The toddler was just 3 years old and 5 feet (1.5 meters) long when it wandered into a river near Alberta, Canada, and drowned about 70 million years ago. The beast was so well-preserved that some of its skin left impressions in the nearby rock.
Length of shell: Up to 9.2 inches (23.4 cm) Entire length head head and tail: up to 14 inches (35.54 cm). Color: Shell is gray, brown, black and orange with central ridge and pyramidal pattern of ridges and grooves (seashell design). Plastron (ventral shell) is yellow/orange with dark patches. Orange on legs and neck. Long sharp claws.
Food: Omnivorous. Leaves and flowers of woody plants, berries, slugs, snails, worms and insects. Also young mice and eggs.
I was driving on a country road when I observed “something” in the road. I stopped the car when I realized it was a turtle in an unsafe area of the road. I wanted to help it “cross”. A few cars and motorcycles went by and I took photos and carefully watched it until it went into the vegetation. This turtle is in serious decline and is uncommon to rare and a species of special concern in the state of Pennsylvania.
Leatherback Sea Turtle No Longer Critically Endangered
by Jeremy Hance
The leatherback sea turtle—the world’s largest turtle and the only member of the genus Dermochelys—received good news today. In an update of the IUCN Red List, the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) has been moved from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable. However, conservationists warn that the species still remains hugely endangered—and in rapid decline—in many parts of its range.
The new assessment found that the population of leatherback turtles in the northwest Atlantic Ocean (along the US and the Caribbean) is on the road to recover due to conservation actions. While scientists aren’t sure how the southeast Atlantic population (mostly in Gabon) is faring, it remains the world’s largest population.
However, the situation in the Pacific is far more bleak. The east Pacific population has dropped by 97 percent in three leatherback generations, while the west Pacific population has fell by 80 percent during the same period…
Leatherbacks have been viewed as unique among reptiles for their ability to maintain high body temperatures using metabolically generated heat, or endothermy. Initial studies on leatherback metabolic rates found leatherbacks had resting metabolisms around three times higher than expected for a reptile of their size…
Leatherback turtles are one of the deepest diving marine animals. Individuals have been recorded diving to depths as great as 1,280 metres. Typical dive durations are between 3 and 8 minutes, with dives of 30–70 minutes occurring infrequently…
Relatives of modern leatherback turtles have existed in some form since the first true sea turtles evolved over 110 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. The dermochelyids are close relatives of the family Cheloniidae, which contains the other six extant sea turtle species. However, their sister taxon is the extinct family Protostegidae which included other species not having a hard carapace…
… a subspecies of the Timber Rattlesnake. In this photo the heat sensing pits are visible between/below the eyes and the nostrils. Pit vipers are able “see” the heat that objects give off, as they are interpreted by the visual cortex in the brain. You may also notice here, that there are no visible ear holes, as snakes do not have ears, while legless lizards do have ears and visible ear holes.
This species of legless lizard is found throughout moist forests in Eastern and SE Asia. Also called the Chinese Glass Lizard. Oviparous (egg laying). Feeds mostly in small invertebrates. Max length of 27 cm. The population on Taiwan may be a separate species, O. formoensis, though this is not widely agreed upon.
Except for the fact that it was technically a pterosaur, Anurognathus would qualify as the tiniest dinosaur that ever lived. This hummingbird-sized reptile differed from the other pterosaurs of the late Jurassic period in its stubby tail and short (yet extremely strong) jaws. Its wings were very thin and delicate, stretching from the fourth fingers of its front talons back to its ankles, and they may have been brightly colored.
Because a free-flying, three-ounce Anurognathus would have made a quick snack for a much bigger pterosaur, some paleontologists wonder if this diminutive creature nested on the backs of large sauropods like the contemporary Cetiosaurus and Brachiosaurus. This would have afforded Anurognathus some much-needed protection, and the bugs that constantly hovered around skyscraper-sized dinosaurs would have provided it with a steady source of food.
The western blue-tongued lizard, Tiliqua occipitalis, is a large skink native to Australia. As its name suggests, it has a blue tongue, which contrasts with the pink interior of its mouth. When threatened, it may open its mouth and stick out its tongue in a threat display. If the initial display is unsuccessful, and the predator or threat does not retreat, it may hiss and flatten out its body in an attempt to make itself look bigger.
Adult length of 47 - 100 cm, thick bodied, medium sized rattlesnakes. Coloration ranges from cryptically patterned (such as above) to completely black. Viviparous (live birth), give birth to up to 20 young. Prey on a wide variety of small mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Found in a variety of densely vegetated habitats in the Eastern-Central portion of the United States and Southern Canada. In various parts of their range, this species is threatened and endangered from ove-rhunting and habitat destruction.
Thalattoarchon is an extinct genus of ichthyosaur from the Middle Triassic of the western United States. The type species Thalattoarchon saurophagis (meaning “lizard-eating sovereign of the sea” in Greek) was discovered in Nevada in 2010 and formally described in 2013. It is known from a single skeleton consisting of a partial skull, vertebral column, hip bones, and parts of the hind fins. The total length of Thalattoarchon is estimated to have been at least 8.6 metres.
Thalattoarchon is thought to have been one of the first marine macropredators capable of eating prey that was similar in size to itself, an ecological role that can be compared to that of modern orcas.Thalattoarchon lived four million years after the first appearance of ichthyosaurs in the Early Triassic and is therefore the oldest known marine reptile to have been an apex predator. It lived eight million years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event, indicating a fast recovery of marine ecosystems after the mass extinction.