Archive for January 8th, 2014

Wildlife: Herpetology

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Big Bend Tree Lizard, image by Michael Smith

Big Bend Tree Lizard, image by Michael Smith

This is Passport to Texas

Herpetology is a branch of zoology concerned with amphibians and reptiles.

16—Amphibians are the species that are associated with water in their lifecycle. [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 Linam is a biologist who recently retired from Parks and Wildlife. Reptiles are those species with scales that tend to lay hard-shelled eggs on land in dry nests.

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.

Linam says scientists agree they need to give reptiles 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.”

Before you spray or spread a pesticide on your lawn or garden, think of the lizards.

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