September 15, 2014 |
Ish has always been content to lounge in the yard with his owner, occasionally showing his "silly side" by zipping around the house before slumping down in front of the screen door to gaze outside. "He just fits me," said Stephanie Stepansky, of Harrisburg, who purchased the orange-flecked bearded dragon from a pet store six years ago, at age three months. But in January, Ish went from leaping lizard to lump. His normal fervor for daily playtime became uninterrupted rest in the log hollow within of his 75-gallon tank.
July 5, 2013 |
Lizbeth Stewart Gruskin, 64, of Yardley, a Philadelphia-area artist whose hand-built ceramic sculptures of animals are on display across the globe, died Monday, June 24, of lung cancer at her home. Lizbeth Stewart, as she was known in the art world, taught ceramics for 30 years at the University of the Arts before retiring as a professor emeritus in December. All the while, she created artworks for exhibition - larger-than-life sculptures of dogs, birds, cats, lizards, and monkeys, some with stylized swirls or stripes in place of fur or hide.
August 20, 2012
By K.C. Cole August is a great month for celebrating human stupidity. On Aug. 6, 1945, we all but disappeared Hiroshima with a single atomic bomb, and then did it again, three days later, at Nagasaki. And now we barely seem to care. The sad truth is that we are incapable of understanding exactly what these seemingly ancient events mean - right now, for all of us, today. The August anniversaries are a stark reminder that the brains we inherited from our ancestors simply may not be up to dealing with much of the modern world we (they)
January 9, 2012 |
The speedy lizard was streaking across the tabletop when suddenly one foot hit a slippery spot. The reptile skidded but never broke stride, making a split-second adjustment as it darted onward. Not that you could tell just by looking. The true essence of the animal's grace became apparent only afterward, when its movements, recorded with Hollywood-style motion-capture technology, were played back in slow motion. This is the lab of Tonia Hsieh, a Temple University biologist who studies life on the move.
September 18, 2011 |
It's breakfast time at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica, and that means not only fabulous food but also exotic entertainment. Hannah, my 7-year-old daughter, is enjoying tropical banana pancakes, while I savor the tipico breakfast of beans, rice, eggs, tortillas, and plantains. Perched on the back of the third chair at our table is a white-throated magpie-jay. The thunder of Pacific Ocean waves breaking 90 feet away bothers neither us nor the bird. Adjacent to the patio restaurant where we sit, a large spiny-tailed iguana ambles across the lawn.
August 8, 2011
Among the deeper questions looming in science is the degree to which the outcome of evolution is governed by chance. Stephen Jay Gould famously addressed the question in his book Wonderful Life , proposing that if time were wound back 500 million years or so and allowed to run again, evolution would produce a completely different mix of living things - one without us. Penn State evolutionary biologist Blair Hedges says his observations have...
March 4, 2011 |
Leaping lizards! We all know that Johnny Depp is a chameleon. He plays one, or more precisely, voices him, in Rango . This off-center animation from Gore Verbinski (Depp's director in the Pirates of the Caribbean series) opens with a quartet of owls in mariachi garb singing the legend of the lizard. They pop up at regular intervals to musically comment on the chameleon's exploits in the Southwest, where the land is bone dry and the wit even more so. Rango is best enjoyed by those over 10 who have an idea of what "existential" means and can appreciate a surreal mashup of Chinatown , Gladiator , High Noon , and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly . You know those animated films that have bits that the parents will enjoy?
March 4, 2011 |
The hero of "Rango" is a chameleon and a BS artist, appropriate for this shape-shifting, surreal and weirdly entertaining animated yarn. I won't say it's like nothing you've ever seen before - it has the grown-up cinematic ambition of Pixar, the elbow-in-the-ribs joshing of DreamWorks - but what it borrows and what it builds combine to feel original and strange. The cultural references, for instance, are rarefied - a cameo for Hunter S. Thompson, plot fragments from "Chinatown" (there's a turtle with the visage of John Huston)
August 9, 2008 |
Primeval, an exciting British sci-fi adventure series, takes place in that, um, primeval time and place where dinosaurs roam - the local shopping center. (Where they hunt down and viciously kill and eat unwary shoppers.) The dangerously addictive and entertaining show, which has its U.S. premiere tonight at 9 on BBC America, is a melange of sci-fi, mystery and comedy genres. It is the brainchild of Tim Haines, the writer and director behind the popular BBC nature docs Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Beasts, which show the life of those extinct giants through the magic of computer-generated imagery.
August 5, 2008 |
First, Blair Hedges and a colleague discovered the world's smallest frog. Five years later, in 2001, he reported finding the smallest lizard. Now the Pennsylvania State University biology professor has completed what you might call the tiny trifecta: Under a sun-baked rock on the island of Barbados, he and his wife found a new species of reptile that can coil up comfortably on a quarter. Meet Leptotyphlops carlae. The globe's smallest snake. "It's kind of a weird coincidence," admitted Hedges, who published the results yesterday in the scientific journal Zootaxa.