Herpetology, 4e

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INFORMATION ABOUT SYSTEMATICS, TAXONOMY, NATURAL HISTORY, AND CONSERVATION

AmphibiaWeb
http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html
Herpetology, Fourth Edition follows the taxonomic arrangement in AmphibiaWeb in most cases. The site is updated frequently and provides links to important events in the study and conservation of amphibians.

Amphibian Species of the World
http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/
The taxonomy presented in this site differs in some respects from Herpetology, Fourth Edition. Species accounts include synonyms (older names by which a species was known), as well as earlier combinations (such as a species that had previously been placed in a different genus). The search function allows you to enter any name, including the names of species, genera, and families, and determine the taxon to which they now belong. This is a convenient way to determine the current name for a species identified by an older synonym in a publication. You can also search the database by country (or state within the U.S.) to retrieve a list of all species currently recognized from that region.

The Reptile Database
http://www.reptile-database.org/
Herpetology, Fourth Edition follows the taxonomic arrangement in The Reptile Database in most cases. The site is updated frequently and provides links to important events in reptilian systematics.

IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species
http://www.iucnredlist.org/

Scientific and Common Names of the Reptiles and Amphibians of North America
http://ebeltz.net/herps/etymain.html

Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service
http://vertebrates.si.edu/herps/herps_nmnh_herppubs/herps_herps.html

The Center for North American Herpetology
http://www.cnah.org/

Biology of the Reptilia
http://carlgans.org/
This  22-volume series edited by Carl Gans and published between 1969 and 2010, played a fundamental role in the development of modern herpetology by assembling and synthesizing information about morphology, physiology, neurobiology, behavior and ecology of reptiles. The full text of all 22 volumes is available online through the Gans Collection and Charitable Fund.

LINKS TO HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETIES

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
http://www.asih.org

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
http://ssarherps.org/

The Herpetologists’ League
http://www.herpetologistsleague.org/en/index.php

OPEN-ACCESS HERPETOLOGY JOURNALS

FrogLog
http://www.amphibians.org/froglog/fl110/

Herpetological Conservation and Biology
http://www.herpconbio.org/

Reptiles & Amphibians, Conservation and Natural History
http://www.ircf.org/journal/

The Journal of North American Herpetology
http://jnah.cnah.org/

HERPETOLOGICAL CONSERVATION

Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, USGS
http://armi.usgs.gov/

The Amphibian Specialist Group and Amphibian Survival Alliance, amphibian conservation, research and education
http://www.amphibians.org/

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
http://www.parcplace.org/

 

Chapter 1 Why Study Herpetology?

Herpetology Hotline for questions about herpetology
http://ssarherps.org/all-about-herps/herpetology-hotline/
Send your herpetology questions to experts at the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Herpetologists’ League, and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Your query will be directed to the appropriate individual and you will receive a response within two weeks.

Herpetology Resources
http://ssarherps.org/all-about-herps/herpetology-resources-2/
Links to organizations engaged in basic and applied aspects of herpetology.

Where do herpetologists work?
http://www.environmentalscience.org/career/herpetologist
Who hires herpetologists, what do they do, and how much are they paid?

 

Chapter 2 Phylogenetic Systematics and the Origins of Amphibians and Reptiles

The Tree of Life Web project
http://tolweb.org/tree/
Information about the characteristics of different groups of organisms and their evolutionary history.

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
http://iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp
This is the system of rules and recommendations that promotes stability and universality in the scientific names of animals and ensures that the name of each taxon is unique and distinct.

Palaeos
http://palaeos.com/vertebrates/index.html
This site provides information about extinct taxa of vertebrates.

 

Chapter 3 Systematics and Diversity of Extant Amphibians

Life in Cold Blood, Episode 2: Land Invaders
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v6294726he8KxhPM

Frogs: The Thin Green Line
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7qryoBjnAk

AmphibiaWeb
http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html

Amphibian Species of the World
http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/

Foot-flagging frogs of India
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOdwvrn7ors

 

Chapter 4 Systematics and Diversity of Extant Reptiles

The Reptile Database
http://www.reptile-database.org/

Life in Cold Blood, Episode 3: Dragons of the Dry
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v6294082ZAkhsY8w

Life in Cold Blood, Episode 4: Sophisticated Serpents
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v6294907GfFR9bh4

Life in Cold Blood, Episode 5: Armoured Giants
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v64244434QtQ5Pth

Anole Annals blog
http://www.anoleannals.org/
Anole Annals is written and edited by scientists who study Anolis lizards.

Chameleons of Madagascar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvt_fIctCHQ
This two-hour video documents aspects of the ecology and behavior of 28 species of chameleons.

Tail regeneration
https://www.youtube.com/embed/QDdVs4qM1XU
A series of time-lapse photographs illustrate tail regeneration.

 

Chapter 5 Biogeography of Amphibians and Reptiles

Animated Life: Pangea
http://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000003515124/animated-life-pangaea.html?emc=edit_th_20150218&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=34450251
This animated documentary tells the story behind continental drift theory.

Library of Paleogeography
http://cpgeosystems.com/paleomaps.html
Maps showing the positions of the continents from the Late Precambrian to the present.

Giant tortoises used to be even larger than they are now
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150519-the-truth-about-giant-tortoises
Although giant tortoises are now restricted to islands, they once occurred on continents.

The Phylogenetic Tree of Anole Lizards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZOwyDbyL0
Illustrations of the ecomorphs of Anolis on Puerto Rico.

Replaying The Tape of Life
http://www.anoleannals.org/2013/07/18/replaying-the-tape-of-life-lizard-evolution-proceeds-in-similar-ways-on-caribbean-islands/
Lizard evolution proceeds in similar ways on Caribbean islands.

Lookalike Lizards and the Predictability of Evolution
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/07/18/lookalike-lizards-and-the-predictability-of-evolution/

The founder effect in island biogeography of Anolis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9x8lFXgXmZI

 

Chapter 6 Water and Temperature Relations

A waterproof frog spreading waxy secretions on its skin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L-_Gst2NIk
This brief sequence is an excerpt from Life in Cold Blood.

Nasal salt gland
http://www.arkive.org/galapagos-marine-iguana/amblyrhynchus-cristatus/video-11c.html
Galápagos marine iguanas sneeze to expel the salty excretions of their nasal salt glands.

Water collection by the Namib Desert viper (Bitis peringueyii)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcS62HFAB8s

Water collection by the thorny devil (Moloch horridus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoduGti4G_k
This video has good sequences of jaw motion and behavior during drinking, but gathering dew from spiny plants has never been observed in the wild, whereas harvesting rain as shown in Figure 6.2 has been documented.

Movement of water across the skin of the thorny devil (Moloch horridus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rgl4hxDh_E
The video shows water moving across the body after the lizard was placed in a puddle. Transport of water by the scale capillary system described in Figure 6.2 is accurate, but the sequence was staged and it is not known whether thorny devils in the wild use puddles. They do capture raindrops on their backs and collect water by rubbing their bellies on wet sand.

Life in Cold Blood, Episode 2: The Cold-Blooded Truth
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v6292546DbMNNrGP?h1=Life+in+Cold+Blood-+Episode+1-+The+Cold+Blooded+Truth
This video uses infrared photography to illustrate behavioral and physiological thermoregulation. Additional topics include temperature dependent sex determination, freeze tolerance, and Phyllomedusa sauvagii waterproofing its skin by spreading waxy secretions of skin glands.

 

Chapter 7 Energetics and Performance

Lake Titicaca frog (Telmatobius culeus)
http://www.arkive.org/titicaca-water-frog/telmatobius-culeus/video-00.html
This video shows the flaps of skin that increase the surface area for cutaneous gas exchange.

Gular pumping by a monitor lizard
http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/data/982779.xhtml
This video is the source for Figure 7.6B.

Galápagos hawks capturing a juvenile land iguana
http://www.arkive.org/galapagos-land-iguana/conolophus-subcristatus/video-11a.html
Galápagos hawks are unusual in that they hunt cooperatively. The sprint speed of this iguana was too slow to allow it to escape, and the dark color of the lizard’s skin suggests that its body temperature was low.

A thawing wood frog
http://www.biologists.com/movies/JEB_Movies/JEB070268/Movie1.mov
This time-lapse video shows the appearance of functions illustrated in Figure 7.26.

 

Chapter 8 Reproduction and Life Histories of Amphibians

Convergent evolution of foot-flagging behavior by streamside frogs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAmMrdF6ycQ

Courtship by the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)
http://www.arkive.org/smooth-newt/triturus-vulgaris/video-09a.html
The male is shown fanning pheromones to the female and depositing a spermatophore that she picks up with her cloacal lips.

Tailwalk and spermatophore transfer by the red-legged salamander (Plethodon shermani)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UIpOcmejvI

Male Japanese giant salamanders
http://www.arkive.org/japanese-giant-salamander/andrias-japonicus/video-12a
A resident male, guarding eggs in a nest, fights an intruding male.

Male midwife toad (Alytes muletensis) carrying eggs
http://www.arkive.org/mallorcan-midwife-toad/alytes-muletensis/video-00.html

Reproductive behavior of the Kumbara night frog (Nyctibatrachus kumbara)
http://www.gururaja  kv.net
This three-part series shows the male’s advertisement behavior, amplexus, and egg deposition.

A Darwin’s frog (Rhinodema sp.) releasing young from his vocal sac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAF5N-HwgOc

Birth of Kaup’s caecilian (Potomotyphlus kaupii)
http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/caecilian

Birth of Suriname toads (Pipa pipa)
http://www.arkive.org/suriname-toad/pipa-pipa/video-00.html
Fully metamorphosed froglets are emerging from depressions on the mother’s back.

A female chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) feeding unfertilized eggs to tadpoles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI43SgzzAbk

Tadpole transport and feeding by a female strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SispCYjUTE

Neotenic tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asOCVEAwsCA
Excellent images of the salamanders, although the narration is not entirely accurate

 

Chapter 9 Reproduction and Life Histories of Reptiles

Tree of Sex
http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201415
This is an open-access database providing information about mechanisms of sex determination.

Copulation by the European adder (Vipera berus)
http://www.arkive.org/adder/vipera-berus/video-09b.html
The left hemipenis of the male is inserted into the female’s cloaca.

Sex organs of male turtles
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/terrifying-sex-organs-of-male-turtles/

Mating, egg laying, and hatching of Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnqHUkxaqQE

Courtship and birth of the shingleback skink (Tiliqua rugosa)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPZiAiUYS8o

An American alligator opens her nest and transports a hatchling to the water
http://www.arkive.org/american-alligator/alligator-mississippiensis/video-09a.html

Embryonic development. These videos show chickens; the development of non-avian reptiles is very similar.

 

Chapter 10 Body Support and Locomotion

Zebra-tailed lizard running bipedally
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExyMxKDxT9M

Basilisk lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons) running on water
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/deadliest-jesus-christ-lizard

Gaits of the Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co7bJlJliEs
This video shows the high walk and galloping.

Jumping frogs:

Gap-bridging by the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-3b6MOFXf0)

Juvenile green turtles swimming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTVxifGZ0oQ

Curvilinear and concertina locomotion by snakes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpyMKIb2g1M

Rectilinear locomotion by boas
http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/84/20130188.figures-only

A Namib Desert sidewinder (Bitis peringueyi)
http://vimeo.com/59288377

Locomotion by sidewinders and other vipers
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6206/224/suppl/DC1
These links to videos show the ease with which sidewinders move on loose sand and the difficulty that non-sidewinding vipers experience. Another video shows a sidewinder robot in action.

Couch’s spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus couchii)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUTc0AaNC_E
The toad is using the spades on its hind feet to dig backward into the substrate.

Sand-diving lizards
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDrg6M3Iqb0
Although the video is titled sand-swimming, we characterize these three lizards as sand-divers.

Sand-swimming:

Parachuting and gliding by frogs, lizards, and snakes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UczKUylZDv8

This video shows how specialized muscles move snake skin and propel the skeleton forward during rectilinear movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwHkAMo-Mj0&t=53s

This video shows how brown tree snakes cantilever their bodies to bridge gaps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8uubvO4Ids

This video shows how the cross-sectional body shape of a snake interacts with the surface texture of the substrate and the angle of incline as snakes climb.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnSHVAjULyI

 

Chapter 11 Feeding

Suction feeding by a smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)
http://www.arkive.org/smooth-newt/triturus-vulgaris/video-08a.html

Leatherback turtles using suction to capture jellyfish
http://www.nytimes.com/video/science/100000003525955/the-turtles-point-of-view.html?nlid=34450251&src=recpb

High-speed videos of tongue projection by amphibians and reptiles
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPA-YgCL_X46h_Z-NZ0QyPQuFhVSwtS5F
These videos were made by Stephen Deban and his students.

Rotational feeding by the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)
http://www.arkive.org/nile-crocodile/crocodylus-niloticus/video-08d.html

Slicing action of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) jaws
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18249270

Feeding by the caiman lizard (Dracaena guianensis)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVC0sC-uRd8

Measuring the force of tongue adhesion of the horned frog (Ceratophrys sp.)
http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140612/srep05225/extref/srep05225-s2.mov
(Scroll to Supplementary Information at the bottom of the page for links to the videos.)

Intertial feeding by a crocodile monitor (Varanus salvadorii)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwC61uvQoWk

Scolecophidian snakes
http://www.anat.stonybrook.edu/kleylab/videos.html
These videos by Nate Kley and his students show a Texas blind snake (Rena dulcis) using mandibular raking and a African lined worm snake (Afrotyphlops lineolatus) using maxillary raking.

A European grass snake (Natrix natrix) swallowing a toad
http://www.arkive.org/grass-snake/natrix-natrix/video-08a.html
The independent movements of the left and right maxillae and mandibles are apparent as the snake completes swallowing.

Feeding by the egg-eating snake (Dasypeltis sp.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmFwepy8x64

The Asian snail-eating snake (Pareas iwasakii)
https://sites.google.com/site/hoso0822/home
The snake successfully extracts a snail from a shell with a right-handed twist, but cannot extract a snail from a shell with a left-handed twist.

A Gerard’s water snake (Gerarda prevostiana) tearing a soft-shelled crab into pieces small enough to swallow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-qEt1J5LDU

These infrared videos show how three closely related species of snakes eat snapping shrimp and hard- and soft-shelled crabs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtMR7I38s1U&t=12s

 

Chapter 12 Spatial Ecology

An overview of migration by sea turtles
http://www.seeturtles.org/sea-turtle-migration

Satellite tracking of sea turtles
http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtletracking.php?page=currentsatelliteturtles

Navigation by sea turtles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbiBXRtiVrg

Testing hypotheses about methods of navigation by sea turtles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igb0NMG3ZUo

Tracking hatchling flatback sea turtles (Natator depressus)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV3wkzEP448

Spring breeding migration of amphibians in southern Michigan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYn1d6HZA7Y

 

Chapter 13 Communication

North American frogs calling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA_eHVxprdI
Calls of eight species filmed in the field.

Bolivian frogs calling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-Yy2zJ9JfA
Calls of 23 of more than 40 species of frogs that occur at the site. The videos show the intensity of calling effort, and in the background of several segments you can hear the calls of multiple species. There are brief views of tadpole transport, amplexus, and foam nest construction.

Túngara frogs (Engystomops pustulasus)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhhwd2Wc4PI
This brief video touches on the competing demands of sexual selection (females prefer males giving complex calls) and predation (males giving complex calls are easier for bats to locate).

Foot-flagging frogs:

Vibrational communication by the red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas)
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/red-eyed-tree-frogs-shaking-vin

Visual displays of jacky dragons (Amphibolurus muricatus)
http://www.wired.com/2015/01/lizard-visual-displays-order-matters/

Frill-necked lizard displays (Platysaurus sp.)
https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=frillneck++lizard+display+video+BBC&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001
These lizards use their brightly colored ventral surfaces for display, while their dorsal surfaces blend with the rocks outcrops they inhabit.

Color change by panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis)
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150302/ncomms7368/full/ncomms7368.html

Vocalization by a male alligator
http://www.arkive.org/american-alligator/alligator-mississippiensis/video-13.html
The dancing water droplets are produced by subaudible vibrations.

Advertisement display of a male green iguana (Iguana iguana)
http://www.arkive.org/green-iguana/iguana-iguana/video-09b.html

 

Chapter 14 Mating Systems and Sexual Selection

Scramble competition:

Courtship of the crested newt (Triturus cristatus)
http://www.arkive.org/great-crested-newt/triturus-cristatus/video-09.html
This video shows a courtship display by a male, spermatophore transfer, egg deposition, and hatching.

Male–male combat:

 

Chapter 15 Diets, Foraging, and Interactions with Parasites and Predators

Rapid evolution herbivorous specializations by the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis siculus)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBv6-XORcLg

Use of the tongue decoy by an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)
http://www.arkive.org/alligator-snapping-turtle/macrochelys-temminckii/video-08a.html

Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) preying on zebras crossing a river
http://www.arkive.org/nile-crocodile/crocodylus-niloticus/video-08a.html

Caudal luring by the spider-tailed viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CjtQOc9euU

Frog-eating bat
http://www.esi.utexas.edu/outreach/ols/lectures/Pollak/ppt/32_files/frame.html

Stridulation by a saw-scaled viper (Echis coloratus)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1W7W2jT-zw

Blood-squirting by a regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solare):

Toxic Mantella frogs
http://2junky.com/video/3340074/wild-chronicles-madagascar-poison-frogs.html

 

Chapter 16 Populations and Species Assemblages

Habitat partitioning by anoles in Puerto Rico
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZOwyDbyL0

Impact of invasive species of Anolis in Florida
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2011/08/16/video-from-the-field-anolemageddon/

Habitat destruction and its effect on frogs
http://www.savethefrogs.com/threats/habitat-destruction.html

Metapopulation dynamics of the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESLJJtq_O3A

 

Chapter 17 Conservation and the Future of Amphibians and Reptiles

Invasive pythons in the Everglades:

Cane toads: An unnatural history
www.youtube.com/watch?v=azQnClq--RU
The classic comedy/horror documentary about the introduction of cane toads (Rhinella marina) to Australia and their impact on agriculture and humans.

Controlling cane toads:

Amphibian Crossing Project
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqDbRCa3E78

Deformed amphibians
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnFR7clk-sA

Diseases:

Species-level conservation efforts:

Climate Change:

Rediscovery and deExtinction: