Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'It's not a snake,' researchers insist

There is nothing new under the sun - or is there? Near the sand dunes of Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, scientists have discovered four new species of legless lizards in California. We know what you're thinking - they're not snakes, scientists claim. Not all legless lizards are snakes.

One of the four newly identified species of Anniella, the Southern California legless lizard, was found under some dead leaves in dunes at the west end of Los Angeles International Airport. The Bakersfield legless lizard, above was found in three vacant lots in downtown Bakersfield.

One of the four newly identified species of Anniella, the Southern California legless lizard, was found under some dead leaves in dunes at the west end of Los Angeles International Airport. The Bakersfield legless lizard, above was found in three vacant lots in downtown Bakersfield.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Anniealla, legless lizard, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, California


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Several lizard lineages have lost their legs in the course of evolution, James Parham of Cal State Fullerton says. While snakes are the best-known and most diverse of these lineages, more than 200 other types of limbless lizards exist globally.

A total of five legless lizard species have been identified in California, all of them part of a group called Anniella. Four of these legless lizards are new to science, and were recently described in the journal Breviora, a publication of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

How do they Anniella differ from snakes? "Anniella can blink at you, but snakes can't because they don't have eyelids," Parham, one of the authors of the paper says. The Anniella also don't shed their skin in one piece like snakes do, and they move differently.

"Snakes can coil up a lot more, and they are more slithery," Parham said. "Anniella tend to be more rigid."

Arguably cuter than snakes, the above photo should speak for itself.

Relatively small animals, Anniealla are about as thick as a pencil and rarely more than eight inches long. They spend their lives wiggling beneath loose, sandy soil, snacking on bugs and larvae.

Understandably, Anniealla don't move fast or far, and the researchers say they may spend their whole lives in an area about the size of your dining room table.

Scientists still don't know much about them. "They are one of the most poorly studied reptiles in California," Parham said. "Because they live under the sand, you can't see what they are doing, and you can't even do a mark-and-recapture because you can't reliably capture these things."

Parham and his coauthor Theodore Papenfuss, a herpetologist with the UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, have been scouring the state for legless lizards for 15 years. Only one type of legless lizard was known to live in California when they began their research.

One of the four newly identified species of Anniella, the Southern California legless lizard, was found under some dead leaves in dunes at the west end of Los Angeles International Airport. The Bakersfield legless lizard was found in three vacant lots in downtown Bakersfield.

The southern Sierra legless lizard was spotted in three dry canyons on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and the Temblor legless lizard was found in the oil fields around the city of Taft, on the southwestern edge of the San Joaquin Valley.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

Unexpected find in Washington may be last of its kind Watch

Image of This is the group of dinosaurs the Tyrannosaurus Rex is associated with.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When an inter-tidal rock was found in the Sucia Island State Park in Washington State back in 2012, its discoverers had no idea that it would create or cause such excitement and hype. Embedded in the rock is a 17-inch bone fragment, that could not be immediately ... continue reading


DEVASTATING photos show humanity's destruction of Planet Earth Watch

Image of This bird ate too much plastic trash and died, revealing its unnatural diet upon decomposition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Humanity's rapid expansion as the global population increases is taking its toll on the environment. Climate change, overpopulation, pollution, hunting of endangered species and strip mining are running rampant worldwide. A series of shocking photographs now ... continue reading


TOO SOON? Canonization of Mother Teresa next year only hypothetical, Vatican says Watch

Image of There had been reports in the Italian press that Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of various published reports that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata will be canonized on September 4, 2016, the Vatican says that this remains hypothetical. "It is a working hypothesis, therefore there is no official confirmation to be given," Vatican representative ... continue reading


2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse Watch

Image of Land-based glaciers that have also started to slide faster toward the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those polar ice caps keep right on melting. Things have deteriorated so badly - especially the Larsen B ice shelf, that scientist now fear the entire Antarctica ice shelf will collapse by the end of this decade, in ... continue reading


Raining spiders? Large areas of Australia covered in spider webs Watch

Image of Baby spiders

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The worst news for spider haters in Australia and around the globe: a natural migration phenomenon where baby spiders are flying is possible and has recently happened in the southern part of Australia. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Referred to as "Angel ... continue reading


HONEY HOLOCAUST: Forty percent of all beehives died in the past year Watch

Image of Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April of last year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is an alarming figure that may speak of a silent, ecological disaster. According to a federal study, more than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The survey reports that the worst die-off ... continue reading


Recreating Dinosaurs: Using chicken embryos, scientists learn how dinosaurs got 'snouts' Watch

Image of The team's aim was to understand how the bird beak evolved, because the beak is such a vital part of bird anatomy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An asteroid, crashing into the Earth 65 million years ago, is thought to have caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. A group of dinosaurs managed to survive, and is thought to have evolved into modern-day birds. That theory has been around since the 19th Century. ... continue reading


Catfish surprisingly climbs wall and stuns scientists Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inside a cave near Tena in Ecuador, a group of scientists filmed a catfish climbing up the wall to lick food from the roof. Climbing seems impossible for fishes, but evidence of an actual video showing an armored catfish making its way up the cave wall presents a new ... continue reading


Climate change to cause animal extinction in next century Watch

Image of New Zealand's tuataras will be one of the species affected by climate change.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the next century or so, one in six species of plants and animals are likely to be extinct in South America, New Zealand, and Australia. Species in North America are at a lower risk of being extinct. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to a study ... continue reading


'Empty landscapes': Massive herbivore extinction in Southeast Asia hurts environment Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oxford University researchers observed a rapid decline among large herbivores living in the rainforests, savannah and jungles located in Southeast Asia, as well as in India and Africa. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the experts, this ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter