Posts tagged with ‘amphibians’

War with the Newts by Karel Čapek

This is satirical science fiction from 1936, about the discovery of a species of intelligent amphibian living in the sea next to a small island near Sumatra. The ‘newts’ are exploited and traded, initially as pearl fishers and then as cheap labour on massive marine construction projects, until they are present in huge numbers all around the […]

Spring update: toadspawn edition

This is what toadspawn looks like, if you’re wondering: i.e. formed into long strings which are wrapped around plants or, as in this case, the pump for the fountain.

Happy spring, everybody.

There has been plenty of evidence of spring for a few weeks now — crocuses, bumblebees, birdsong, hay fever — but yesterday was the vernal equinox, which is the cue for lots of people to say that it’s ‘officially’ the first day of spring. I don’t really see why astronomy should get to trump biology; the self-importance of the mathematical sciences, […]

Bird of the Year 2007: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant There’s lots of choice here; I’ll just give a hat-tip to the big trees of Kew Gardens and Greenwich Park which I got over excited about in the autumn. But most of the possibilities were in Crete. Crete has more species of plant than the UK, and a bundle of them are endemics. […]

Video digiscoping experiment

It just occurred to me a couple of days ago that since my digital camera has a video mode, I could try digiscoping some video. I thought it came out fairly well, considering. I just hold the camera up to the telescope, so it’s a bit wobbly, and the audio is dominated by aeroplane noise, […]

Blogger Bio-blitz #1: Ayia Lake

On April 21st, I went birding to a reservoir near the village of Αγια, written as either Agia or Ayia in Roman characters. Ayia is about 9 km SW of Chania, the capital of the westernmost province of Crete, and the reservoir is a good spot for migrating waterbirds. The reservoir is surrounded by reedbeds […]

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

Rainforest

Having said that I recommend the Galapagos, I have to say that equatorial lowland rainforest may not be for everyone. With the temperature in the 30s and 80% humidity, it’s hard work just walking around. Particularly, once you do get hot, it takes for ever to cool down again because your basic thermal regulation system […]

Heron

I just watched a heron catch and eat a frog from the garden pond. The presence of the heron isn’t unusual, but they’re generally both shy and uncannily good at spotting people, even through glass and at some distance. It took it some time to eat the frog — presumably mainly because frogs are quite […]

Top ten animals – #10, Wallace’s Flying Frog

Getting this list down to ten was really really hard. I’ve tried to avoid the temptation to earn extra fanboy points by going for the really obscure stuff – so no oilbird, no pangolin – but I think I’ve got a pretty pleasing mix. My final ten includes three birds, three mammals, one reptile, one […]

the difference between reptiles and amphibians

[EDIT: People keep finding this site by Googling ‘the difference between reptiles and amphibians’ This is the basic answer: Amphibians are frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians. Reptiles are snakes, tortoises, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, alligators and a few other oddities. Dinosaurs were reptiles. Reptiles are more fully adapted to life on land than amphibians. The […]