Unlike most animals, with sex chromosomes, the American alligator has temperature-dependent sex determination 🌡️
For alligators and their relatives, this means warmer incubation temps produce mostly males and colder temps, mostly females! 🥚
Gators are also one of the few reptiles that show parental care—the female will fiercely guard her nest, but also stays with the hatchlings for up to two years, carrying them on her back and even in her mouth! 🐊
#alligator #alligators #alligatorsofinstagram #alligatormississippiensis #florida #everglades #wildlife #naturephotography #wildlifephotography#evergladesnationalpark #gators #scicomm #sciencommunication #wildlifeeducation #ectothermic #parentalcare #nestingecology #herpetology #femalecare #ecology #crocodilians #alligatorlove #nest #wildlifeecology #gator #natgeo #NatGeoWildlife #reptile #reptilesofinstagram
Just returned from the Iguana Specialist Group Meeting!
We discussed research on all the worlds iguana species, but the main topic was this guy: the critically endangered lesser Antillean iguana!
This arboreal iguana has declined 75% from habitat destruction, hunting, and hybridization with invasive green iguanas.
Checkout @iguana_foundation to learn more and donate to help save them!
#iguanas #iguana #lesserantilles #caribbean #caribbeanconservation #savewildlife #endextinction #herpetology #lizardlove #iguanadelicatissima
Peacock feathers are so vibrant, in part, because of tiny crystalline structures that refract rays of light in unique ways as the feathers move, creating a shimmering, fluorescent effect!
The peahen (female) sure digs this flashy display but males have an even cooler way of attracting them to the light-show: when the male is displaying his tail he can rapidly shake it (26x per sec) telling the female he is ready & looking for a date!
This creates a pressure wave that the female can detect with her “feely-feathers” (AKA the thin feathers on the crest of her head) that pick up the pressure waves and vibrate her whole head!
#animalcommmunication #animalsignaling #matechoice #sexualselection #peacock #nature #bird #photography #birds #animals #beautiful #naturephotography #wildlife #feathers #birdsofinstagram #beauty #peacocks #animal #wildlifephotography #peacockfeathers
The Turks and Caicos boa is one of the most laid back snakes you’ll ever meet! Their scales reflect the sun in a remarkable sheen, earning them the name of rainbow boa as well.
Sadly these two traits make them very appealing to the illegal pet trade.
They were collected extensively in the 1970s causing large population declines. In recent years, invasive mammals and anthropogenic development have caused numbers to plummet even further, threatening the survival of these beautiful snakes.
Now only found on 11 of the 200+ islands in the T&C, conservation groups like @sandiegozoo are working with property owners to facilitate human-boa coexistence and educating the people on the boas importance to the ecosystem (such as free pest control!)
Choose “Reptiles and Amphibians” at checkout on my website to support other endangered reptiles around the world!
#boa #snakesofinstagram #snake #reptiles #snakes #reptile #reptilesofinstagram #endangered #savespecies #endextinction #herpetology #constrictor #conservation #islandwildlife #caribbean
~570 vertebrate species (animals w/ a back bone) live in the Sierra Nevada Mntns, >30% of which are rare or threatened 🏔
t is 1 of 36 Global Biodiversity Hotspots (areas with highest # of species) & among 10 places in the U.S. where climate change has the biggest impact on endangered species - BUT also where intervention can have the most effect if we act now!!
The Sierra’s watershed provides water >75% of Californians: Small Mntn streams and floodplains, soak up snowmelt, filtering and slowly releasing it—extending runoff longer into the dry California summer ❄️
Organizations like @sierraneavadaconservancy employ workers and volunteers to mitigate these negative impacts of climate change like: long-term drought, explosive wildfires, tree mortality, & melting snowpacks
Drought also makes trees more susceptible to mortality from other sources, like bark beetles, which led to a loss of 35 trees/acre 2014-2018 🌲
So properly MANAGED forests are not only less likely to burn in dangerous and damaging ways, but are more resilient to drought, and can even allow a deeper snowpack to develop.
Healthy, functioning ecosystems are critical to sustain life (ours and animals/plants)—every strand in the complex web of life plays a role and we need to fight to protect the remaining wilderness areas of the world!! 🌎
To support the world's biodiversity visit: wezwildlife.com/shop
OR: @conservationinternational @worldwildlifefund
#savewildlife #sierranevada #mammothlakes #mammothlakescalifornia #tahoe #mountainlife #outdoor #instanature #sierranevadamountains #sierranevadanationalpark #hiking #wilderness #endangered #johnmuir #dontfeedourbears #naturephotography #mountainphotography #laketahoe
The Plains Zebra is the most social of the three species, they gather in herds of ~10,000 and complete the longest migration of any African land mammal!
The characteristic black and white stripes are unique to each individual—like a fingerprint!
Although the jury is still out on why zebras have stripes, there have been several theories proposed over the years. Predators that hunt in cooperation (such as lions, African wild dogs, and wolves) must carefully coordinate their attacks to be successful. Some evidence suggests that large herds of striped zebra tend to blend together, confusing predators, and making it difficult to pinpoint and target a specific individual. However, the best supported theory, currently, suggests that the stripes confuses nagging horseflies, disrupting their ability to sense the warm blood vessels they feed on!
Horseflies are able to detect minute changes in temperature between air currents, this is how they pinpoint horse blood vessels and begin to feast. However, black and white fur interact with light (and thus heat) differently. White reflects heat, while black absorbs it. This causes a shifting mosaic of heat changes across a zebras body and thus horseflies cannot rely on locating large blood vessels simply by targeting warmer areas. This often results in multiple test bites which increases the probability that the zebra will feel it and swat it away before it does any real damage!
While the Plains Zebra is the most widespread species, they are listed as a “near threatened” species and are declining due to habitat loss. Every single species on this planet has something that makes it unique, and often times an essential part of its ecosystem. Since humans are the main reason many species are declining in the first place, it is our duty to reverse as much damage as possible and work to keep wildlife around.
#plainszebra #plainszebras #zebra #zebras #africanamazing #wildlifephotography #africanwildlife #tanzania #savannah
Sliders are freshwater turtles that exhibit a crazy variety of courtship behaviors! 🐢 Here are a few of my favs:
Ornate & Gray’s sliders shower water over females by ejecting it through their nostrils (heads-up to the lads: human females are much less receptive to this).
In red-eared sliders males vigorously vibrate their enlarged claws in front of the females face—this is called “titillation”.
In yellow-bellied sliders, females are the ones that normally display to males and perform a unique blinking behavior which shows the white flashes of the eyelid (called a nictating membrane in reptiles). 😉
#sliderturtle #pondslider #turtlepower #courtship #aquaticlife #turtlesofinstagram #wildlifeeducation #herpetology #turtle
After ducklings hatch 🐣 the next 20-50hrs are critical for them to imprint on their mother, giving them a mental template for what they are supposed to follow using visual & auditory cues
This is important not only for the first 2 months when the ducklings need protection, but also allows them to distinguish their own species from other animals when searching for a mate 🦆
🧠 Recent research in animal learning has shown that once imprinted, ducklings that are presented with two unfamiliar objects can distinguish which object is most similar to their template
Prior to 2016 the potential for this type of abstract comparison of “same or different” was only confirmed in primates and a couple non-aquatic birds with extensive training 🤓
#animallearning #ducklings #mallard #sciencecommunication #duckface
#birdphotography #animalbehavior #mallardduck #wildlifeeducation
The curlytail is thus named due to its fascinating anti-predatory response!
Depending on the perceived risk, the tail may only be slightly curled (see 3rd pic) or curled all the way above the head.
If a predator is far off, the tail will be curled dynamically to signal that it is ready for a quick escape, discouraging the predator from chasing.
The tail is also held statically above its head when out in the open, to deflect ambush attacks. If an unseen predator attacks the conspicuous tail, the curlytail can promptly drop its tail and escape!
This lizard is vulnerable to extinction, mainly due to rapid urban development.
#curlytaillizard #wildlifeeducation #endextinction #savespecies #endangered #lizardsofinstagram #lizards #reptilesofinstagram #herpetology
This is the upside down jellyfish—but this one is actually upside up! 😅
They are most often found with the flat body (called the bell) facing down and tentacles up.
This exposes algae, living within the jelly, to sunlight so they can photosynthesize— producing nutrients for the jelly!
Counter to most jellies, upside-downers don’t sting with tentacles but release mucus grenades with stinging cells that can inject venom into their prey.
Upside-downers are mainly found in coastal mangroves, one of the most threatened habitats on earth! 🌎
Follow & donate to groups like @mangroveactionproject to help save these essential ecosystems!
#jellyfishes #ocean #aquaticinvertebrates #marinelife #sealife #mangroves #marinebiology #coastalconservation #invertebratezooloogy