One Impressive Animal

Traveling during the holidays? Don’t be stupid.

Snakes in the pants: Man arrested after trying to board flight with reptiles in his trousers
By Thomas Durante
(Article taken from Mailonline.com)

It could have been a case of snakes on a plane, if only he made it through the TSA’s body scanner. A Florida man was arrested at the Miami Airport last week after he tried to smuggle 10 reptiles on a flight by stuffing the animals in his pants. The seven snakes and three tortoises were wound in womenís pantyhose and found in the manís trousers as he waited to board a flight to Brazil.
U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers arrested the man, who was not named, and charged him with harbouring animals in an unnatural habitat, according to the TSA Blog. The TSA said it used imaging technology, which allows agents to find potential threats hidden from the naked eye, to find the animals.

Baby Crocodiles Talk to Each Other in Their Eggs

Photo by others

With our very pregnant snake due any day over here we have baby reptiles on the mind.† Thought you guys would enjoy this article…

Baby crocodiles “talk” to their mothers and their unborn siblings even before they hatch, perhaps indicating that they are ready to leave the egg, according to new research.

French scientists Amelie Vergne and Nicolas Mathevon of Universite Jean Monnet in Saint-Etienne noticed that the young reptiles make a noise, described as sounding like “umph, umph”, in the moments immediately before they hatch. The researchers tested ten batches of crocodile eggs, dividing them in to three groups. One was played actual recordings of the juveniles’ pre-hatching calls, one was played random noises, and one was left in silence. Eggs played the real recordings all hatched within ten minutes, while the other two groups stayed in their shells for another five hours at least.

Similarly, the mothers responded to the real calls. Without their knowing, the scientists dug up the eggs and put them in an incubator, replacing them with speakers. Mothers played the real sounds attempted to dig up the eggs, while those who heard random sounds did not. Writing in the journal Current Biology, Mathevon said many baby reptiles are eaten right after birth, so it may be important for them all to hatch together and for the mother to be there when they do. “In this sense, it is important for all embryos in the nest to be ready for hatching at the same time so that they all receive adult care and protection,” he said in a statement.

Article from The UK Telegraph

Repltiles in the News

Two wildlife smugglers were arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport Monday as police intercepted an illegal shipment of more than 1,000 snakes and turtles. Police said it was the biggest wildlife seizure this year. They received an anonymous tip-off yesterday morning that smugglers would be sending the shipment through the airport’s cargo section. “We immediately contacted customs officers and asked them to carefully monitor shipments being sent to China, Taiwan and Vietnam,” said Pol Col Subsak Chavalviwat, senior liaison officer with the Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network [pdf] (Asean-Wen) Programme Coordination Unit.

Two men arrived at the airport in separate pick-up trucks, parked the vehicles in the cargo area and began unloading 180 foam boxes for shipment. Within minutes, police arrived and examined the cargo. “They told us that the boxes contained fish and mantis shrimps, but fish and shrimps were found in only 62 of them. The rest of the boxes were full of turtles and snakes,” Pol Col Subsak said. “There were 379 turtles and 660 snakes, altogether weighing 555 kilogrammes.”
Yellow-headed Temple Turtle
The animals recovered were rat snakes, Malayan box turtles, yellow-headed temple turtles and snail-eating turtles. The three turtle species are protected. The suspects were charged with possessing wildlife without a permit and attempting to illegally export wildlife. Under the Wildlife Act, they could face up to four years imprisonment and/or a 40,000 baht fine.

A source at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said the shipment was due to be sent to China on Cathay Pacific Airlines. He rejected a claim by the two suspects the animals were raised in a breeding farm. “On the contrary, we are certain that they are from the wild,” he said. The official said the shipment was the work of professionals, who had placed cold bottled water wrapped in newspapers in each box to keep it cool. “Turtles are resilient and they had a higher chance of survival, but snakes are highly vulnerable and too many had been crammed together with little oxygen. Many were found dead,” said the source. The surviving animals will be cared for by wildlife breeding centres until the completion of legal proceedings.

Article from The Bangkok Post
Turtle photo by Tim McCormack