[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

MORE SWIMMING CRITTERS..



> Someone recently pointed out that nitpicking is fun, so in that spirit I 
> can suggest one tetrapod that can't swim (or at least doesn't want to). 
> The Shingleback Skink - Tiliqua rugosa (or sleepy lizard where I come 
> from) seems to be to dense to float. When they fall into a body of water 
> they simply crawl slowly along the bottom until they find a way out 
> (observation based on a friends captive colony). Their density may be due 
> to their enlarged armour-like scales with dense bony cores.  (Adam Yates)

A number of scincids, perhaps other lizards too, have little bony cores to their
scales - do we call these osteoderms even though they are subdermal? One North
American species, its name escapes me, has a tightly meshed network of such
bony-cored scales, and is known to partially deflect a shot-gun blast! Who's the
*astard that shot it to find out, I wonder? Of course, consequently, these
lizards are heavier than would be expected in animals of their size. From what
I've seen, when underwater, they jerk slowly from side to side, and paddle (sort
of) with the forelimbs - kind of a snaky wriggle but not as fast or effective.
Giant salamanders, I'm told, do the same, and this would figure as they are
similarly proportioned.

> It is also 
> interesting to note that these lizards break other rules. They are true 
> poikilothermic ectotherms, yet they show advanced parental care with the 
> offspring staying with the mother for about a year. They also maintain 
> monogamous relationships with high fidelity. 

As, if not more, interesting, is the Aussie pinecone skink. Like _Tiliqua_, I
hear that they are (apparently) monogamous. Plus, of course, they look like two
stuck-together pine cones. I thought also that they were viviparous, and gave
birth to one mega-huge, over-developed baby. Correct me if I'm wrong. (I wonder
how they are related to _Tiliqua_.) But then, I'm no lizard expert..

> What does this have to do 
> with dinosaurs? - not much.

I don't think any matters zoological are irrelevant to dinosaurs, or other
denizens of the Mesozoic world.

(Re net publishing of VP material, I would be worth finding out if other
zoological fields are considering, or have taken, the same approach. I don't see
that comparing dinosaurology with physics and mechanics will help us.)

"I know that the world is full of predators as it has always been. I know that
it is my duty to protect people from them"  (Scully!)

DARREN NAISH