Episode 169 – Tuatara: This is Not a Lizard

“…and today we’re talking about something that looks just like an iguana but it’s apparently not a lizard at all.”

Scattered along the northern coast of New Zealand’s north island is a living fossil that was thought to be extinct: the tuatara. A laid-back lizard with a lazy lifestyle, the tuatara spends most of its time getting some sweet vitamin D in the sun and using the introspective sight of its peculiar third eye. But having insight can help with more than just character development here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 164 – Sailfin Dragon Lizard: The Icarus Iguana

“…and today we’re talking about a modern day dinosaur with a name to match. But more on that later.”

Lizards sometimes retain primordial qualities. To look at them, you may see the scaly faces of ages long gone. The sailfin dragon lizard has a look that matches it’s fantastical name. But the dinosaur-esque nature of this reptile doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a few new tricks in it’s arsenal. This dragon makes its home in near the water, and he brings some interesting adaptations to the taxonomic table. Improving on the tried and reptile design might be the best option for this aqua-dragon in Life, Death, and Taxonomy. 

Episode 150 – Spider-Tailed Horned Viper: The Crafty Serpent

“And today we’re talking about something we were supposed to talk about a few weeks ago but we goofed and now we’re talking about it now. More on that now.”

Hunters have all kinds of methods to help catch their prey. There’s ambushing, stalking, and brute force. But one of the most clever ways may be luring. Snakes are usually predators of the ambush varieties, though they’ll engage in a stalking or two. But one dessert viper has been known to employ a lure that would make the most experienced fishermen blush. But anatomical trickery may be the key to this serpent’s survival in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 144 – Horned Viper: The Vied Viper

“…and today we’re talking about an animal that has adapted to a legless lifestyle in an arid region. But more on that later.”

Cursed to crawl on their bellies, snakes have taken to the limbless life with seemingly listless languid movement. But these apparently listless articulations of their sinuous bodies, are done with great intention. Snakes are able to slither almost everywhere. Without claws, legs, or arms that can climb trees, slide across the ground, and some can even glide on the air. But the horned viper is posed with a particular challenge in the form of soft shifting sand. But laudable locomotion is an interesting way a serpent can make its way through Life, Death, and Taxonomy. 

Episode 132 – Water Anole: Squamata in the Wata

“Thank you to Casy for our new theme song. Hear more of Casy’s music by searching Casy Michelle on Youtube. Today we’re talking about a familiar looking lizard with an unfamiliar amazing ability!”

From the time of Alexander the Great, air breathers have been fascinated by the world beneath the waves. And humans aren’t the only ones to figure out how to hang out underwater. The water anole uses a special technique to stay hidden when predators come sniffing that scientists still haven’t entirely figured out yet. But being elusive, mysterious, and resourceful is the name of the survival game here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.