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Show us your amphibians and reptiles from around the world...

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#41 Terry

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 03:28 AM

The Green Sea Turtles of Akumal, Mexico

 

About 90 miles south of Cancun is an area of sandy beaches which are home to the green sea turtles.  Akumal is a small settlement blessed with two of the sandy beaches and within each bay grows the favorite food of green sea turtles – sea grass.  From May to October female turtles come up out of the ocean onto the sand to lay their eggs in the middle of the night.

 

 

Early one morning in July, I noticed a mother turtle was still on the beach.  During the night she had dug a large hole, laid her eggs, and now was covering them up with sand.  She would flip the sand for a couple of minutes and then rest. She was exhausted. 

 

gallery_22564_950_429228.jpg

 

 

After a short while she decided that her work was done and made for the sea.   

 

gallery_22564_950_217144.jpg

 

 

gallery_22564_950_136429.jpg

 

 

 During nesting season volunteers walk the beaches every night to protect the turtles and safe guard the nests.  The nest are marked with a circle of stones and a cross telling people to stay away.   Each nest is numbered and the location is recorded.  When the date for hatching comes due, the stones around the nest are removed on the side facing the ocean.

 

 

 The following year we returned to Akumal in November and found that most of the nests had hatched, but there was one left and the stones were now only in a half circle so I knew it was time.  I checked on the nest several times a day but the sand on top never changed.  Finally late one afternoon, I noticed one little turtle had crawled partially out.  Once he made it to the top, he just rested and appeared almost to be dead.  

 

 

gallery_22564_950_269863.jpg

 

About a half hour later out popped another little turtle and then another.  Each one just rested and did nothing unless pushed out of the way by another turtle climbing up.  A small circle of people gathered around the nest and a turtle guard joined us.  Some people who owned smart phones downloaded an app so that their phones shown read lights on the nest which did not bother the turtles and I was able to take this picture.

 

 gallery_22564_950_225938.jpg

 

 A regular camera flash would have blinded the turtles and they would not have been able to find their way to the ocean.

 

 About six hours after the first turtle climbed up, the ground around the nest started heaving and the guard asked us to dig a trench straight to the ocean to help guide the turtles.  When the last turtle broke thru the sand, all the babies began at once to run as fast as they could.  We used the back of our hands to gently restrict them to the trench.  About three minutes, it was all over. Every baby turtle was in the ocean. The guard then dug out the nest with his hands and found 92 eggs had hatched.

 

 

A lucky 1 out of a 1000 will reach maturity and come back to Akumal to eat the sea grass and if it is a female, she will lay her eggs on the same beach.  

 

gallery_22564_950_321011.jpg

 

 gallery_22564_950_119950.jpg


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#42 Tom Kellie

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:09 AM

~ @Terry

 

The colors! 

 

Your underwater images above are soft, gentle, epic in their own way.

 

Really appreciate your posting these.

 

They brighten up Safaritalk!

 

Thank you.

 

Tom K.


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#43 Atdahl

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 10:09 PM

@TonyQ, fantastic herp photos!

 

Now that we are starting to settle in after our move to Arizona a few months back, here are some of the local herps we have as neighbors:

 

Regal Horned Lizard:

DSC_9491_edited-1-M.jpg

 

DSC_6673_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Western Banded Gecko:

DSC_8879_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Coachwhip in our garage (we have now learned NOT to leave the door open for very long):

DSC_8770_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Gopher Snake:

DSC_8720_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Sonoran Whipsnake:

DSC_8537_edited-1-M.jpg

 

DSC_6850_edited-1-M.jpg

 

Whiptail:

DSC_8256_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Clark's Spiny Lizard (these guys hang out on our house most the day):

DSC_8017_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Western Patch-nosed Snake:

DSC_7842_edited-1-M.jpg

 

DSC_6265_edited-1-M.jpg

 

Black-tailed Rattlesnake:

DSC_7728_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Gila Monster:

DSC_7711_edited-1-M.jpg

 

DSC_5369_edited-1-M.jpg

 

Greater Earless Lizard:

DSC_6622_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Sonoran Coral Snake:

DSC_6392_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake:

DSC_6222_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

Desert Spiny Lizard:

DSC_5782_edited-1-M.jpg

 

 

 


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#44 Tom Kellie

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 10:38 AM

~ @Atdahl

 

What a collection of herps!

 

Your images are all terrific!

 

I especially like the black-tailed rattlesnake.

 

Thanks so much for sharing such a wealth of Arizona reptiles with us on Safaritalk!

 

Tom K.



#45 TonyQ

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:17 PM

@Atdahl

What a fine set of neighbours you have discovered. It must be amazing to have so many creatures like these living near to you.


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#46 Antee

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 05:26 AM

Mossy leaf-tailed Gecko from Andasibe NP , Madagascar.

 

Weird looking Gecko. Barque look-alike

 

It changes color according to the environment and is almost impossible to see if it sit on a tree or a branch.

Quite easy to see him on a green leaf though :)

Attached Images

  • Mossy leaf-tailed Gecko.JPG
  • DSC_0628.JPG

Edited by Antee, 16 September 2015 - 05:31 AM.

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#47 Atdahl

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 02:36 PM

@Antee, love the Leaf-nosed Gecko.

 

Here's a Black-tailed Rattlesnake that we spotted in our yard recently:

 

DSC_1680_edited-1-M.jpg


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The good man is the friend of all living things - Mahatma Ghandi

 

Main Photo Gear:

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http://www.focusedonnature.com/


#48 Tom Kellie

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 05:58 PM

~ @Atdahl

 

What a cool sighting!

 

Thanks for sharing such a fine photograph with Safaritalk.

 

The purple wildflowers are such a pleasing contrast to the rattler.

 

You've captured the rattle so well!

 

Tom K.



#49 offshorebirder

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 06:25 PM

Here is a young Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus - one of my favorite scientific names) that we found during a bird walk I led this past Saturday at Santee National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina.  It was coiled beneath a Buttonbush and was very peaceful.  All the bird walk participants were thrilled to see the venomous snake - I was relieved because sometimes people freak out...

 

I almost never use a camera flash but in this case I felt it would not be harmful.  First photo is with a flash, second without.  Canon 7d mk I + 300 mm f/4 IS lens.

 

21756673662_1f61a84772_h.jpg

 

 

21145647794_0d42710d4c_b.jpg


Edited by offshorebirder, 28 September 2015 - 06:30 PM.

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#50 offshorebirder

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 06:29 PM

Here is a very young American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that I photographed yesterday at Donnelley Wildlife Management area just south of Charleston, South Carolina.   It was with a large group of 25 other "baby gators".  

 

They were making their "yump" call with regularity - so I kept a sharp eye out for their mother!

 

 

21742260826_e28db35903_b.jpg


Edited by offshorebirder, 28 September 2015 - 06:32 PM.

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#51 Tom Kellie

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 06:30 PM

~ @offshorebirder

 

GREAT colors!

 

Superbly captured, showing the rattlesnake's beauty.

 

The eye's iris in the lower image is excellent.

 

Thank you!

 

Tom K.



#52 Tom Kellie

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 06:32 PM

Here is a very young American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that I photographed yesterday.   It was with a large group of 25 other "baby gators".  

 

They were making their "yump" call with regularity - so I kept a sharp eye out for their mother!

 

~ @offshorebirder

 

For those of us living far from South Carolina, what's a “yump” call?

 

Tom K.



#53 offshorebirder

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 08:25 PM

Thanks for the kind words @Tom Kellie.  

 

The "yump" call is nothing like an official term - it was the best phonetic representation I could muster on short notice.  

 

If one watches nature documentaries about young crocodilians, you will often hear the young making a brief little moaning call to summon their mother for help.  That's the call these young alligators were making - hence my vigilance for their mother!


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#54 Atdahl

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 11:09 PM

@Tom Kellie, thanks for the kind words.

 

@offshorebirder, love the baby gator reflection shot.


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#55 offshorebirder

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 10:21 PM

The first photo is a fairly large American Alligator I encountered today.  I rounded the bend and there he was, crossing a grassy dike.  It was about an 11 footer so it was a male - females top out at around 9 feet.

 

The next two photos are of a Carolina Anole - they can change their color to match the background.  Males have pink throat sacs they inflate as part of their displays (accompanied by head-drumming).

 

21854665280_459a283dae_o.jpg

 

 

21854953718_9894c3f4bb_b.jpg

 

 

21419984974_3040f63aa8_b.jpg


Edited by offshorebirder, 08 October 2015 - 10:25 PM.

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#56 Treepol

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:17 AM

Mountain Dragon, South Bruny NP, March 2015

 

P1070108.JPG

 

P1070104.JPG

 

Blue-tongue Lizard, South Bruny NP, March 2015

 

P1070133.JPG

 

Saltwater Crocodile, Daintree River, Queensland. August 2015

 

P1000595.JPG

 

White-lipped tree frog, Cooktown, Queensland. August 2015

 

P1000944.JPG


Edited by Treepol, 09 October 2015 - 10:22 AM.

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#57 Atdahl

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 01:08 PM

@Treepol nice shots.  That Blue-tongue Lizard is cool!


The good man is the friend of all living things - Mahatma Ghandi

 

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#58 offshorebirder

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:55 PM

Very nice @Treepol - I am intrigued by Mountain Dragons - need to do some research and learn more about them.

 

Nice snoozing Salty as well.


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'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
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#59 Tom Kellie

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 01:03 PM

@Treepol nice shots.  That Blue-tongue Lizard is cool!

 

~ @Atdahl

 

I completely agree with you.

 

The Blue-tongued Lizard posted by @Treepol is indeed very cool!

 

Tom K.



#60 Antee

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 04:41 PM

Madagascar, the promised land of the Chameleon.

 

These fantastic lizards are very common here. Both these are of course endemic to the island.

 

Malagsy giant chameleon , Tsingy De Bemaraha NP

 

Malagsy giant chameleon.JPG

 

DSC_0518.JPG

 

DSC_0523.JPG

 

Short horned chameleon , Analamazaotra reserve

 

Short horned chameleon.JPG


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