011 | Gandoca-Manzanillo NWR, Limon Province, Costa Rica

It’s about a third of the way from the top right. Here’s a closer shot from roughly the same angle.

Closeup of eyelash viper on tree trunk

As Andrea J determined, this is an eyelash viper, Bothriechis schlegelii. It’s difficult to pick up an ecotourism brochure in Costa Rica and not see a picture of the yellow variety of this species.

Look out for a separate post on this individual with many more photos.

Oh, and don’t worry, I kept a respectful distance. This encounter reminded me why I always carry around a teleconverter.

Young Rattlesnake

December 30th, 2010 - 11:04 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 3 Comments

January 31, 2010 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I haven’t yet driven MG-223 that leaves Tupaciguara in the direction of Araguari at night without seeing a snake crossing the road. Here’s the most recent one I spotted, which I assume is a young rattlesnake. It’s small, maybe 6 inches or so, and it looks like it has a button at the end of its tail.

My real dilemma when I spot one is whether or not to stop and risk getting hit by another vehicle. At any rate, I’m definitely in a hurry to get a photo and get back up to speed.

Reptile Day 2010 at Fernbank Museum

July 11th, 2010 - 11:46 AM | Filed under Outstanding Outings | No comments

Fernbank Museum, a local natural history museum, opened in Atlanta in 1992. Its predecessor, the Fernbank science center, opened in 1967 and remains open today.  I have vivid memories of visiting the science center as a school kid. They both grew out of an effort that began in 1938 to preserve what had become known as Fernbank forest, 65 acres of old-growth urban Piedmont forest.

Fernbank Museum Entrance

I had been wanting to check out a special gecko exhibition at the museum. When I saw yesterday would be Reptile day, I knew it was time to visit. As a bonus, I saw online that there would also be a special exhibition of nature photography by local photographer Bill Harbin.

Reptile Day offers visitors the opportunity to see and interact with snakes, lizards, turtles and other reptiles. There are both local and exotic specimens on display. Volunteers answer questions and allow visitors to touch some of the harmless ones. The rest are safely caged. This all takes place in the main hall of the museum.

After getting a chance to see all that was offered as part of “Reptile day”, I moved on to the gecko exhibition.

Entrance to Gecko Exhibition

The exhibition was even better than I imagined. There were many interesting species on display. Each habitat helpfully indicated how many geckos were inside. I challenged myself to find all of them. In the end, out of 75 or so, I found all but one gecko.

Gecko Habitats

Albino Gecko

Grumpy Gecko

Tokay Geckos

I particularly liked these large displays showing the diversity of gecko forms.

Tails

Skin

Feet

Eyes

Because I’m often pressed for time, I usually skip reading the accompanying displays. Today I had time so I read every single one. Some stuff I already knew, but I also learned some interesting tidbits. I didn’t realize, for example, that geckos with round pupils are diurnal and those with vertical pupils are nocturnal.

I apologize for the poor photos. These are snapshots from my point-and-shoot. I checked the museum policy on photography. Personal use is permitted, so I should be able to share these photos here on my blog.

Lastly, check out this topiary from the museum garden.

Dinosaur Topiary