The harsh habitat of the Zanzibar coastline shelters a uniquely adapted reptile, the African Coral-rag Skink Continue reading Encounter – African Coral-rag Skink
Writhing on the beach under the glare of the sun and the heat of the fishermen’s ire, the Hook-nosed Sea Snake had little to choose between the devil and the deep sea Continue reading A Sea Snake out of water
One thing is clear after watching this Carolina Anole wrestle a stick-fast caterpillar off its leafy perch – this picky eater really loves its greens Continue reading Encounter with a picky eater – Carolina Anole
The charismatic Australian Water Dragon can be seen sunning itself on the outskirts of Australian cities. As its name implies, it is wedded to water Continue reading Encounter – The Australian Water Dragon
Oman does not have a lot of large charismatic wildlife but some of the small creatures, almost trampled underfoot, are spectacular. Like this stunning Sinai Agama Continue reading Encounter – The Sinai Agama
It’s Wildlife Weekend. Download this Cat Snake, our October calendar-wallpaper, for your desktop and iPad! Continue reading Miaow! Hiss! Download the October wallpaper
Carl Safina’s mellifluous prose evokes the beauty and mystery of the sea and its ancient denizen, the Leatherback turtle Voyage Of The Turtle: In Pursuit Of The Earth’s Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina Published by Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition (May … Continue reading Review: Carl Safina’s pursuit of the Leatherback Turtle
Pankil Desai recounts a most amazing and suspenseful encounter between a Green Vine Snake and a Calotes lizard It was a regular sunny day and I was in my hostel room at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. At around 11:30, I got a call from an unknown number informing me of a snake spotted nearby. It was not new for me to get such a call. I had volunteered with the Gujarat Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) earlier and many people knew that I rescue snakes from human-reptile conflict zones. Since the snake was in the … Continue reading Heads and Tails: The Snake and the Lizard
Did that curious crowd know, or care, that the snake we were trying to see off to safety was a harmless albeit aggressive Checkered Keelback? Here’s how to tell a Checkered Keelback from its venomous relatives: Round eyes, checkered scale pattern, keeled scales and the oblique stripes behind and beneath the eye I didn’t really plan to make a habit of writing about snakes and the human folly of mistaken identity, but it appears that the subject seeks me out. Remember the young cobra I had written about some time ago? And the harmless rat snake that could easily have … Continue reading Would they kill the keelback?
These are not just encounters, but close encounters. In these situations I have either touched or been too close for comfort with certain members of the suborder SerpentesI’d never imagined that such a day would dawn. In 2008, I visited the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) with friends PD, Zak and Subbu. I must mention here that I was so scared of snakes that I was almost on the verge of being ophidiophobic. We were roaming the campus when station manager Prashant’s 4-year-old daughter found a baby Common Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) and caught it to show us. All four … Continue reading Close Encounters of the Slithering Kind
The snake tried every trick to climb the coconut tree. Failing, it slithered down and risked death. How could I stop it from being killed, I wondered. But the snake had plans of its own… Remember how Kaa of Walt Disney’s Jungle Book hissed seductively from a tree: “Trusssst in meee, jussst in meee”? And remember how some time ago I wrote of a little cobra that I had seen to safety, away from the pipsqueak securitas that wanted to bludgeon it? Ethnocide, I say. That’s what it is — to kill a snake for what it is. That tender … Continue reading Would you trust a snake on a tree?
True to its name the Common Sand Boa spends most of its life under the sand or in loose earth, and its tough skin offers protection while burrowing. I’m glad we didn’t run over this fine snake. Continue reading Encounter: Common Sand Boa