Differences in Rattlesnake and Coral Snake Venom

A recent study compared the components of venom samples from eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) and eastern coral snakes  (Micrurus fulvius) and they observed a curious occurrence (Contrasting Modes and Tempos of Venom Expression Evolution in Two Snake Species by Margres et al. 2015). The researchers collected venom samples from 65 adult ...Read More

Rare Frog Breeds In Bamboo

A study of the white spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes) has revealed a previously unknown reproductive mode. The frog was thought to be extinct for over 100 years until it was recently rediscovered in Western Ghats in India. These frogs apparently breed in live bamboo. They enter the bamboo through narrow slits ...Read More

Nyarla Loves Star Trek

With a saddened heart, Nyarla says goodbye to her favorite Science Officer, Mr. Spock.   Nyarla is a huge Star Trek fan! We discovered her love of Star Trek while we were living in Portland, OR. Her enclosure faced the television in the living room and Brandon and I began noticing that when we’d ...Read More

Amphibiocystidium study in the Netherlands

Diseases are important drivers of declines in in amphibians and fishes. Relatively well known diseases in amphibians are chytridiomycosis and ranavirosis, however fungal-like organisms from the orders Dermocystida and Ichthyophonida may have a large potential impact as well. Species from the genus Amphibiocystidium infect amphibians and cause lesions on the skin and ...Read More

Limb-loss in Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin)

On January 25th, 2015, I trekked out to a tidal marsh with the Bird Club of William and Mary on the eastern shore of Virginia. There we helped a scientist band saltmarsh sparrows for research, taking the opportunity to learn about field research and touch wild birds. Within the first half hour ...Read More

Falling Leaf Or Gliding Lizard?

A new study focusing on the Bornean gliding lizard (Draco cornutus) has discovered the lizards disguise themselves as falling leaves when they glide from tree to tree. Lizards of the genus Draco are they only living lizards with extendable membranes used for gliding (for more info on flying lizards please refer to Flying Herps ...Read More

Let’s welcome our new Hellbenders!

A few days ago Earthshine Nature Programs received a very special package sent by overnight FedEx from the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas.  The box contained two Eastern Hellbenders!  Watch as we receive them and introduce them into their new home in the video below!   These Hellbenders have been ...Read More

(Finally) The Herps Alive Foundation is alive and well

I know what you are thinking. Whatever happened to Keith Gisser from Herps Alive and that reptile rescue facility he was trying to open? He hasn’t posted here in two months. I hope he didn’t get eaten alive by one of his anacondas. Well the truth is I am fine and the ...Read More

We Support Texas Rattlesnake Festival, Do You?

By now you’ve heard about the horrendous practice known as a rattlesnake roundup. Roundups are barbaric events that glorify publicly torturing and killing rattlesnakes for “family” entertainment. Roundups used to be quite common in the Midwest and southern U.S. but thankfully there are not any around today. Some kill festivals have even ...Read More

Giant Salamanders Make Great Dads

Researchers recently observed parental care in Japanese giant salamanders (Andrias japonicus). Using both natural and artificial nests, the researchers observed that after a female giant salamander laid her eggs in the nest that a male was guarding she left and the male stayed. The males were observed preforming parental care acts that ...Read More