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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

035 Caecilians Caecilians Caecilians

9/18/2018
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This fortnight we are delving into the peculiar world of caecilians. Fossorial amphibians that seldom show their faces on the surface. We chat about caecilians' strange adaptations and how a ten-year study has shed some light on their reproductive habits. The Species of the Bi-week is a suitably elongated and slimy critter. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Jared, S. G. S., Kupfer, A., Delabie, J. H. C.,...

Duration:01:06:54

034 Hybrid Pythons

9/4/2018
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The News Niche has come again. This episode we talk about invasive python genetics (just what are they?) and new conservation tools, with a Species of the Bi-Week that features not one but two new cobras. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Gumbs, R., Gray, C. L., Wearn, O. R., & Owen, N. R. (2018). Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities. PloS one, 13(4), e0194680. Hunter, M. E.,...

Duration:01:12:42

033 Lost in Translocation

8/21/2018
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Translocation is a popular method for reducing human-wildlife conflict, but does it work for snakes? We delve into a couple of new papers about translocation in venomous species. Our Species of the Bi-week is a viper with an unusual appetite. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main paper references: Devan-Song, A., Martelli, P., Dudgeon, D., Crow, P., Ades, G., & Karraker, N. E. (2016). Is long-distance translocation an effective mitigation tool for white-lipped...

Duration:01:25:54

032 Duplicitous Dendrobatids

7/24/2018
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Frogs come in loads of crazy colours - but the reasons why can be quite complicated. We try to get to grips with some fascinating new research which suggests frogs can be both cryptic and shockingly obvious. Of course we have an amphibian Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Barnett, JB, C Michalis, NE Scott-Samuel, and IC Cuthill. 2018. “Distance-Dependent Defensive Coloration in the Poison Frog Dendrobates...

Duration:01:14:45

031 From Tortoise Brutality to Snail-eating Snakes

7/11/2018
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Another News Niche episode! We talk about all sorts of things this fortnight: Anolis rebuttals, tortoise criminality, mollusc munching snakes and a little about the snakebite crisis. Naturally the Species of the Bi-week is not neglected, with this week hosting more species than you can snake a slug at. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Bush, JM, and D Simberloff. 2018. “A Case for Anole Territoriality.” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology...

Duration:01:22:10

030 Attack of the Toxic Toads

6/26/2018
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Generally speaking, toads are laid back, easy-going creatures. But every so often a species will find itself an invader in a new land and wreak total havoc. We discuss one such toad (but not necessarily the one you might think). Of course there is a toad which is brand new to science as well, in our Species of the Bi-Week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Moore, M, JFSN Fidy, and D Edmonds. 2015. “The New Toad in Town: Distribution of...

Duration:01:26:36

029 Striking Snakes

6/12/2018
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Vipers, sedentary and slow, until it matters most. But how fast can vipers strike? And how do other snakes compare? We check out a couple of papers answering these questions this fortnight as well as checking in on another Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Higham, TE, RW Clark, CE Collins, MD Whitford, and GA Freymiller. 2017. “Rattlesnakes Are Extremely Fast and Variable When Striking at Kangaroo Rats in Nature:...

Duration:01:02:34

028 Indigo Snakes

5/29/2018
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Some snakes are equal parts impressive and mysterious. The indigo snakes are one such group. In this episode we talk about Drymarchon conservation controversies, and what they like to have for their lunch. Finally, we do an unintended Species of the Bi-week mash up. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Folta, B, J Bauder, S Spear, D Stevenson, M Hoffman, J Oaks, C Jenkins, D Steen, and C Guyer. 2018. “Phylogenetic, Population Genetic, and...

Duration:01:21:21

027 The Curious Case of the Collapsed Chelonian

5/15/2018
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Back to the news niche! This fortnight we’re talking about a collection of papers ranging from crocodile colours to frog personalities, as well as the mysterious death of a tortoise. We finish up with a meta-chat about science podcasting and a brief mention of the crazy future world of in-field laboratories. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com References: Kelleher, S. R., Silla, A. J., & Byrne, P. G. (2018). Animal personality and behavioral syndromes in...

Duration:00:58:47

026 Assortment of Anoles

5/1/2018
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Long-time friends of herpetologists, anoles have proven a fruitful area of research for decades. This bi-week we discuss a couple of papers examining anole behaviour and colouration before highlighting a newly discovered (and rather spectacular) species. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Kamath, A, and JB Losos. 2018. “Estimating Encounter Rates as the First Step of Sexual Selection in the Lizard Anolis Sagrei.” Proceedings of the Royal...

Duration:01:15:27

025 Return of the Invertebrates

4/17/2018
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We back for another invertebrate versus amphibian episode. But this time we’re focusing on carabid beetles and their relentless consumption all amphibian life. They have managed to turn the tables on their would be predator in a remarkable case of role-reversal. Species of the Bi-week is a beautiful frog with a fittingly macabre name. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Wizen, G., and A. Gasith. 2011. “Predation of amphibians by carabid...

Duration:00:57:50

024 News Niche - Crabs and p-values

4/3/2018
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This bi-week we decided to do things a little differently. No main theme, we just read random stuff and chatted about it. Featuring some exciting new developments in the crab vs snake continuum, and some methodological issues to keep an eye on. Huge thank you to our Patreons - if you enjoy the podcast please consider donating at www.patreon.com/herphighlights FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com References: Akçakaya, H. Resit, Elizabeth L. Bennett, Thomas M....

Duration:01:08:35

023 Some smooth, some grassy, all hungry

3/20/2018
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We kick off this episode with the announcement of our move onto Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/herphighlights . Research chat this time is all British snakes. We may not have the most extensive array of snake-life in the Britain, but that doesn't mean that there can’t be some exciting herpetofaunal research. This fortnight we are looking at a couple of papers on smooth and grass snakes. And a slight change to the Species of the Bi-week. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:...

Duration:01:05:06

022 The Ebb and Flow of Water Snakes

3/6/2018
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Unsurprisingly, water snakes love water. But what happens when this precious resource dries out? This week we discuss the effects of drought on various American water snakes, and pay homage to a newly described Mesoamerican snake. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com Main Paper References: Rose, JP, and BD Todd. 2017. “Demographic Effects of Prolonged Drought on a Nascent Introduction of a Semi-Aquatic Snake.” Biological Invasions 19 (10): 2885–98....

Duration:01:04:16