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Herpetology

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  the study of amphibians and reptiles

Reptiles

Mrs. King and Dumerils Boa

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Kingdom: Animalia

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Subkingdom: Metazoa

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Phylum: Chordata

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Subphylum: Vertebrata

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Class: Reptilia

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Order: Squamata

 

Mrs. King & T Rex  photo by Chaz King 2007   

 

 

The first dinosaur fossils were recognized in the nineteenth century

Reptile Characteristics

Circulatory System Nearly all reptiles have three-chambered hearts; the exceptions are crocodilians, which have four-chambered hearts.
Respiration

All reptiles breathe with lungs, and unlike amphibians, reptiles never pass through an embryonic stage involving gills.

Skeletal Features All reptiles have backbones or spinal columns. Except for snakes, reptiles have paired limbs that typically end in five-clawed fingers or toes. Most reptiles have a pelvis that is associated with at least two spinal bones.
Reproduction Most reptiles reproduce by laying eggs, although some give birth to live young that have hatched from eggs inside the mother's body. Most reptiles produce amniote eggs, which are able to survive outside of water. These eggs have complex membrane systems and protective shells that are permeable to oxygen and other gases.
Temperature Regulation Reptiles are cold-blooded.  Their internal temperature of their bodies varies depending on the environment.
Skin Reptiles have tough, dry skin covered with scales that serves as a barrier to moisture and prevents water from leaving the body.
Sense Organs With the exception of blind snakes, reptiles rely more heavily on vision than on any other sense to detect objects in their surroundings. Most reptiles lack external ears and instead have an eardrum that is positioned near the eyes, close to the surface of the skin.
Development Reptiles possess most of their adult characteristics at the time of hatching. Unlike most amphibians, they do not undergo a larval stage or experience metamorphosis.

Above Data from MSN Encantra Learning and Research                

Groups of Reptiles

Lizards and Snakes

Crocodilians

Turtles and Tortoises

Tuataras

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Bearded Dragon

Family Agamidae

Pogona vitticeps

Photo by Chaz King 2002  a very young FB (male)   FB 2003 (1 year old)

Juvenile Bearded Dragon                                        Sub-adult Bearded Dragon

FB FB and SB Pogona vitticeps  #3 (female)

 

The "Dragon King" Relaxing at his Summer Home

FB  June 4, 2005   Photo by Chaz King

The dragons are in the classroom with Mrs. King all year,

but during the summer they reside pool-side in sunny Florida.

SB (female) 06.03.05 FB (male) 6.3.05

 

 

Anole

Anolis carolinensis

Anole (Mrs. King's back yard, summer 2004) 

Great back yard shots

Florida

 
   

 

 

Iguana

Family Iguanidae

Iguana iguana

Iguana iguana   (photo taken at Brevard Zoo)

 

Jackson's Chameleon

Family Chamaeleonidae

Chameleo jacksonii xantholophus
 

Jackson (Male) Jackson (Female)

Our chameleons are from Madagascar.

These photos were taken the first day we got them. 

 

 

Tokay Gecko

Gekko gecko

Tokay Gecko - Gekko gecko

bulletKingdom: Animalia
bulletPhylum: Chordata
bulletClass: Reptilia
bulletOrder: Squamata
bulletFamily: Gekonidae
bulletGenus Gekko
bulletSpecies: Gekko gecko

 

Care Sheet

 

Savannah Monitor

Lacerta exanthematicus 

Savannah Monitor Hatchling   photo by Mrs. King 2007

Savannah Monitor Hatchling   photo by Mrs. King 2007

Monitor hatchling  2 weeks old

My newest addition  3/07

Care Sheet

 

Savannah Care Sheet

 

NSF Digital Library

 

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American Alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

 

American Crocodile

Crocodylus acutus

Crocodylus acutus  photo by Mrs. King: Brevard Zoo

Ecosystems at the Brevard Zoo

 

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Corn Snake

Pantherophis guttatus

formally known as Elaphe guttata

Research

Amelanistic (Heterozygous for snow)

Hold mouse on photo for phenotype

click on thumbnail for larger photo.

Amelanistic & Anerythristic (Greenish Snow Corn) Hypomelanistic (back) & Amelanistic (front) Hypomelanistic & Type A Anerythristic (Ghost) Baby Corn Snakes

    "Mating occurs from March to May. Eggs are laid in June and July. From 7 - 31 eggs are laid under logs, old sawmill dust piles, or in chambers in the soil. After incubation for about 70 days, the young hatch in August and September. Sexual maturity is reached when a female is at least 68 cm (26.8 in) in snout-vent length. The male is probably somewhat smaller at sexual maturity (The Georgia Museum of Natural History and Georgia Department of Natural Resources
June 2000)
" .

 

 

Corn Snake Genetics Lab  

Students at lab Students at lab

Mendelism through Corn Snake Genetics article published in NSTA's journal, The Science Teacher, January 2004

 

Anery  hatchling 2004

This snake hatched right in my hand

 

The possibilities are endless

 

Generalized Arrangement of Internal Anatomy (Male)

 snake anatomy

click for larger image

In a female snake, the testes are replaced by ovaries positioned in the same area of the body.

Snakes in the classroom

 

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Freaks of Nature

Dicephlopods

Photo taken at Tampa Reptile Expo 2004

More 2-headed snakes

 

Non-Venomous Snakes

Ball Python

Python regius

Python regius

Fact Sheet

 

Reticulated Python

Python reticulatus

 

My Son, Stuart   (Stuart's Retic: male, 6 feet long) Female 8 feet long

 

 

Watch  "Python Hunters"

with Shawn Heflick

July 12, July 19 and July 26, 2010 at 10pm

King Snake

ORDER: Squamata
FAMILY: Colubridae
GENUS: Lampropeltis
 

King snakes are non-venomous constrictors. They are however cannibalistic, meaning they eat other King snakes... talk about watching your back (actually they eat head first)!   They also eat rodents, lizards, birds, eggs and even frogs.  These are interesting snakes because they are immune to rattlesnake venom, which makes King snakes a great specimen to study. Think about future studies with these snakes that would allow scientists to come up with anti-venom serum for rattle snake bites or how these snakes would be useful in the study of specific enzymes in  blood that may make them immune to these bites.

 

California King Snake

Lampropeltis getulus californiae

California king snake.

Size: Adults are usually 0.9 meter long, rarely as long as 1.2 m.

 Distribution: Western U.S. from Baha California, north to Oregon and Southern Utah and east to western Arizona.

Habitat: Lives in rock outcrops, semi-desert, brushy hillsides, or pine forests.

 

Florida King Snake

Lampropeltis getulus floridana

Size: 0.9 -2m

Habitat: Varied, usually in the vicinity of canals, lakes or streams. They are commonly found in and around sugarcane fields and farmland.

 

Apalachicola King Snake

Lampropeltis getulus ________


Endemic to the Panhandle of Florida

 

photo coming soon

 

 

Milk Snakes

 

Mexican Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum annulata

 

Pueblan Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli

pueblan.jpg (75601 bytes)

 

Boa Constrictors

Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae

 

Red-Tail Boa

Boa constrictor constrictor

My Nephew  Lil' Erik  (Stuart's Retic: female)

Peruvian Rainbow Boa

Epicrates cenchria gaigei

Rainbow Boa

 
   

Amazon Tree Boa

Corallus enydris

 

Dumeril's Boa
Acrantophis dumerili

Dumeril Boa- Acrantophis dumerili

Native to Madagascar- ground dweller

 

hatchling

 

Venomous Snakes

 

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Crotalus adamanteus

Diamondback Rattler,  Photo by Chaz King '05

 DiamondBack Rattler  Photo by Chaz King '05

Front fanged

 

Eyelash Viper

Bothrops schlegelii

Eyelash Viper, Photo by Chaz King '05

 

Green Viper

 

Rhino Viper

 

Cobra

Cobra  photo by Chaz King '05

Cobra

 

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Turtles

Suborder Cryptodira

"Turtles make up the order Testudines in the class Reptilia. Hidden-necked turtles make up the suborder Cryptodira, and side-necked turtles comprise the suborder Pleurodira" (Turtle, Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2004).

 

Turtles listed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as either endangered or threatened:

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)

 

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Amphibians

Order Anura: Frogs and Toads

 

 

South American Ornate Horned Frog, aka Pac Man Frog

Ceratophrys ornata

Albino Pac Man Frog

This little guy was purchased at the Orlando FIRE Show on 7/19/08.

This photo shows the frog is in the 1 lb. deli container it was purchased in and will be housed in a 10 gal. tank in the classroom.  Amazingly, an adult Pac Man frog reaches the size of a dinner plate, however, since they are not very active the 10 gallon tank should be sufficient.

 

Cuban Treefrog

Osteopilus septentrionalis

Photo by Chaz King '05

This treefrog was in my pool cage in a palm tree.

This treefrog is a  non-native species, first seen in the Florida Keys in the early 1930's and is now immigrating up the Florida East Coast. It's diet consists of other small frogs and crickets. This is particularly important because the Cuban treefrog could cause a decline the population of smaller frogs, and/or wiping out populations of native species.  This species is currently the largest treefrog in the United States, with females reaching up to 5 inches in length.

skeleton

Frog Skeleton

 

Mr. & Mrs. King

Reptile Lovers