Archive for January 26th, 2012

Wildlife: Herpetology

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

This is Passport to Texas

Herpetology is a branch of zoology concerned with amphibians and reptiles. Although scientists classify both as herps, Leeann Linam says differences exist.

16—Amphibians are the species that are associated with water in their life-cycle. [They’re] smooth skinned, and usually lay their eggs in water and often have a larval stage such as a tadpole for a frog. So frogs, salamanders, and an interesting creature called the caecilian are amphibians.

Leeann is a biologist with Parks and Wildlife. Reptiles are those species that have scales and tend to lay their eggs on land in dry nests, and have hard-shelled eggs.

13—And so we have several divisions of reptiles as well. We have the turtles, we have the lizards, and we have the snakes… And then there are a few other groups. The crocodilians and some others that are kind of unique.

Of the reptiles, says Leeann, scientists agree they need to give them more consideration.

14—Lizards are a group of organisms that scientists have said: you know, we really haven’t paid much attention to what’s going on with them. They are mostly eating insects in the environment, and so one can perhaps think of them as being sensitive to things like pesticides and habitat loss, as well as direct persecution, or killing, as areas are changed in terms of their use.

Tomorrow: The Year of the Lizard.

That’s our show with support from the wildlife restoration program…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.