August 5, 2014
While easing human travels via the Atlantic City Expressway, New Jersey officials have admirably accommodated the rare reptiles that might venture to cross the highway. Better yet, they're deploying technology to make sure they do so. Vehicles traveling along the six-lane highway, which divides the Pinelands National Reserve, are a threat to some of New Jersey's already threatened wildlife population. One rare creature that finds its home in the Pinelands is the elusive northern pine snake.
March 22, 2014 |
G. Leonard Knapp, 78, of Sellersville, an elementary teacher and respected herpetologist - who saw snakes as a force in nature - died of a cerebral hemorrhage Monday, March 17, at Abington Memorial Hospital. Mr. Knapp taught school in the Pennridge district for 34 years, first at Hilltown Elementary School in 1962, and then at Sellersville Elementary School from 1966 until he retired in 1996. He also owned and operated Reptilrama, a road show of his own animals that he took to area fairs, festivals, birthday parties, and schools.
November 14, 2012
APAIR of snake traffickers are facing federal charges for allegedly capturing rattlesnakes illegally in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to sell through their thriving mail-order reptile business. Robroy MacInnes, 54, and Robbie Keszey, 47, are co-owners of the Glades Herp Farm in Florida. According to prosecutors, however, the two were illegally obtaining many of their rattlesnakes from Pennsylvania. According to a federal indictment, MacInnes and Keszey made several trips to Sellersville, Easton and Jim Thorpe in 2007 and 2008 to illegally trap, and sometimes buy, federally protected eastern timber rattlers.
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?
June 14, 2010
A hundred million years ago, the seas were filled with swimming reptiles - some of them 70 feet long. A new study of their teeth suggests these exotic giants kept a constant body temperature - a step toward the kind of warm-bloodedness that keeps us at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature inside an animal is reflected in the ratio of two forms of oxygen - the far more common oxygen-16 and the slightly heavier oxygen-18 (which has two extra neutrons). The colder the temperature, the fewer atoms of oxygen-18 get incorporated into the teeth of fish.
September 12, 2008 |
Robert Miller Dougan, 82, formerly of Lansdowne, a retired company supervisor, Boy Scout leader, magician, photographer and zoo volunteer who had a reptile collection, died of myelofibrosis, a bone-marrow disorder, Aug. 21 at Granite Farms Estates in Wawa. Mr. Dougan graduated from Collingdale High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II. He was injured when a shell exploded in a training exercise, and he spent eight months in a hospital in San Diego before going to Okinawa, arriving just as the fighting was ending.
May 10, 2008
The saying goes that a camel is a horse designed by committee. Well, move over, camels. For a jumble of evolutionary double-takes, behold the duckbill platypus. This is one crazy-strange critter, a mammal that hatches its young from eggs, feeds its kids milk not through nipples but through its belly skin, wields venomous spurs in his hind limbs, and totes lots of odd features seen in birds, mammals and fish. Now scientists - as reported Wednesday in the journal Nature - have figured out the platypus' DNA string.
March 2, 2008 |
Charles McDowell, 11, shot up his hand yesterday when the educator at the Academy of Natural Sciences asked for the names of some cold-blooded animals that have scales and might be reptiles. "Alligators and crocodiles," said Charles, a fifth grader at St. Francis De Sales Catholic school in West Philadelphia. "Alligators and crocodiles are definitely reptiles," museum educator Timshel Purdum, the school programs manager, agreed with a nod. It was all part of a lesson on amphibians and reptiles offered to low-income city families who receive financial aid from the Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia to help send their children to nonpublic elementary schools.
February 29, 2008 |
The Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia are inviting families to jump into leap-year weekend with workshops, exhibits, and activities focused on reptiles and amphibians. The Elmwood Park Zoo will start this weekend celebrating the Year of the Frog with a Leap Day Amphibian Crisis Family Workshop at 6 tonight. The workshop, for children ages 6 and older and their caretakers, will address issues such as pollution, habitat loss, and competition affecting amphibians all over the world and in backyards.
March 6, 2007 |
BEFORE JOYCE Parker started working as a reptile and amphibian keeper at the Philadelphia Zoo, she had a tremendous fear of snakes. "I was terrified," Parker said. "My intuition wasn't to work with reptiles. " But in 1980 Parker, who began at the zoo as a housekeeper two years earlier, applied for a position as an animal keeper in order to put her kids through Catholic schools. Initially she was hired to work as a relief keeper, where she rotated to the zoo's different animal exhibits.