July 11, 2017

005 Monsters and Dragons

This episode is focused on venomous lizards. The first half is all about the desert specialist and ultra-efficient Gila Monster. With the latter portion covering possibly the most charismatic lizard still roaming the earth – the iconic Komodo Dragon. We explore how these lizards interact with their environments and discuss the existence of their venoms. At the end we have the usual Species of the Bi-week who also harbours a dangerous toxin. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT: herphighlights.podbean.com


Main Paper References:

French, Robert, Daniel Brooks, Anne-Michelle Ruha, Farshad Shirazi, Peter Chase, Keith Boesen, and Frank Walter. 2015. “Gila Monster (Heloderma Suspectum) Envenomation: Descriptive Analysis of Calls to United States Poison Centers with Focus on Arizona Cases.” Clinical Toxicology 53 (1): 60–70.

Fry, Bryan G, Stephen Wroe, Wouter Teeuwisse, Matthias J P van Osch, Karen Moreno, Janette Ingle, Colin McHenry, et al. 2009. “A Central Role for Venom in Predation by Varanus Komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the Extinct Giant Varanus (Megalania) Priscus.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106 (22): 8969–74. OPEN ACCESS

Gienger, C. M., C. Richard Tracy, and Kenneth A. Nagy. 2014. “Life in the Lizard Slow Lane: Gila Monsters Have Low Rates of Energy Use and Water Flux.” Copeia 2: 279–87.

Purwandana, Deni, Achmad Ariefiandy, M. Jeri Imansyah, Aganto Seno, Claudio Ciofi, Mike Letnic, and Tim S. Jessop. 2016. “Ecological Allometries and Niche Use Dynamics across Komodo Dragon Ontogeny.” Science of Nature 103 (27): 26–37.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Serrano-Rojas, Shirley J., Andrew Whitworth, Jaime Villacampa, Rudolf Von May, Roberto C. Gutiérrez, José M. Padial, and Juan C. Chaparro. 2017. “A New Species of Poison-Dart Frog (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from Manu Province, Amazon Region of Southeastern Peru, with Notes on Its Natural History, Bioacoustics, Phylogenetics, and Recommended Conservation Status.” Zootaxa 4221 (1): 71–94.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Auffenberg W. 1981. “Behavioral ecology of the Komodo monitor. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.” as cited in Fry et al. 2006 and Purwandana et al. 2016

Ariefiandy, Achmad, Deni Purwandana, Sanggar Abdil Nasu, Maman Surahman, Claudio Ciofi, and Tim Jessop. 2015. “First Record of Komodo Dragon Nesting Activity and Hatchling Emergence from North Flores , Eastern Indonesia.” Biawak 9 (1): 33–35. OPEN ACCESS

Ashurst, John, and Robert Cannon. 2013. “Gila Monster Envenomation: A Review for the Emergency Medicine Physician.” JMED Research 2013: 1–4. OPEN ACCESS

Daly, J. W., and C. W. Myers. 1967. “Toxicity of Panamanian Poison Frogs (Dendrobates): Some Biological and Chemical Aspects.” Science 156 (3777): 970–73.

Davis, J. R., and D. F. DeNardo. 2007. “The urinary bladder as a physiological reservoir that moderates dehydration in a large desert lizard, the Gila monster Heloderma suspectum.” Journal of Experimental Biology 210 (8): 1472-1480. OPEN ACCESS

Flannery, Tim 2002. The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people. New York: Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3943-4.

Fry, Bryan G., Nicolas Vidal, Janette A. Norman, Freek J. Vonk, Holger Scheib, S. F. Ryan Ramjan, Sanjaya Kuruppu, et al. 2006. “Early Evolution of the Venom System in Lizards and Snakes.” Nature 439 (7076): 584–88. 

Hargreaves, A. D.,  M. T. Swain, D. W. Logan, and J. F. Mulley. 2014. “Testing the Toxicofera: comparative transcriptomics casts doubt on the single, early evolution of the reptile venom system.” Toxicon 92: 140-156. OPEN ACCESS

Hawlitschek, Oliver, Mark D. Scherz, Nicolas Straube, and Frank Glaw. 2016. “Resurrection of the Comoran Fish Scale Gecko Geckolepis Humbloti Vaillant, 1887 Reveals a Disjunct Distribution Caused by Natural Overseas Dispersal.” Organisms Diversity and Evolution 16 (1): 289–98. 

Köhler, Gunther, Hans-Helmut Diethert, Ronald A. Nussbaum, and Christopher J. Raxworthy. 2009. “A Revision of the Fish Scale Geckos, Genus Geckolepis Grandidier (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Madagascar and the Comoros.” Herpetologica 65 (4): 419–35. 

Laver, Rebecca J., Deni Purwandana, Achmad Ariefiandy, Jeri Imansyah, David Forsyth, Claudio Ciofi, and Tim S. Jessop. 2012. “Life-History and Spatial Determinants of Somatic Growth Dynamics in Komodo Dragon Populations.” PLoS ONE 7 (9): 1–10. OPEN ACCESS

Sims, David W., Emily J. Southall, Nicolas E. Humphries, Graeme C. Hays, Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Jonathan W. Pitchford, Alex James, et al. 2008. “Scaling Laws of Marine Predator Search Behaviour.” Nature 451 (7182): 1098–1102. 

Other Links/Mentions:

BBC Planet Earth II - Islands Clip on Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q05CSZAa8U

BBC Zoo Quest for a Dragon 6 http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/attenborough/7005.shtml

Music – http://www.purple-planet.com

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