Animal Science Blog

Animal Science

The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world.

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Animal Articles - May 8, 2009

Posted May 08, 2009 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

This week's articles are a random assortment. Enjoy!

200+ new amphibian species found - the photos are amazing!

Mutated strain of rabies found in Arizona (remember to vaccinate your pets!).

One of 13 rare rhinos existing in Malaysia caught on camera.

Could hitting a rabbit during landing flip an airplane?

Egyptians mummified their dogs.


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Re: Animal Articles - May 8, 2009

05/10/2009 11:07 AM

How about this bad boy:

Head For High Ground! Flooding In Brazil

Brings out all the creepy crawlies

CORIMATA DA CIMA, Brazil – The dirt road that runs in front of her house is a river. Her fields of rice and manioc lie ruined underwater. And with water seeping into her mud-brick, thatched-roof home, Maria do Remedio Santos knows it's time to join her neighbors.

Like 218,000 others across a swath of northern Brazil three times the size of Alaska, the neighbors have fled the worst rainfall and flooding in decades, braving newly formed rivers teeming with anacondas, alligators and legless reptiles known as "worm lizards" whose bite is excruciating.

Downriver from Santos' home in the town of Sao Miguel de Rosario, adults waded through waist-deep, muddy water covering the main road — though they kept children in boats to protect them from rattlesnakes and anacondas swimming nearby.

Also driven from their burrows and swimming through the water were rodent-eating reptiles known as a "worm lizards" that look like giant white earthworms.

"So far no one has been bitten here. The main thing you tell the kids is to stay out of the water," Palmeiro da Costa said from a canoe. [ de Costa is no fool! ]

Alligators swam through the city of Santarem, civil defense official Walkiria Coelho said. Scorpions congregated on the same high ground as people escaping the rising water. No injuries were reported.


For all you nascent herpetologists out there, and I know there are some, the white worm lizard of Brazil is an odd critter. It's a snake. It's a lizard. Without legs. It's a lizard. It's a worm. It's nearly 2 feet (720mm) long. It's big enough to eat mice but gets buy mainly on termites and beetles, it only has 3 teeth, and it looks like some kind of satanic sex toy. No, really:

The white worm lizard - and c'mon, that's a naughty name right there - further lives up to it's viviphallus association, because when caught out in the open, it becomes erect on both ends at the same time to confuse predators. Seriously:

also known as the Bachac Snake

The locals call the thing "cobra de duas cabeças", which sounds really cool but means Snake With Two Heads. And if that wasn't kinky enough, the worm lizard is scientifically classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Amphisbaenidae. You can't argue with Science, who has lumped this particular squamata in with the regular snakes, even though I've read that the little pervert is actually hot blooded. At least warm blooded, but this is Brazil after all. And you know what "amphisbaenian" means, right? Me neither, so I looked it up. It means "goes both ways". Crivens! It's the doubled ended dildo snake. If I lived in this part of Brazil I'd be up the tallest tree so damn fast you wouldn't even see me move. You'd just feel the woosh! as I zoomed right by you.

Hey Steamy - I think I've found the natural prey for those [ahem] intergalactic aliens [ahem] you're always going on about. I bet they hunt this little horror in pairs!


I go into every human encounter expecting to be framed for a crime I didn't commit. Dilbert, 2013
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