thejunglenook:

soldiergaga:

capngorgeous:

screwtheatlantic:

We try to watch films together, and it starts off well, but somehow we always end up out of sync. 

i cant tell you how much this cartoon means to me…

http://www.watch2gether.com/

this will fix that problem :)

jangojips

This can also be done without the watch2gether site. It’s quite simple. One person is the syncher, and the other person the roller. The syncher plays a few seconds ahead, and then pauses at a place with a distinctive audio. The roller then starts their movie. When the positions match up, the syncher hits play. Because of the audio and video delay in programmes like Skype, just counting down is never effective.

A message from Anonymous
Can you explain why some snakes evolve to be not venomous while some have really powerful venom?

This is an excellent question.

The simple answer is ecology: the niche the snake occupies and the prey it eats are the two biggest driving factors. Predation may also be key.

But for a more detailed answer, we have to look further back down the evolutionary tree.

Snakes are deeply nested within lizards - that is to say, all snakes are really one giant radiation of legless lizards. Dr. Brian Fry has produced a lot of research pointing toward one conclusion: the ancestral condition of the clade containing snakes that also contains iguanids and anguimorphs, known as the Toxicofera, is the possession of venom-like proteins. In some lineages, these have been modified to form the powerful venom known from viperid snakes etc. In others, it has been almost or completely lost.

Fry et al. 2013 (downloadable for free if you have a ResearchGate account) discussed the loss and adaptation of venom proteins across the Toxicofera, and this and other papers make a really good foundation for understanding the evolution of venom in reptiles.

So the phrasing of your question is actually just right: from an ancestral position of having some venom proteins (that does not make them venomous - venom proteins were probably associated with oral hygiene rather than for their current, more macabre implementation), some snakes have lost these proteins, while others have modified them extensively to make them true killing machines.

So why? Well, consider an arboreal snake. When it kills prey, it needs to minimise the struggling of that prey so that it itself is not thrown from the tree by its dying prey. Venom can greatly decrease this risk.

But venom is not the only answer to this problem. Two other strategies exist: Arboreal booids (Pythons, Boas, etc.) have extremely long, curved teeth, that help them latch on to any prey they capture, and these, coupled with their immensely strong muscles, allow them to stay up in the trees with even the most violently struggling prey. Many true tree snakes are non-venomous and also not quite as muscular as booid snakes. Typically these will take smaller prey that is less likely to struggle and throw them from the tree. They also often have specialised teeth that give them good grip on their prey - hyacynthus is probably one of the best people in the world to talk to about this right now, as she just finished her MSc project on the dentition of Madagascar’s snakes, one radiation of which are predominantly arboreal.

Why are there groups of arboreal snakes that are venomous and non-venomous then? The key is phylogeny. While the possession of venom is able to change from presence to absence and the reverse over evolutionary time, these transitions are not always enacted every time a snake takes to the trees. There is more than one way to live among the branches, and the evolutionary history of a snake is more predictive of whether or not it will possess venom than its ecological niche.

Prey is also not the only reason for evolving venom. There is a school of thought that venom evolved for defensive, rather than offensive, purposes. If defence is the main objective, the strength of the venom could perhaps be proportional to the level of predation suffered. By way of example, a mamba’s bite can inject enough venom to kill a young elephant - it takes something like 15 mg of venom to kill a human, the bite can inject up to 400 mg (100 mg is apparently typical). Why would any snake need to inject so much venom, when a tiny fraction of the amount would be more than sufficient to kill any prey item? Defence.

I rather think venom has been co-opted for defensive purposes, after initially having been derived from hygiene proteins to serve a predatory function. The jury is largely still out on this though. There may be an unlimited directional selection on the volume and strength of venom - sure, it’s good to have a minimum that is able to subdue your prey, but prey items don’t get any more dead the stronger your venom after that threshold. However, there are also no caveats on having stronger venom, and it is better to be more defensive.

Wearing my sleep mask

whatshouldwecallme:

image

These herons occur in Madagascar and every time I see one I narrate it: “Night tiiiiiime… DAY TIME!”

dusk-teh-wolf:

Morning!

A message from Anonymous
So my snake knocked her thermometer off the wall of her tank and now I think she has a little bit of the sticky stuff stuck to her. Do you know what the best way would be to get that off?

Water. If the water fails, maybe try a diluted rubbing alcohol (diluted is important!!). If that’s not possible, iodine would probably work.

Has anyone else noticed that February 2015 is the perfect month?

muirin007:

themaskednegro:

image

I actually let out a pleased little squeak when I saw this because ohhh man, that is beautiful.

Except for every European person who starts their weak on a Monday. You know, the sensible way, Saturday and Sunday being the weekend and all…

hyacynthus:

youtaggedthatsnakewrong:

lmactans:

Anyone want to tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

OH JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

*facepalm*

Also, “round pupils” is not a fool-proof way of determining whether a snake is venomous or not. Let’s take a look at several species that Wikipedia lists as the "Most Venomous Snakes":

  • Inland Taipan? Round pupil
  • Dubois’ sea snake? Round pupil
  • Eastern brown snake? Round pupil
  • Yellow bellied sea snake? Round pupil
  • Tiger snake? Round pupil

Basically, treat all snakes as venomous unless you can correctly identify the species. Also, if you’re close enough to an unidentified living snake to look at the pupil, you are doing a great job of naturally selecting yourself out of the gene pool.

Do you wanna build a phylogram?
Mark Scherz

markscherz:

A scientific parody of Do you wanna build a snowman? from Disney’s Frozen. Lyrics by hyacynthus and myself. Vocals by me. A music video may be forthcoming.

A message from spoopyshepard
puberty did you well, mark

That is the truth. Thank frak for that.

kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.
kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.
kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.
kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.
kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.
kacheechu:

hey guys
I hope you like geckos
I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3
this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.

kacheechu:

hey guys

I hope you like geckos

I have a bunch of photos of this guy in particular. I was actually able to get pretty close to him, he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, at some point he actually became curious about the camera and tried to walk right up to it. Not aggressively or anything, just looking at it - actual interest in the strange metal object. he was a pretty big gecko, too. All the rest of his photos turned out beautifully, so they’ll be up here too in a moment. :3

this was the first gecko I saw at Kona Brewing Co, and the only gecko I saw the entire trip that just wasn’t afraid to be near me. that was pretty cool.

Memory lane: some photos of me on my first trip to Madagascar, with two of the Astrochelys radiata we found. The juvenile was really freshly hatched - its umbilical attachment was still clearly visible.
Photo taken by Michael Scherz, 31 December, 2005.
Memory lane: some photos of me on my first trip to Madagascar, with two of the Astrochelys radiata we found. The juvenile was really freshly hatched - its umbilical attachment was still clearly visible.
Photo taken by Michael Scherz, 31 December, 2005.
Memory lane: some photos of me on my first trip to Madagascar, with two of the Astrochelys radiata we found. The juvenile was really freshly hatched - its umbilical attachment was still clearly visible.
Photo taken by Michael Scherz, 31 December, 2005.

Memory lane: some photos of me on my first trip to Madagascar, with two of the Astrochelys radiata we found. The juvenile was really freshly hatched - its umbilical attachment was still clearly visible.

Photo taken by Michael Scherz, 31 December, 2005.

Sunrise over Orientation Point, Northern Madagascar: 4:50 am, July 23, 2009.

Photo by Mark Scherz

Via
Samsung SCH-I535

shainamychal:

Peekaboo!

europewilds:

Europeans try to save storks, then this happens over Lebanon
There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them?
From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are only from the jerks who posted their kill on social media networks.
If you think migratory birds are in trouble as they pass over just Lebanon, think again. In Cyprus song birds are hunted down by the millions every year for a pickled dish, and the images coming out of Cairo are just as gruesome.
Read more


Well that’s just not okay.
europewilds:

Europeans try to save storks, then this happens over Lebanon
There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them?
From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are only from the jerks who posted their kill on social media networks.
If you think migratory birds are in trouble as they pass over just Lebanon, think again. In Cyprus song birds are hunted down by the millions every year for a pickled dish, and the images coming out of Cairo are just as gruesome.
Read more


Well that’s just not okay.

europewilds:

Europeans try to save storks, then this happens over Lebanon

There is no fighting chance for migratory birds when they fly over Lebanon: Hunting laws may be in place in the Middle East, but who’s enforcing them?

From storks and pelicans to hoopoes to eagles to migratory songbirds… see the images of the bloodbath in Lebanon during this year’s hunting season. And these images are only from the jerks who posted their kill on social media networks.

If you think migratory birds are in trouble as they pass over just Lebanon, think again. In Cyprus song birds are hunted down by the millions every year for a pickled dish, and the images coming out of Cairo are just as gruesome.

Read more

Well that’s just not okay.

houndoom:

he did not like the outside world!! (probably just the sunlight..) but my baby….