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Reptiles

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NEWS
January 29, 1998 | By Mary Anne Janco, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Tom Steele had no idea that his next-door neighbor's hobby was collecting snakes until the police and an animal warden pulled up outside the house on West Forestview Road yesterday. The menagerie of pets belonging to the 34-year-old neighbor, whom police declined to identify, included two six-foot rattlesnakes and two Burmese pythons, one about 16 feet long and 140 pounds, and another that is a year old and about 10 feet long and 70 pounds, police and others said. The animal warden also removed an iguana, a corn snake and a three-foot-long Savannah monitor lizard.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
December 3, 2001 | By Faye Flam INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The world's smallest reptile - a gecko that can fit on the surface of a dime - has been discovered on the forest floor on a Caribbean island. Biologist Blair Hedges, of Pennsylvania State University, said the tiny creature illustrates the still undiscovered diversity of life that may lurk in the Caribbean, an ecologically fragile area that has lost 90 percent of its forest cover. "You never know what you're going to find in the West Indies," said Hedges, whose many trips to the area have yielded dozens of new species.
NEWS
May 12, 1990 | By Michael L. Rozansky, Inquirer Staff Writer
It takes a rare man to appreciate a skink. George J. Whitfield Sr. owns a pair of them. Sitting in his wheelchair the other day, Whitfield held one in each hand: a foot-long reptile with a delta- shaped head, beige-and-tan bands and stubby little legs. The skinks silently flickered their blue tongues. "I've had dogs and cats," he said. "I enjoy the reptiles. " Enjoy is an understatement. In the basement storage room beneath his North Hills apartment in Abington, Whitfield has surrounded himself with slithering creatures.
NEWS
November 1, 1999 | By Carrie Budoff, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Among the 40 survivors of a devastating fire at the Ocean City Aquarium: an 18-foot python named Elvis, three boa constrictors, and a green moray eel. Those were the lucky ones. The three-alarm blaze that ripped through the pink stucco building late Saturday killed more than 60 reptiles and 100 fish. The 12 iguanas did not make it; neither did sharks, water dragons, geckos and hedgehogs. Even most of the cages and tanks were destroyed. "What really hurts is that we lost so many animals," said Steven Seeburg, 38, an aquarium co-owner.
NEWS
November 1, 1994 | by Joe Clark, Daily News Staff Writer
Ever hear the one about Flute the horny horn frog, who every morning at 2 o'clock during mating season would make this whistling sound ("like a kid's sliding flute") hoping to attract a honey? Or about Igor the irrepressible iguana, who escaped from its cage, knocked out the screen in the kitchen window and went squiggling down the alley in search of a partner? Lisa Bryant has. Knows why they did it, too. It's called nature. "You don't just invite them into your house and expect them to stop this mess," explained Bryant.
NEWS
March 2, 2008 | By Martha Woodall INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
November 18, 2002 | By Patrick Kerkstra INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Picking out the novices at the North American Reptile Breeders Conference and Trade Show yesterday was easy. They were the ones who asked, innocently, what the live baby mice were for. Not everyone liked the answer (the squirming mammals were breakfast for the snakes), but veteran reptile enthusiasts were happy so many visitors were asking - it meant the King of Prussia convention hall was full of newcomers. Organizers expected about 4,000 people, amateurs and experts alike, to roam the aisles of the weekend event to check out the lizards, turtles and snakes.
NEWS
December 21, 1990 | By Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia Zoo President William Donaldson is negotiating to get something from New Orleans that is white in hopes of getting Philadelphia out of the red. It's a fiscal fix code-named Old Blue Eyes. "We're close to an agreement with the Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans to bring to the Philadelphia Zoo two of America's rarest reptiles, chalk-white alligators with blue eyes," Donaldson reports. Donaldson and Audubon Zoo Director Ronald Forman are working on a loan protocol to bring the alligators here in January for a two-month visit.
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NEWS
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.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2011 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
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?
NEWS
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.
NEWS
September 12, 2008 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
March 2, 2008 | By Martha Woodall INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 29, 2008 | By Kristin Granero FOR THE INQUIRER
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2007 | By JILLIAN BAUER For the Daily News
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.
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