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The boa constrictor, also called red-tailed boa, is a species of large, heavy-bodied snake. It is a member of the family Boidae found in North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean
A staple of private collections and public displays, its color pattern is highly variable yet distinctive. Ten subspecies are currently recognized, although some of these are controversial. This article focuses on the species Boa constrictor as a whole, but also specifically on the nominate subspecies B. c. constrictor. [credits: Wikipedia]
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Burmese pythons are dark-colored snakes with many brown blotches bordered in black down the back. The perceived attractiveness of their skin pattern contributes to their popularity with both reptile keepers and the leather industry. The pattern is similar in colour, but different in actual pattern from the African rock python (Python sebae), sometimes resulting in confusion of the two species outside of their natural habitats. The African rock python can generally be distinguished by its tighter pattern of markings, compared to the Burmese python, which has bolder patterns, similar to those seen on a giraffe.
In the wild, Burmese pythons grow to 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in) on average, while specimens of more than 4 m (13 ft 1 in) are uncommon. This species is sexually dimorphic in size; females average only slightly longer, but are considerably heavier and bulkier than the males. [credits: Wikipedia]
The reticulated python (Python reticulatus) is a species of python found in Southeast Asia. They are the world’s longest snakes and longest reptiles, and among the three heaviest snakes. Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans. However, cases of people killed (and in at least one case eaten) by reticulated pythons have been documented.
An excellent swimmer, P. reticulatus has been reported far out at sea and has colonized many small islands within its range. The specific name, reticulatus, is Latin meaning “net-like”, or reticulated, and is a reference to the complex colour pattern. [Credit: Wikipedia]
The green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), also known as the common anaconda and water boa, is a non-venomous boa species found in South America. It is the heaviest and one of the longest known extant snake species. The term anaconda often refers to this species, though the term could also apply to other members of the genus Eunectes.
The green anaconda’s scientific name is derived from the Greek εὐνήκτης, meaning “good swimmer”, and the Latin murinus, meaning “of mice”, for being thought to prey on mice. [Credit: Wikipedia]
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The spectacled caiman is a Small and medium-sized crocodilian. Males of the species are generally 1.8 to 2 m (5.9 to 6.6 ft), while females are smaller, usually around 1.2–1.4 m (3.9–4.6 ft). The body mass of most adults is between 7 and 40 kg (15 and 88 lb). The maximum reported size for the species is 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with a body mass of 58 kg (128 lb) but they can growing up to 3 m in length potentially. The largest female was reportedly 1.61 m (5.3 ft) long and weighed 20 kg (44 lb). Caimans from the Venezuelan llanos are reportedly larger-bodied than specimens from Mexico.
The species’ common name comes from a bony ridge between the eyes, which gives the appearance of a pair of spectacles. Overall a typical crocodilian gray-green coloration, this species has been known to change color. During colder weather, the black pigment, found within their skin cells, will expand, making them appear darker. [credits: Wikipedia]
The Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) is a species of venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. A heavy, typically slow-moving lizard, up to 60 cm (2.0 ft) long, the Gila monster is the only venomous lizard native to the United States and one of only two known species of venomous lizards in North America, the other being its close relative, the Mexican beaded lizard (H. horridum). Although the Gila monster is venomous, its sluggish nature means it represents little threat to humans. However, it has earned a fearsome reputation, and is sometimes killed despite being protected by state law in Arizona. [Credit: Wikipedia]
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The common snapping turtle is a large freshwater turtle of the family Chelydridae. Its natural range extends from southeastern Canada, southwest to the edge of the Rocky Mountains, as far east as Nova Scotia and Florida. This species and the larger alligator snapping turtle are the only two species in this family found in North America (though the common snapping turtle, as its name implies, is much more widespread).
The common snapping turtle is noted for its combative disposition when out of the water with its powerful beak-like jaws, and highly mobile head and neck (hence the specific name serpentina, meaning “snake-like”). In water, they are likely to flee and hide themselves underwater in sediment. Snapping turtles have a life-history strategy characterised by high and variable mortality of embryos and hatchlings, delayed sexual maturity, extended adult longevity, and iteroparity (repeated reproductive events) with low reproductive success per reproductive event. Females, and presumably also males, in more northern populations mature later (at 15–20 years) and at a larger size than in more southern populations (about 12 years). Lifespan in the wild is poorly known, but long-term mark-recapture data from Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada suggest a maximum age over 100 years. [credits: Wikipedia]
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The common brushtail possum has large and pointed ears. It has a bushy tail (hence its name) that is adapted to grasping branches, prehensile at the end with a hairless ventral patch. Its forefeet have sharp claws and the first toe of each hind foot is clawless but has a strong grasp. The possum grooms itself with the third and fourth toes which are fused together. It has a thick and woolly pelage that varies in colour depending on the subspecies. Colour patterns tend to be silver-gray, brown, black, red or cream. The ventral areas are typically lighter and the tail is usually brown or black. The muzzle is marked with dark patches.
The common brushtail possum has a head and body length of 32–58 cm with a tail length of 24–40 cm. It weighs 1.2-4.5 kg. Males are generally larger than females. In addition, the coat of the male tends to be reddish at the shoulders. As with most marsupials, the female brushtail possum has a forward-opening, well-developed pouch. The chest of both sexes has a scent gland that emits a reddish secretion which stains that fur around it. It marks its territory with these secretions. [credits: Wikipedia]
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The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of five lemur families, and is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all lemurs it is endemic to the island of Madagascar. Known locally in Malagasy as maky, or hira, it inhabits gallery forests to spiny scrub in the southern regions of the island. It is omnivorous and the most terrestrial of extant lemurs. [credits: Wikipedia]
The tailless tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus), also known as the common tenrec, is a species of mammal in the family Tenrecidae. It is the only member of the genus Tenrec. Native to Madagascar, it is also found in the Comoros, Mauritius, Réunion, and Seychelles, where it has been introduced. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas.
The tailless tenrec is the largest land-dwelling species of the tenrec family, Tenrecidae. It is 26 to 39 cm (10 to 15½ in) in length and weighs 1.5 to 2.5 kg (3¼ to 5½ lb). It has medium-sized, coarse grey to reddish-grey fur and long, sharp spines along its body. It not only eats small invertebrates among leaves, but also scavenges and hunts frogs and mice. If threatened, this tenrec will scream, erect its spiny hairs to a crest, jump, buck and bite. It shelters in a nest of grass and leaves under a rock, log or bush by day. It gives birth to a litter of as many as 32 young, with an average litter between 15-20 after a gestation of 50–60 days; when young, they have a black-and-white striped appearance. Despite being sometimes known as the tailless tenrec, they have a small tail 1 to 1.5 cm (⅜ to ½ in) in length.
The tenrec is the first known tropical mammal found to hibernate for long stretches without arousal periods. Because it can hibernate for up to nine months at a time these early mammals may have survived the cataclysm that killed off dinosaurs. [Credit: Wikipedia]