The Hula Painted Frog, Discoglossus nigriventer, is an endemic frog to Israel listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is only found in two sites near Lake Hula and nearby swamps, and it may have been present in similar adjacent habitats in Syria. It is a medium-sized frog with rush-colored patches on the back and a dark belly with white spots. Leer más.

Although they’re known for laying eggs, some snakes and lizards give birth to live young just like mammals do. They supposedly do this to protect their offspring from cold climates. But that hypothesis couldn’t explain why some tropical lizards and snakes bear live young. Now, a study of one family of lizards, presented here on Saturday at Evolution 2013, the annual meeting of the American Society of Naturalists, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, shows that tropical live-bearers hail from high elevations—where it can get cold—and suggests that this reproductive strategy in reptiles may often originate on tropical mountainsides. Leer más.

One of the most remarkable anatomical differences among vertebrate bodies is the relative size of their neck, trunk and tail. This can be illustrated by comparing the bodies of a typical snake and of a long tailed lizard. They are both very long and superficially similar. However, most of the snake’s body is a trunk full with organs of the digestive, excretory and reproductive systems, whereas the largest part of the lizard’s body is a muscular tail. Leer más.