November 28, 2017

015 Serpents of the Sea

Snakes of the sea. Yellow, striped, you name it. We look into some factors changing their colours, and how has the yellow-bellied sea snake become so widespread? Another Species of the Bi-week that’s entirely yellow but not entirely a species. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Brischoux, François, Cédric Cotté, Harvey B. Lillywhite, Frédéric Bailleul, Maxime Lalire, and Philippe Gaspar. 2016. “Oceanic Circulation Models Help to Predict Global Biogeography of Pelagic Yellow- Bellied Sea Snake.” Biology Letters 12: 6–9.

Goiran, Claire, Paco Bustamante, and Richard Shine. 2017. “Industrial Melanism in the Seasnake Emydocephalus Annulatus.” Current Biology. 1–4.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Bessesen, Brooke L., and Gary J. Galbreath. 2017. “A New Subspecies of Sea Snake, Hydrophis Platurus Xanthos, from Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.” ZooKeys 686: 109–23.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Bonnet, Xavier, Marine J. Briand, François Brischoux, Yves Letourneur, Thomas Fauvel, and Paco Bustamante. 2014. “Anguilliform Fish Reveal Large Scale Contamination by Mine Trace Elements in the Coral Reefs of New Caledonia.” Science of the Total Environment 470–471. Elsevier B.V.: 876–82.

Chatelain, M., J. Gasparini, L. Jacquin, and A. Frantz. 2014. “The Adaptive Function of Melanin-Based Plumage Coloration to Trace Metals.” Biology Letters 10 (3): 20140164.

Cook, Timothée R., Xavier Bonnet, T. Fauvel, Richard Shine, and François Brischoux. 2016. "Foraging behaviour and energy budgets of sea snakes: insights from implanted data loggers." Journal of Zoology 298(2): 82-93.

Lillywhite, Harvey B., Coleman M. Sheehy Iii, François Brischoux, and Joseph B. Pfaller. 2015 "On the abundance of a pelagic sea snake." Journal of Herpetology 49(2): 184-189.

Pickwell, George V. 1971. "Knotting and coiling behavior in the pelagic sea snake Pelamis platurus (L.)." Copeia 1971(2): 348-350.

Reading, C. J., L. M. Luiselli, G. C. Akani, X. Bonnet, G. Amori, J. M. Ballouard, E. Filippi, G. Naulleau, D. Pearson, and L. Rugiero. 2010. “Are Snake Populations in Widespread Decline?” Biology Letters 6: 777–80.

Sanders, Kate L., Michael SY Lee, Terry Bertozzi, and Arne R. Rasmussen. 2013. "Multilocus phylogeny and recent rapid radiation of the viviparous sea snakes (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae)." Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 66(3): 575-591.

Shine, R., R. Reed, S. Shetty, and H. Cogger. 2002. "Relationships between sexual dimorphism and niche partitioning within a clade of sea-snakes (Laticaudinae)." Oecologia 133(1): 45-53.

Shine, Richard, Terri Shine, James M. Shine, and Benjamin G. Shine. 2005. “Synchrony in Capture Dates Suggests Cryptic Social Organization in Sea Snakes (Emydocephalus Annulatus, Hydrophiidae).” Austral Ecology 30 (7): 805–11.

Other Links/Mentions:

Yellow bellied sea snakes ‘knotting’ and feeding:

iHerp Magazine Issue 3:

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

November 19, 2017

014 Crocs

Crocodylians have been around for a while and they know what they’re doing. In this episode we discuss what they do when they’re ticked off, and how the massive, fascinating, and largely unknown Tomistoma is getting on in SE Asia. As always, we end on a new species, and this time it’s a fractious new species of something crocodile-like. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Brien, Matthew L., Jeffrey W. Lang, Grahame J. Webb, Colin Stevenson, and Keith A. Christian. 2013. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Agonistic Behaviour in Juvenile Crocodilians.” PLoS ONE 8 (12).

Stuebing, R., R. Sommerlad, and A. Staniewicz. 2015. “Conservation of the Sunda Gharial Tomistoma Schlegelii in Lake Mesangat, Indonesia.” International Zoo Yearbook 49 (1): 137–49.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Foffa, Davide, Mark T. Young, Stephen L. Brusatte, Mark R. Graham, and Lorna Steel. 2017. “A New Metriorhynchid Crocodylomorph from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic) of England, with Implications for the Origin and Diversification of Geosaurini.” Journal of Systematic Palaeontology: 1–21.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Brochu, Christopher A. 2001. “Crocodylian Snouts in Space and Time: Phylogenetic Approaches Toward Adaptive Radiation.” American Zoologist 41 (November): 564–85.

Brown, Gregory, Richard Shine, Ruchira Somaweera, and Jonathan Webb. 2011. “Hatchling Australian Freshwater Crocodiles Rapidly Learn to Avoid Toxic Invasive Cane Toads.” Behaviour 148: 501–17.

Courchamp, Franck, and Corey J A Bradshaw. 2017. “100 Articles Every Ecologist Should Read.” Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Galdikas, B. M. 1985. "Crocodile predation on a proboscis monkey in Borneo." Primates, 26(4), 495-496.

Letnic, Mike, Jonathan K. Webb, and Richard Shine. 2008. “Invasive Cane Toads (Bufo Marinus) Cause Mass Mortality of Freshwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus Johnstoni) in Tropical Australia.” Biological Conservation 141 (7): 1773–82.

Milinkovitch, M. C., L. Manukyan, A. Debry, N. Di-Poi, S. Martin, D. Singh, D. Lambert, and M. Zwicker. 2013. “Crocodile Head Scales Are Not Developmental Units But Emerge from Physical Cracking.” Science 339 (6115): 78–81.

Smith, James G., and Ben L. Phillips. 2006. “Toxic Tucker: The Potential Impact of Cane Toads on Australian Reptiles.” Pacific Conservation Biology 12 (1): 40–49.

Yeager, C. P. 1991. "Possible antipredator behavior associated with river crossings by proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus)." American Journal of Primatology, 24(1), 61-66.

Other Links/Mentions:

Tomistoma captive breeding success

Music – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

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