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054 Venom Variation

7/30/2019
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Venom can be deadly, but not all venoms are created equal. They serve different purposes and have evolved for different reasons. In this episode we discuss a couple of new papers around the theme of venom, and finish off with a venomous new species for our Species of the Bi-week. Main Paper References: Goetz, S. M., Piccolomini, S., Hoffman, M., Bogan, J., Holding, M. L., Mendonça, M. T., & Steen, D. A. (2019). Serum-based inhibition of pitviper venom by eastern indigo snakes...

Duration:01:12:52

053 In Defense of Eggs

7/16/2019
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A slightly hap-hazard episode looking at some brave lizards facing down an ever present snake menace. Lizards have to stop nest raiding some-how and a couple of recent papers shed some light on how. We also have a well armoured Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Pike, D. A., Clark, R. W., Manica, A., Tseng, H.-Y., Hsu, J.-Y., & Huang, W.-S. (2016). Surf and turf: Predation by egg-eating snakes has led to the...

Duration:01:03:58

052 Salamanders Vs Plants

7/2/2019
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Salamanders are famous for being slippery and liking water, but we uncover some new and surprising elements in their ecology. Stay tuned for a Species of the Bi-Week that resembles a breakfast favourite. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Mezebish, T. D., Blackman, A., & Novarro, A. J. (2018). Salamander climbing behavior varies among species and is correlated with community composition. Behavioral Ecology, 29(3), 686–692....

Duration:01:10:01

051 Python Surprise

6/18/2019
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Pythons are marvellous beasts: their lives and ways remain mysterious. We check out a paper that lifts the curtain on a secretive Australian snake –the woma python– what do they do with their time? We also look a little closer at python facultative thermogenesis, what is it, who does it? The Species of the Bi-week is a new multi-coloured snake from high in the cloud forests. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Brashears, J., & DeNardo, D....

Duration:01:22:03

050 Toady, Toady, Tody

5/23/2019
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In this milestone episode we are talking about toads - how common Asian species are coping with changes in land use and how the same changes in Europe impact the poisonous gunk of the common toad Bufo bufo. Our Species of the Bi-Week has nice tubercles. Main Paper References: Bókony, V., Üveges, B., Verebélyi, V., Ujhegyi, N., & Móricz, Á. M. (2019). Toads phenotypically adjust their chemical defences to anthropogenic habitat change. Scientific Reports, 9(1)....

Duration:01:15:03

049 Great Lizard Escapes

5/7/2019
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It is a dangerous world for small lizards. To survive a lizard may need to pull off some pretty ingenious escape maneuvers. In this episode we look at two lizards that dodge predators using water. For the Species of the Bi-week we check out a species more likely to elicit escape behaviour than undertake it. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Nirody, J. A., Jinn, J., Libby, T., Lee, T. J., Jusufi, A., Hu, D. L., & Full, R. J. (2018)....

Duration:01:01:46

048 The Frog After Tomorrow

4/29/2019
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In this Patreon episode we delve into the world of amphibians - how will frogs, toads, salamanders and friends cope with human-induced climate alterations? We round off with a puddle-loving Species of the Bi-Week who is new to science. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Miller, D. A., Grant, E. H. C., Muths, E., Amburgey, S. M., Adams, M. J., Joseph, M. B., ... & Calhoun, D. L. (2018). Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven...

Duration:01:19:37

047 Iguanas Rock

4/9/2019
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Iguanas rock, and rock iguana’s doubly so. We check out the status of the Bahamas dwindling populations of Cay-dwelling rock iguana with stories of rampaging raccoons, troublesome translocations and polite pirates. Species of the Bi-week is a micro-endemic treat from Madagascar. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Hayes, W. K., Iii, R. A. E., Fry, S. K., Fortune, E. M., Wasilewski, J. A., Tuttle, D. M., … Carter, R. L. (2016)....

Duration:01:11:57

046 Stinky Turtles

3/19/2019
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Episode 46 is a Patreon episode about...musk turtles! These endearing little monsters live in the waterways of the USA and we examine their unusual mouths and diet preferences. Species of the Bi-Week is a squishy chelonian. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Heiss, E., Natchev, N., Beisser, C., Lemell, P., & Weisgram, J. (2010). The fish in the turtle: On the functionality of the oropharynx in the common musk turtle Sternotherus...

Duration:01:08:14

045.5 Question - Snake Eyes

3/7/2019
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A surprise episode to tackle some of Patreon questions. A long ramble about ourselves changes into a chat about sea snake tongue flicking followed by rotating snake eyes. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com References: Banks, M. S., Sprague, W. W., Schmoll, J., Parnell, J. A. Q., & Love, G. D. (2015). Why do animal eyes have pupils of different shapes? Science Advances, 1(7), e1500391. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500391 Heath, J. E., Northcutt, R. G., &...

Duration:01:02:48

045 King Among Cobras

2/26/2019
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All snakes all episode this fortnight, but not just any snakes. We are talking about snake-eaters. King amongst the snake-eaters is the king cobra, where do they roam and what threats are they facing? Jumping across to Africa we check out a newly described, and smaller, snake-eater. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Marshall, B. M., Strine, C. T., Jones, M. D., Artchawakom, T., Silva, I., Suwanwaree, P., & Goode, M. (2018). Space fit...

Duration:01:44:14

044 Where Those Herps At?

2/12/2019
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This episode is all about how hard it is to find herpetofauna, and the difficulty that causes when you try to understand their populations. We finish with a handsome web-footed new species. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Barata, I. M., Griffiths, R. A., & Ridout, M. S. (2017). The power of monitoring: optimizing survey designs to detect occupancy changes in a rare amphibian population. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 16491....

Duration:01:11:10

043 Lazy Dragons, Lazy Newts

1/29/2019
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This fortnight is a real mix of papers. We cover Komodo dragon dispersal, newts crossing (or not) roads, and a paper looking at reptilian brains. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: De Meester, G., Huyghe, K., & Van Damme, R. (2019). Brain size, ecology and sociality: a reptilian perspective. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 1–11. Jessop, T. S., Ariefiandy, A., Purwandana, D., Ciofi, C., Imansyah, J., Benu, Y. J., … Phillips,...

Duration:01:19:41

042 A Christmas Miracle

1/15/2019
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Discussions of the reptiles of Christmas Island(s) abound in episode 42. We kick off with a paper about juvenile snake sizes and follow up with some info about reptiles crossing oceans. The Species of the Bi-Week is a brand new reptile which takes it's name from a fluffy mammal. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Aubret, F. (2015). Island colonisation and the evolutionary rates of body size in insular neonate snakes. Heredity, 115(4),...

Duration:00:59:36

041 Learned Lizards

12/11/2018
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Smart lizards!? Traditionally, lizards are thought of as simple, but this episode we look at some smart skinks whose intelligence allows them to learn from each other. We look at a couple factors that influence that itelligence. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Munch, K. L., Noble, D. W. A., Botterill-James, T., Koolhof, I. S., Halliwell, B., Wapstra, E., & While, G. M. (2018). Maternal effects impact decision-making in a viviparous...

Duration:00:57:09

040 Complications of Captivity

11/27/2018
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This episode we are talking about the pet trade - from the livelihoods of people who collect wild reptiles and amphibians in Madagascar and through to one of the issues that sometimes arises: escapees becoming non-native nuisances. We round off with a Species of the Bi-Week in the form of a slippery new lizard. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Robinson, J. E., Griffiths, R. A., Fraser, I. M., Raharimalala, J., Roberts, D. L., & St....

Duration:01:24:48

039 An Appetite for Arboreality

11/17/2018
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Snakes, they’ve adapted to all sorts of environments. But what exactly has changed to allow them to take to the trees? This episode we check out what it takes to be arboreal and the impacts of taking arboreal prey. We head to the neotropics for the Species of the Bi-week for a colourful new snake. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Harrington, S. M., Haan, J. M. D. E., Shapiro, L., & Ruane, S. (2018). Habits and characteristics of arboreal...

Duration:01:16:49

038 A Frog Over Troubled Water

11/10/2018
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The News Niche strikes again. A varied podcast starting with some new frog research and moving onto a truly horrifying thunderdome. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Falaschi, M., Mangiacotti, M., Sacchi, R., Scali, S., & Razzetti, E. (2018). Electric circuit theory applied to alien invasions: A connectivity model predicting the balkan frog expansion in Northern Italy. Acta Herpetologica, 13(1), 33–42....

Duration:01:14:28

037 Chameleon Comeback

10/16/2018
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Chameleons -- perhaps one of the most instantly identifiable herps out there. But beyond their strange morphological adaptations what do we know about their lives? We check out a couple of papers looking at the lives of some East African species who until recently were missing some pretty basic natural history information. They are joined by a newly described species from the hills of Tanzania. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Hughes, D....

Duration:01:04:37

036 Crocodiles of the Mekong

10/7/2018
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Revisiting the world of crocodilians, we take a look at the habitat shared by two Southeast Asian species, and discuss Siamese crocodile conservation. Our Species of the Bi-week is not a crocodile, but it is pretty scaly. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Ihlow, F., Bonke, R., Hartmann, T., Geissler, P., Behler, N., & Rödder, D. (2015). Habitat suitability, coverage by protected areas and population connectivity for the Siamese crocodile...

Duration:01:03:19