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Nov 10

Massive Sri Lanka saltwater crocodile

Absolutely massive Sri Lanka saltie
Giant crocodile is rescued after getting stuck in a flooded canal while hunting for food
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  • The 17-foot-long croc, weighing nearly a ton, got jammed in a waterway
  • Wildlife officials and villagers in Sri Lanka came to its rescue on Monday
  • They pushed the crocodile back into a river using a digger and a tractor

"Sri Lankan wildlife department officials rescued one of the largest crocodiles ever seen on the island after it got stuck in a canal while looking for food.
The reptile found in the southern city of Matara was believed to weigh close to a ton and measured 17 feet long, local media reported.
'We found a similar size crocodile four, five months back in the Polathumodrara river. This is the maximum these type of crocodiles grow,' said environmentalist Uppala Jayatissa.

The reptile was found on Monday stuck in a canal leading to the Nilawala River which flows across the district.
It was reported that the crocodile was searching for food after water levels rose due to heavy rain.
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'With the help of the villagers and the police we achieved what we wanted which was to send the crocodile back to where he came from without hurting him in any way,' said wildlife department official, Ravindra Kumar.
'The reptile was too big to move out of here on its own.'
The giant reptile was pushed back into the river with the help of a JCB digger and a tractor with a trailer.

Posted Nov 10 2016, 11:30 PM · 2 comments
Apr 18

Tales of giant snakes: a quick review!

This is a book that has been on my personal wish list for quite some time now, and now that i've got my hands on a physical copy i might as well post a review for those of you curious as to its contents. So without further adue, here we are.
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This piece of zoological literature focuses on the largest of the extant snake species, namely the "big four" -- the green anaconda, reticulated python, african rock python, and indian python -- whilst offering a brief commentary on other giant species such as the olive, papuan, and scrub pythons. Some of the information on the species' current binomial names is outdated(i.e. python reticulata), however this is to be expected as this book is a bit dated.
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Within the pages many fascinating colored(and otherwise) photographs of representatives from each discussed species are incredibly enthralling as they give us an idea of just how large these animals are and how large they can grow -- something that is all too often lost on people just reading numbers on paper!
Along with these photographs are very old, but still eye catching, illustrations of the giant snakes, in typical fashion depicted dramatically and dangerously, common in early animal art.

Murphy and Henderson put together an excellent compilation on the natural history of each species, meticulously going over the natural distribution, habitat use, dietary habits, sexual reproduction, and longevity, and conservation of each species in a eloquently constructed ~200 page collection of data.

the bit on the size of each species is the most enthralling, in my opinion, especially that of the green anaconda -- a species that has been mythicized by the general public. as little studied as this species is, this book's account of the animal's natural history and the size of this animal, with word from other zoologists and herpetologists, are a breathe of fresh air. Skins, as well as field estimates of an animal's size, are shown to be unreliable, producing over estimates the vast majority of the time, something that is commonly overlooked.

The size of the largest snakes is commonly misreported in alot of the readily available internet resources, but this book takes a hard look at these monstrous reported figures, Henderson & Murphy casting their own doubts on the validity of each,as ell as dubious or extreme accounts of each respective species' behaviors.
all in all, though the book is rather pricey, it's one i would highly recommend to those curious as to the habits and natural history of the largest extant species of snakes.
Posted Apr 19 2016, 05:42 AM · 2 comments
Apr 13

something cool(at least to me)

long ago when i was a noob to these forums i would post others' research to further my points or whatever, but it looks like nowadays others' are taking my research and posting it elsewhere -- which is pretty cool and flattering to me lol. i came across this guy post my screen shot of a dwarf caiman with porupine quills all over the jaws on his blog, definetly a first!
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Posted Apr 13 2016, 07:24 PM · No comments
Apr 1

The infamous great white v saltie photograph

Everybody knows about this picture, and it is often gushed over and accentuated as evidence in the evergrowing great white shark v saltwater crocodile debate -- but is it genuine? i've had my suspicions on the authenticity of this photograph for some time now, and for good reason. the first thing that pops into my head is photoshop. I might as well post it here, since it's the topic of this blog post.
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As i said above, this reeks of a somewhat poor photoshop job -- to me it looks like a crocodile in full mating ritual behavior, or perhaps a submissive animal in a territorial dispute with a conspecific. The shark looks as though it was taken originally from a photograph of it chasing a seal.

Then again, we do have the citation from which this was said to originate -- Gerard wood's 1982 edition of the guiness book of animal facts and feats. as blury as it is, it looks to be citing page 256 of this book as to where this account and photograph originate from. as luck would have it, i have full access to all of gerard wood's guiness books that he has authored. but here is the '83 edition's cover
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jumping to the page cited above..
we're looking at a bogus picture guys..
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pg.256 is pretty far from the shark and reptile sections of this book, so this was the first red flag for me. i did look at this thing for a nauseating amount of time trying to discern the tiny print in the citation box,and i think i've nailed it.
Posted Apr 1 2016, 10:55 AM · No comments
Mar 26

The size of adult Komodo dragons

I've come across alot of misconceptions as to the size of an adult ora, so i wrote this detailed bit out to help ease this. in writing this though, i realized how much i dislike writing long posts out :P

i've posted some of the correct interpretations of auffenberg's book(and jessop et.al) else where, so here goes
we see that auffenberg(and related studies concerning the mass of these animals) had no age related segregation in place in the sample population he used in his book(e.g. yearling, juvenile, sub-adult, adult size categories). This is pretty significant for the simple fact that the young animals vastly outnumber the amount of 'average' adult animals, let alone the bigger ones. This is why we see low numbers pop up for the 'average' weight of komodo dragons -- this is the *population* average, not just singely the *average adult* weights we see here. i hope that made sense to some of the people viewing this thread.. anyway we see a similar problem with the likes of Jessop et.al, and this is why i don't think we should be using this literature as evidence for a ~20kg average. anyway, back to auffenberg's book for a moment...
he mentions briefly in this table that mature animals are 1.7m TBL+ in this table
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Now, the bit i've written on younger animals making up a large proportion of the demographic is significant because even auffenberg notes this in his book -- see the screenshots below. it cannot really be argued that young animals (yearling and up, for instance) vastly outnumber the amount of mature adult animals. One will have to consider that when auffenberg talks about "large" individuals, he is pretty consistently talking adult animals.

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we see that animals of ~1.7m in TBL(i know they're snout-ventral measurements, but we can ascertain total body length from the above data) are not as well represented(far less numerous) in the demographic above, which is part of my central point here; these snout-ventral lengths also become relevant once you understand that the tail will measure approximately something similar to snout-vent length measurements; those of the younger animals are typically longer then those of the adults, according to the auffenberg's book.Alot of the information in auffenberg may seem contradictory to the casual observer at first glance, but it is all about an understanding and interpretation of the information, really. to say that an adult komodo dragon would weigh 40-50kg on average is perfectly acceptable based on the data within this book. i also know of an healthy adult male ora weighing in at 81kg documented in jessop et.al, with no mention of stomach distention via food contents of the stomach, and even in this pertinent study we find that the larger animals -- the largest 15% of the population, average around 66kg.

the above i've written should be highly regarded before jumping to any conclusions of auffenberg's book or jessop et. al after reading it once.
Posted Mar 26 2016, 01:30 PM · 3 comments