Canberra's first Reptile & Frog Festival will be held on 12 April 2015 at the Canberra Reptile Zoo in Gold Creek Village. We encourage you to head along - it'll be a great event for the whole family!
A converted pool in Sydney’s north has become the home for a breeding pair of eastern water dragons, Australia’s largest dragon species.
Read the article on the ABC to learn more about suburban pool conversion into natural refuges and the support available for homeowners to do so.
Read the article here on ABC Radio National.
This valentines day why not check out the behaviour of other species trying to win over the fairer sex. Chris Watson witnessed these sand monitors fighting from his office window, a rare and spectacular event, in Alice Springs.
Read more at the ABC here!
Matthew Higgins was fortunate and dedicated enough to seek out the locally rare Rosenberg's Monitor (Varanus rosenbergi) around the Queanbeyan River between Gelignite Crossing Compo Canyon. Check out a sneak peek below - more images will be published in the next newsletter, so stay tuned!
Photograph and Video: Matthew Higgins
Reproduced with permission, please contact us if you would like to get in touch with Matthew about licensing the media.
After tracking the recent spread of Anolis lizard species across the Caribbean a study has found that island biogeography theory will have to be revised. The physical distance between landmasses is no longer important. Shipping lanes are.
Read more on the Scientific American here.
Head on over to The Conversation to learn about how lizards are helping scientists determine why giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs can be an advantage. Full article here.
The Scientific American blog has this fascinating article looking at the anatomy of turtles sexual reproductive organs (and breaking some myths in the process). Head on over and check it out.
Head over to The Conversation to read more of this unfortunate tale of likely extinction and thoughts on what could have been done to prevent it.
An ancient struggle has been captured on camera by a number of onlookers near Mt Isa, Queensland. To read more about this rare and fascinating event check out the article on the ABC website here.
If you're wondering, the snake shown is the Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus) which is Australia's second largest snake growing to 4m+. However, it trails well behind our largest snake, the Scrub Python (Morelia amethistina), which has been documented over 6m. The crocodile is Johnston's Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnsoni) which reaches maximum sizes of between 2m and 3m.
One of the first studies conducted on young reptiles reared without contact with their siblings is challenging the assumption that only mammals and birds are shaped by social interactions.
"Our results demonstrate that rearing these animals in different environments strongly affects their social development," said Cissy Ballen, a PhD candidate in the University of Sydney's School of Biological Sciences and lead author of the paper published in Animal Behaviour.
Read the article on Science Alert here.
The first issue of a new informal newsletter communicating the results of recent research on freshwater turtles of Australasia and some of the impacts that research is having on policy and management has just come out.
The newsletter is informal, in that it is not associated with any particular society, but rather an avenue for communicating discoveries and ideas among a loose collection of individuals interested in research on this fascinating element of our fauna.
It's an excellent read and very much worthwhile checking out - head over here to subscribe to the newsletter.
The Canberra Times reported today of a snake vs. snake encounter:
"Gavin Fletcher of Bonython got quite a surprise when the “ball of rope rolling around” on a walking track turned out to be two of Australia's most venomous snakes locked in a deadly duel."
Head over to the Canberra Times to read the article.
This isn't an uncommon occurrence - Neil Hurst provided ACTHA with footage of a similar encounter between two Eastern Brown Snakes three years ago. Check out the video below to learn a little bit about these unusual encounters, eastern brown snakes generally and see the footage of a brown snake eating another brown snake (trust me: it's fascinating).
To learn more about snakes, and reptiles generally, be sure to head over to Snakes Alive! at the Australian National Botanic Gardens which is running from 20 - 26 January 2014. Learn more about Snakes Live! here.
A lizard captures oxygen from air both when inhaling and exhaling—a feat normally associated with birds. Many scientists believe birds developed the adaptation to cope with the enormous requirements of energy needed to take flight, and the discovery of "unidirectional breathing" in the savannah monitor lizard raises questions about when and why the trait first evolved.
View the article and learn more.
So Skinny, So Bright: How Colour Change Predicts the Odds of a Chameleon Battle (Scientific American)
When it comes to male-on-male chameleon battles, sometimes it’s not all about who’s the biggest or the strongest. Sometimes it’s about mastering what chameleons do best – changing colours.
View the article to learn more.
A thoroughly good time was had by all at the 2013 Christmas Party, where we got a special treat in the form of a presentation and video footage of a turtle laying eggs in Giralang, to see the video follow this link.