Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Awesome Christmas List

My awesome Christmas list

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums
Any Kidz Bop album I don't already have
A Faerie Hissi (owning or BEING one)
Eastern Indigo Snake
A Maractite Paint Brush
Real-life Hissi plushie
An eyelash viper
Help from Caramel Apple when I want to cook
Okay, all the My Little Pythons as real snake-kids
Any Neopets merchandise (including Neocash cards)
Any Lego set involving interesting pieces or reptiles and amphibians
The Snake Charmer minifigure scheduled to be released in January
A leucistic cobra
An albino reticulated python
An unconverted Plushie Hissi (owning or BEING one)
More Serpentine parts to snakeify innocent minifigures
The "NT Star" avatar
A Scriblet Petpetpet that actually is willing to attach
Two azureus poison dart frogs
A Lego brain slug and One Ring that actually belong to me
REAL LIFE Hissi morphing potion
Real life Hissi
REAL LIFE Faerie Paint Brush (to be used with the morphing potion, please don't ask)
Clippy as an actual sentient paper clip who would help me write
200 dollars

Yes, I want to BE a Faerie Hissi. Because, hey! Just be yourself. Unless you can be a Faerie Hissi. Then you should be a Faerie Hissi!
Faerie Hissies and all other Neopets copyright Neopets 1999-2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Breaking News:New species of pit viper in Sumatra

In Sumatra, a new species of pit viper was discovered recently. This species has been christened
Trimeresurus sumatranus and it's been confused frequently with Trimeresurus hageni because they have similar coloration and are rather similar species, being large, green pit vipers found in the lower elevations of Sumatra. The main reason that they've been confused with each other was because the British Museum of Natural History only had one young specimen that shared the same green color as T. hageni. (I'm sorry about my usage of scientific names, but, being a newly discovered snake, T. sumatranus doesn't yet have a common name.)

Image of T. sumatranus, from Wikipedia.

Vogel, Gernot, David, Patrick, Sidik, Irvan. "On Trimeresurus sumatranus (Raffles, 1822), with the designation of a neotype and the description of a new species of pitviper from Sumatra (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae)" Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8(2) [General Issue] 1-29.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Caduceus-intertwined serpents

This is a school project, may not be directly related to snakes.

    Do you ever notice when looking at something medicine-related that you often see two snakes intertwined on a pole, which sometimes has wings? You might wonder why this strange symbol is associated with medicine. And you might have never guessed that it has mythological origins.

    Hermes, the Ancient Greek messenger god, once stole some cattle from Apollo, the god of music. To make up for it, Hermes gave Apollo a lyre made from a tortoise shell and Apollo gave Hermes the Caduceus, a staff with two intertwined snakes representing their friendship. This staff could restore the sick to health and bring the dead back to life. Because snakes shed their skin periodically, they symbolized healing and renewal. The intertwined snakes also represent balance for disease prevention. According to legend, the staff was used to separate two snakes who were locked in eternal combat. When they wrapped around the stick (maybe they were constrictors and the staff was mouse-scented) they started looking at each other peacefully rather than fighting. As a result, the staff and its serpents became a symbol of peace as well. The staff is also used for commerce in a form with the snakes removed as Hermes was also the god of commerce and traders. The Staff of Asclepius, Hermes' son, is like the Caduceus, but it has no wings and only a single serpent which, through the shedding of its skin, represents revival and youth.

    Would a Caduceus, as in the two intertwined serpents, ever happen in real life? Probably not. Most snakes are solitary animals and wouldn't coil around a stick that wasn't a horizontal tree branch, let alone intertwine with each other. The only thing that might come close to a Caduceus would be the connection between breeding snakes. If somebody were to try to get their captive snakes into an intertwined position, they would probably have to use significant posing. Don't try that at home!

Caduceus image, from ipharmd.net

Friday, December 5, 2014

Herpy Holidays:Escaped Snake

Anyway, to continue our Herpy Holidays event, here is a parody of Deck the Halls surrounding something many owners witness:an escaped snake.

Why is your terrarium empty?
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Little snakie in the venty,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

You are missing, I shall find you.
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
I will thaw a mouse to remind you.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Yes! I saw a tail right under there!
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Oops, that's just a string on that chair.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Maybe you're inside my sofa.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
In the bath, behind my loofa!
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Through my house, you wildly slither.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
I think you are coming hither.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Why are you inside my sweater?
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Finally we come together.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Herpy Holidays:Carol of the Shells

*sings It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year* Hello, Alli's Snakes readers! Anyway, you're probably ready for the holidays. Now, in the winter, reptiles and amphibians aren't out much, but you still want to incorporate reptiles and amphibians into the festivities. Put your pet snake in a tree? Already did that. Put your python or lizard in a Santa hat? Already did that too. And suppose you wanted to do some caroling. Well, how could one do that involving reptiles and amphibians? Luckily, here is my solution. Reptile-themed parodies of Christmas carols. Without further ado, behold Carol of the Shells, as in turtle shells, to the tune of Carol of the Bells.

Carol of the Shells

Hark! How the shells
Sweet turtle shells
All seem to say,
"Please go away.
Leave us alone,
this is our home.
Go somewhere else,
don't touch the shells."

Do not touch us
That's what they say
seeming to scream
All protesting
Get out of there
'Cause they are scared
From everywhere
They cannot bear

They all will say,
"You cannot stay."
One good affair
Get out of there
Flee from their lair
Don't even stare
You are aware
They're very scared
Get out, get out, get out, get out of there
Get out, get out, get out, get out of there

On they protest
They're highly stressed
I should address,
they're quite distressed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

If You Build It, They Will Come:Drawbacks of frog metamorphosis projects and survey results

69 homeschooled families were surveyed on both Quia and the Well-Trained Mind surrounding their frog metamorphosis projects in the past.

65% of tadpoles were taken from the wild, an action that there are at least some restrictions on in all US states.
28% of tadpoles came from a retail source, such as Grow-A-Frog or Insect Lore.
2% of tadpoles had unknown origins.
5% of tadpoles were observed in the wild.

56% of families had some tadpoles die.
25% of families had all tadpoles die.
19% of families had all tadpoles survive.
81% of families experienced death, which may teach them unethical attitudes towards life such as the idea that humankind can do whatever they wish with animals, that when you do not want an animal it is disposed of, that when you experience the death of an animal you just replenish your numbers, and taking care of an animal, another living creature, is a process of trial and error. This kind of learning is one of the reasons that our planet and the environment are no longer in such good condition as they were, and that there are high amounts of violence and crime. (Montgomery, 1978.)

64% of families released frogs back into the wild, the origin of chytrid fungus, a deadly condition that has contributed to amphibian die-offs around the world. The fungus was introduced by African Clawed Frogs, a species often used in frog metamorphosis projects, becoming invasive in the wild, often by releasing pets or science animals. (Weldon, et al, 2004.)
23% of families could not answer said question, as none of their frogs survived.
7% of families kept the frogs as pets throughout their lifespan.
4% of families gave the frogs away.
2% of families disposed of the frogs. The reason for this was because one family in Australia had accidentally collected cane toad tadpoles which under Australian law were required to be killed.(Frog Decline Reversal Project, 2001-2013.)

Frog Decline Reversal Project. "Raising Tadpoles in Containers and Ponds" http://www.frogsafe.au/ponds/raising_tadpoles.shtml , 2001-2013
Montgomery, Charlotte.  "Teaching with Animals:Goals and Guidelines" Day Care and Early Education. 1978.
Hyatt, Alex. Muller, Reinhold. Speare, Rick. "Origin of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. December 2004.
Conrad, Paulette, Nanjappa, Priya. "State of the Union:Legal Authority Over the Use of Native Amphibians and Reptiles in the United States." Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. 2011.

Friday, November 7, 2014

All About The Snakes-All About That Bass parody

Because you know
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes-no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes-no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes.

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I ain't no feline
But I can herp it, herp it
That snake is not a vine
'Cause I got that boomslang that all the boys chase
And the right herps in the right place.

I see the horror film using that python
I know that it's not real
Come on now, make them stop
If you got serpents, serpents, just show 'em off
'Cause every inch of them is perfect
From their vent right to their snout.

Yeah, we love all those snakes, no matter what their size
From thread snakes to anacondas, slithering through the night
Whether nonvenomous or venomous, we love them all
From the big snakes to those little pythons, we look for them all

Because you know I'm
All about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes

And if they're venomous
Go ahead and admire from a distance
'Cause getting to close, life it threatens
But I know I can tell ya
'Cause I love every single serpent from their vent right to their snout

Yeah, we love all those snakes, no matter what their size
From thread snakes to anacondas, slithering through the night
Whether nonvenomous or venomous, we love them all
From the big snakes to those little pythons, we look for them all

Because you know I'm
All about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes

Because you know I'm
All about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes

Because you know I'm
All about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes, no trouble
I'm all about the snakes
'Bout the snakes
'Bout the snakes, 'bout the snakes
Hey herpers
I know you like these snakes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

If You Build It, They Will Come:Survey

I am collecting data surrounding the typical tadpole-to-frog projects for "If You Build It, They Will Come". If you have done a tadpole-to-frog project, or your children have, please take this survey! Thank you for contributing to the If You Build It, They Will Come project and reading Alli's Snakes.

Please click here to take survey.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

If You Build It, They Will Come:Advantages and purposes for frog metamorphosis projects

This is Alli from Alli's Snakes. For the next few weeks, we will be doing a special on frog metamorphosis projects. This is because I want to attempt to discourage traditional Grow-A-Frog kits and instead use the idea of placing ponds in your home or school to attempt to view amphibian reproduction in those ponds. This project will be titled "If you build it, they will come." We have not yet attempted the research, so the next few blog posts will be the preliminary work.

Advantages of Frog Metamorphosis Projects
Frog metamorphosis and life cycle projects are needed as it is essential to realize the stages a frog goes through. These projects are important so that students can compare and contrast the frog's life cycle to other life cycles, such as the butterfly's, or the human life cycle. Knowing about the stages of the frog's life can help the students to have more knowledge on how to protect ponds, frogs, and the world around them. The habitat of a pond has many forms of life living in it, such as frogs, plants, water snakes etc. and it is very important for students to know what these animals need to survive in their habitat. It is essential for children to be aware of the frog's habitat and what they can do to protect it. Learning about how to take care of and protect frogs, pond plants etc. is very important towards encouraging a positive, respectful attitude towards the environment and all forms of life. The frog metamorphosis project also can be very important towards learning in other areas of education, such as a book about a frog's life story and the important skill of being able to discuss and summarize books. Also, art can be incorporated into drawing frogs and creating posters surrounding the project. Becoming aware of a frog's life cycle, facts about a frog, and its habitat can help the students towards being more protective towards not only frogs, but other species they come across on this earth. Collecting data surrounding how long it takes the frogs to metamorphose and graphing the data is a very important mathematics skill that can be trained via the route of frog metamorphosis projects. The important skills of mean, median, and mode can also be learned via the data surrounding the frogs. Learning about the life cycle of a frog can raise awareness and knowledge of frogs and why we should protect them, an essential tool to teach our children in an urban world. Describing the process of metamorphosis, becoming aware of a frog's habitat and how to protect it, listing and explaining facts about frogs, and recording data surrounding frog development are all very important skills that can be taught using the educational, hands-on tool of a metamorphosis project. This project can teach responsibility and animal husbandry, as taking care of a frog in the classroom might prepare the students for a pet frog later on. (O'Brien, Merson, 2011.) Frog metamorphosis projects are becoming more useful for scientific reasons also. There are immense amounts of knowledge surrounding frogs that we haven't tapped into yet, while many types of frogs worldwide are disappearing right before our eyes. Some of what we can learn from a frog's life cycle is easier to obtain from a captive frog. Frog metamorphosis projects are also important from a conservation standpoint, as with droughts becoming more common, rescuing tadpoles from drying up ponds and puddles is important to ensure the continued survival of their species. The learning experience of frog development projects can also keep awareness of nature and can encourage animal-based careers, as many professional scientists, veterinarians, biology teachers and wildlife managers kept native animals when they were young. Their interests were growing as they did these projects, and such career choices that are necessary in our world are less likely to be chosen if there has not been a long term interest in wildlife and nature. (Frog Decline Reversal Project, 2001-2013.) Contact with nature is highly important to children, and educators need to obtain access to nature in their curricula. Nature-based curricula support children's development and learning in many domains, including academic, social, and health-related domains. Nature-based play in preschool classrooms integrate motivation and meaningful activity with attitude, process skills, and content, the three elements of science education. Studying nature via plants and animals can allow children to explore the cycle of life. Habitats for creatures such as snails, tadpoles, lizards, insects, and other small creatures allows children to have an appreciation and knowledge of these animals. (Butler, Hachey, November 2009)

O'Brien, Elizabeth, Merson, Hayley. "Life Cycle of a Frog" Fall 2011.
Frog Decline Reversal Project. "Raising Tadpoles in Containers and Ponds" http://www.frogsafe.au/ponds/raising_tadpoles.shtml , 2001-2013
Butler, Deanna, Hachey, Alyse. "Science Education through Gardening and Nature-Based play" Young Children, November 2009. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Special:Cane toads and their invasive effects

Frogs:Today the pond, tomorrow the world! Well, the Cane Toad doesn't need to think it will take the world tomorrow. It already has taken the world! Let's start with what exactly a Cane Toad is. A Cane Toad is a very large toad hailing from South America. Now, in South America it has predators that can handle its toxins, as the Cane Toad is highly poisonous, enough to kill a human being. Now, Australia had problems with sugar cane beetles. So they shipped the Cane Toads in to be natural pest control. But the toads ate or killed whatever was in their path-as long as it wasn't a sugar cane beetle. The toads were large enough that they ate smaller toads, endangered species, baby snakes, tourist's fingers:anything! And because they were poisonous and Australian animals couldn't handle their toxins, the Cane Toads killed larger animals like pythons and kangaroos. This was the attack of the killer cane toads. But the horror story doesn't end here. The Toads were then introduced into Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands to control pests. They were successful in controlling pests, but luckily for the islands, the toads died out before destroying native populations of other animals. The toad was then introduced into the Philippines and was successful, being the most abundant amphibian. The Philippines were now the Islands of the Killer Toads. The killer toads then entered Fiji, devouring both harmful and beneficial invertebrates, so on these islands the toads' effect was neutral. Into other islands, the United States, Australia leaving destruction in its wake. And this is no bad horror movie. This is the attack of the killer toads. They are eaten by pets, killing the family dogs. They are eaten by wild animals, killing the wild animals. If the killer toads are not stopped, they will destroy the world's ecosystems. Tell your dog to keep away from that gigantic frog, it could be the last thing they ever see.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chytrid in Virginia amphibians

Chytrid is a pretty bad thing if you're an amphibian. It's an aquatic fungus that often hooks onto and spreads throughout creatures such as frogs, salamanders, etc. It is one of the main causes of amphibious deaths! But how does this stack up for Virginian amphibians?

Due to the conditions in chytrid's makeup, drier habitats and habitats with different temperatures than chytrid thrives in have a lower chance to infect amphibians. In the eastern part of North America, chytrid has been found in 48 species of amphibians, but infections vary due to the fact that in the summer, it's too hot for the fungus, and in the winter, it's too cold. Cooler, shaded habitats have more prevalent infections, as does the presence of frogs and toads, particularly Green Frogs. Studies were done on whether or not Eastern Newts, American Bullfrogs, Spring Peepers, and American Toads had chytrid and how intense the infection was.

Ah, the many uses of cotton swabs! During the studies, swabs were used to investigate for chytrid in said amphibian species, with adult newts, adult peepers, juvenile bullfrogs, but because the bullfrogs varied in size, it was investigated whether Snout-to-vent length affected chytrid infections. Before swabbing for infections, the study environment was sterilized to prevent other infections entering the amphibians used. The amphibians were rinsed in containers holding sterilized water and of course, the amphibians. Other examinations on two species of frog show that chytrid infections are generally on the chest, front legs, and hind legs.

Two Spring Peeper sites-Airport Pond and Kentland Farm Pond were excluded as all individuals were not infected. Toads also weren't infected. All of the species that were swabbed except for American Toads had some level of infection. The highest levels of infection were in peepers, the next highest in bullfrogs. Low levels of infection were common, especially in bullfrogs and newts. All sizes of bullfrogs were equally likely to be infected and infection intensity was fairly low among them. Chytrid has been detected in a bit over half of the amphibian species in the Eastern USA, and most frogs and salamanders have some vulnerable individuals and some resistant individuals. But due to lack of infection in the two mentioned ponds for spring peepers and in toads, when previous studies showed that they had infection, showed that said populations had resistance to the disease.

Hughey, Myra, Becker, Matthew, Walke, Jenifer, Swartwout, Meredith, Belden, Lisa. "Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Virginia Amphibians:Within and Among Site Variation in Infection" Herpetological Review, 2014, 45(3).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dialouge for imaginary number

DISCLAIMER:This has nothing to do with Neopets or snakes, but it's still my work and still fairly interesting to my target audience for this blog.

DOCTOR: Why do we talk out loud when we know we're alone? (blows out candle) Because we know we're not.
DOCTOR: Mathematics perfects survival skills. There are perfect divisors.
DOCTOR: There are perfect reducers.
DOCTOR: Why is there no such thing as perfect concealment? How would you know? Logically, if mathematics were to perfect a number whose primary skill were to hide from view, how could you know it existed?
DOCTOR: It could be with us every second and we would never know. How would you detect it, even sense it, except in those moments when, for no clear reason you choose to speak aloud? What would such a number want? What would it do? Well? What would you do?
(That last word echoes around the Tardis. The chalk is no longer where he left it. It rolls on the floor to his feet and he picks it up, then sees that what he wrote on the blackboard has been replaced by one word. Listen.)

(Doctor Who and related marks are trademarks of BBC . Copyright © 1963, Present.)

(Math student pushes face down on bedspreads.)
Math student:I really wish I could get some sleep, but I have this huge math test tomorrow and I just can't grasp the concept of an imaginary number! I mean, if I'm only imaging it, is it here?
(Imaginary number appears)
Imaginary number:Depends on whether you think of me as just a figment of your imagination or just simply hiding.
Math student:Wait, who said that?
Imaginary number:I did.
Math student:Well, what are you?
Imaginary number:I am the square root of –1. Or if you prefer, I am i.
Math student:I for imaginary. Makes sense.
Imaginary number:It is i, not I!
Math student:Well, I'm/i'm confused. Is it okay if I call you a capitalized I?
Imaginary number:Yes, I suppose it is.
Math student:Say...if you are an imaginary number, you can help me grasp your concept!
(Imaginary number is not quite sure. Math student seems trustworthy, though.)
Imaginary number:Oh, all right, if you insist. You already know that I'm the square root of –1, correct?
(Math student nods.)
Well, how might such a number be imaginary? What in this mathematical universe could you square to get a negative number? Nothing. If you square –1, you get 1. And how, in the pure mathematical universe, could you square anything to be equal to –1? You can't. But surely there must be a number, perhaps something that's been lying in wait for years, but you never noticed it. Or perhaps you refused to admit it existed, that number whose square is negative one! Surely such a number must not be real. An imaginary thing, perhaps. Do you want to know one of the absolutely wonderful things about mathematics?
Math student:What? If it'll help me ace this test, I'd love to! And are you really a trademark of Apple like all other things that start with a lowercase I, like this iPod?
(Imaginary number hisses. It's probably heard the Apple joke before.)
Imaginary number:The wonderful thing about mathematics is that it can be either discovered or invented! So, if you cannot see me...(Imaginary number disappears), but you imagine me, I appear, but yet I was both discovered and invented. And no, I am not a trademark of Apple.
Math student:Can you please appear again? I think my parents are watching and it seems that right now this place is haunted and I'm talking to a ghost. And if you're a number, where exactly are you on the number line?
(Imaginary number reappears.)
Imaginary number:I am not on the number line, and neither is i. I am not positive, I am not negative, and I am not infinite. At least your horizontal number line cannot measure me. But picture this:a vertical number line between 0 and –1, containing all the numbers such as i, 2i, 3i, 4i, and et cetera et cetera.
Math student:So wait...can I add and subtract imaginary numbers?
Imaginary number:You bet! Guess what 2i+3i equals.
Math student:5i?
Imaginary number:You are correct! Now guess what 5i-3i is.
Math student:2i?
Imaginary number:Right again!
Math student:I've heard that weird things happen when you are added with a real number. What kinds of weird things. And why would anybody use you?
(Imaginary number is very enraged. Math student says that he did not mean it but just wanted to know its applications.)
Imaginary number:Yes, some strange things might happen with me and a real number. But together, however reluctant we are to stay together, we have many scientific applications that your pathetic real numbers cannot manage. And did you know that e∏i equals –1?
(Math student shakes head no.)
Well, without me, it would just be e∏ ! And we don't know what that equals, now do we? So there is a purpose for all things, alive, dead, hidden, in sight, real, or imaginary.
Math student:Okay, thank you!
(Math student's mom walks in.)
Math student's mom:It's time to wake up. You have a test today. And why were you muttering things about imaginary numbers in your sleep? You must have studied a lot tonight!
(Math student turns to thank the imaginary number, but it is nowhere to be seen. Maybe it was just a dream...)
DISCLAIMER:No offense intended to actual math students who might be reading this.

Friday, October 10, 2014

I wrote a field guide! A Neopian field guide.

Did you ever wonder which snaky Petpets are venomous or not, and what their venom does? Introducing the Neopian Snakebite Manual! In the voice of Kasandaria, my delightful herpetologist cobra, this field guide talks about the serpents that live on this Neopian planet, and I hope you enjoy this article.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A "Snakebook" profile for the Golden Fleece Serpent

This is a school project, may not relate directly to snakes.

For school, I did this fake Facebook profile for the dragon that guarded the golden fleece.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To create a dragon-would it be possible?

Many of us love the idea of real dragons, large, intelligent lizards that breathe fire and fly! But would it be possible to make a dragon, in the future, with advanced genetic engineering techniques? First, let's start with the breathing fire. How could we get a real animal to breathe fire? Perhaps we could do something with gases, or modify fangs and venom as from a spitting cobra? I am intrigued by the prospect of having an animal that produced something like say, snake musk, and somehow igniting it, perhaps that could become the fire-breathing in our hypothetical dragon? We are not sure how to do this, but what we could do to create a large, intelligent, flying lizard would be to find a crocodile. Crocodiles are large, saurian creatures that are possibly as related to dinosaurs as birds are. Crocodiles also have the intelligence factor we want in our dragon. And then we can find a bird, with a large enough wingspan to send a crocodile aloft.  So, with this hypothetical technique, we would need to combine traits from a large bird of prey, a crocodile, a spitting cobra, perhaps, and possibly a snake such as a water snake that produces musk. And this might be possible! Birds of prey, crocodiles, spitting cobras, and water snakes are all fairly closely related as the snakes and crocodiles are all reptiles, and due to the evolution of the dinosaurs, reptiles are related to birds! So in the future, it may be possible to create a dragon, or at least a winged crocodile.

Cute dragon, from cartooncliparts.com

Monday, October 6, 2014

On killing snakes, how to prevent it, and why it should be illegal

Do you ever see somebody stomping on a snake or running away screaming from one, even when it's just a little garter snake they find on their lawn? This in my opinion should be illegal! Snakes have value, which many people don't realize. Snakes eat creatures like rodents, insects and other pests, and they are eaten by creatures such as birds of prey and even certain amphibians! Killing snakes disrupts the ecosystem. Did you know that many Americans call themselves "animal lovers" but they only love animals they deem "cute" or "not scary"? Rattlesnakes are animals too, and any so-called "animal lover" should love, or at least tolerate them. Killing snakes also effects the education in this country about nature. The main age where people kill snakes is between the ages of 8 and 10, and this carries on into teenage years. We need to teach our children not to kill snakes! And one of the easiest ways to train somebody not to do something is to tell them that it's against the law. Almost everybody does not want to break the law. In many states, you can only kill a snake if it is threatening you. This is not enough. Anybody who wants to kill a snake can say that just because it looked at them cross-eyed, it was sizing them up to eat them, or it wanted to bite their children, or steal their cat, or some garbage like that. I think that these laws are a good idea but there should be a better definition of "threatening" which is something like "It carries an obvious and eminent threat to you, your family, or your lifestyle." This would prevent fear and death of snakes across America. And one of the easiest ways to prevent killing snakes in America would be to teach it in school. In many cases, people think that every snake, or everything in the world is a dangerous creature such as a copperhead, cottonmouth, or a rattlesnake. What we need to do is have a class in school where children learn about ecology, and how to tell whether or not a snake is venomous or non-venomous. And if an unwanted snake is on your property, there are better ways to remove it than killing it! Many zoos, pet stores, herpetologists, and the official Animal Control service can move snakes away from your property. If you remember your neighbors having pet snakes, see if the snake is their pet. And seeing if the snake is a neighbor's pet can keep your neighbor's heart from being broken because their pet is dead. If said snake is either a non-native species or a native species with coloring you do not see in the wild, it is usually somebody's pet. Keep watch in the news for any escaped snakes in your area to keep yourself from killing them if they are somebody's pet or an escaped zoo animal. But one of the main ways to keep Americans from killing snakes is to keep them informed. Teach in schools that snakes have value. Have articles in newspapers that don't just identify snakes as evil, man-eating creatures. This portrayal in the media is one of the reasons for snake fear across America. In even newspapers, every snake is usually a gigantic, man-eating rattle-cobra that can crush a person in its coils. Instead of these articles, write articles on the value of snakes and how to react if you see one in the wild! And stop having evil snakes in movies and books. Many people learn from what they read and if they accept something like a fictional story about a child being eaten by a cobra as fact, and then they see a hognose snake or other snake flattening its head to look like a cobra, if it's anywhere near a child, they will kill it. Instead of these stories, there should be more books on identifying snakes. More books with good snake characters! Did you know that many people no longer think bears are dangerous because of the teddy bear movement? We need something like that for snakes! Create a line of adorable stuffed animals of snakes in cute colors like pink and lavender! There is a need for good snakes in the world! Enter My Little Python. This is another blog/movement I run which is like My Little Pony, but with snakes. Direct your misinformed children to this blog! Bring out your ophidiophobic and expose them to this good portrayal of serpents! And when you ever get a chance, try to make killing snakes illegal. But the easiest way to prevent this is education. Pure education. Teach people that your pet snake is not dangerous. If you don't have a pet snake, teach them that snakes in general aren't dangerous. Direct them to My Little Python. Heed the movement. Have good snakes.

Sssincerely, Alli

The My Little Python main characters.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The effects of a new strain of ranavirus on Neopian species

You all know that Neopets can get sick with things like the flu or a Reptillior bite. But there is a new threat lurking in Neopia's waters:a new strain of ranavirus. This strain poses threats to Mortogs, Greebles, Turdles, Blurtles, Quiggles, Cobralls, and some wild Hissies. Via this new strain of ranavirus, mortality is a high concern. Many populations of Southern Water Cobralls are endangered and with the threat of ranavirus, they could become extinct within the next 10 years. Wild Hissies are also in danger from ranavirus, due to the fact that many wild strains are having DNA extracted from them for colors and patterns in captivity, and never getting re-released into the wild. Ranavirus also poses threats to captive Neopets and Petpets, as your beloved Quiggle could pick up a little virus during a nice trip to the river. And there is currently no known, commonly available cure for ranavirus, meaning that very high risk is posed if this strain is not stopped.

♣ To see whether or not Blurtles, Hissies, Cobralls, and Turdles can carry the new strain of ranavirus.

As these species are common pets and Petpets, and also have endangered populations in the wild, viewing to investigate if they can carry the new strain of ranavirus is crucial to their survival.

The Study
Blurtles, Hissies, Cobralls, and Turdles taken from a river on Krawk Island where it is known the new strain of ranavirus thrives, were tested for ranavirus. They were then re-released with radio transmitters and their behavior was examined. One Cobrall died during the study, but this was related to an accidental crush injury. Blurtles escaped from the harnesses on the transmitters and could not be tracked. Hissies, Cobralls, and Turdles did not escape from the harness.

♣ One Hissi tested positive for ranavirus, same Hissi died.
No Cobralls tested positive for ranavirus.
♣ No Blurtles tested positive for ranavirus.
♣ Turdles tested positive for ranavirus.

The results are that Turdles can carry the new ranavirus strain, however, the Hissi that tested positive for ranavirus did not get it from the water, but rather from eating an infected prey animal.

Monday, September 29, 2014

My favorite things from THS

For the weekend, I have been at the Tennessee Herpetological Society conference in Nashville, and as with JMIH, I am doing a blog post of my favorite things. Now, unlike JMIH, THS was a much smaller conference meaning that unlike JMIH, I didn't choose a schedule but instead went to all sessions on all days. In my opinion, Day 1 was depressing in some ways due to many sessions surrounding ranavirus and how animals are dying. However, also on Day 1, there was a rather positive session surrounding success of hellbender breeding at the Nashville Zoo. One of the things I discovered that day was that there are two of many things I cannot draw that were mentioned:owls and hellbender sperm. That was my main favorite session that day, as even though things such as ranavirus being carried in water snakes with 100% mortality is another area of herpetology, I do prefer more positive sessions surrounding living animals. Also, viruses are hard to draw. If you see any doodle I ever do of any kind of microorganism, it's going to look like a paramecium. Paramecia are easy to draw. For some reason, the microorganism doodles sometimes have faces.

On Day 2, my favorite thing on that day actually did not involve the sessions. I was panicked due to forgetting my name tag, but luckily I could get in for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Nashville Zoo to see things such as the hellbender project, and another thing I discovered:The Nashville Zoo has a thriving population of dart frogs they use to get other animals, which means in the behind-the-scenes tour, there were so many adorable poison dart froglets! Another thing from the behind-the-scenes was watching the staff at the zoo feed the false chameleons with their snails. It actually took fairly long before they ate, though. Also on Day 2 was one fairly interesting session on museums and collections as well as preserving dead specimens. It was rather interesting to find out how they preserved specimens, even though I must admit that I did a lot of doodles of Hissi skeletons when trying to figure out how the wings would look and whatnot. Also on Day 2 was a live creature at the conference rather than at the zoo. It was what might have been a new variety of crayfish.

And on Day 3 was one of the best experiences of all:the herping trip. Northern Water Snakes, Black Racers, Eastern Milk Snakes, Northern Cricket Frogs, Long-Tailed salamanders, Dusky Salamanders, Two-Lined Salamanders, and Southern Newts were all found during the trip. Both Black Racers and Northern Water Snakes, as well as the Eastern Milk Snake, I held. I actually got bitten by the second Black Racer, and my parents were both bitten by Northern Water Snakes. Interestingly enough, my dad was bitten by a tiny baby water snake, and his was the only one that actually drew blood. But the Northern Water Snakes were known for biting a lot. They were very young. They were wild snakes. And they were incredibly calm! I actually managed to hold one particular water snake for a rather long time. And the Eastern Milk Snake you could have kept as a family pet, it was so nice! But also under the coverboard the Eastern Milk Snake was found near was the skeleton of a Black Racer. I have part of it, some vertebrae with some of the skin still attached. Also found in the park was the skeleton of a cat, perhaps a stray. And for more excitement:The Eastern Milk Snake and Northern Cricket Frog were new species in the park! So hopefully they will be fruitful and multiply. And on the night of Day 1, there was something for which there was a reason I'm saving it until the end. There was a live auction. I had a 20-dollar budget. I spent about 60 dollars. But they all went towards a good cause. There were many turtle items, and also a pot of sorts with a snake in a hat, which happened to have some little frogs inside. But where most of the money was spent was with a photo of a corn snake known as Isis. The photo was taken by Lisa Powers and the snake had exactly the same colors as my corn snake, Wadjet. And two highly red, Egyptian mythology-named corn snakes? They have to be together. But at the same time, the items we donated, a set of four My Little Pythons and some homemade reptile and amphibian jewelery, fetched 65 dollars for the scholarship fund. And this was exciting enough that there was a reason I saved the best for last.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Radio transmitters and young tuatara

Attaching radio transmitters is a good way to study tuatara, lizards, and snakes. Because, you can't just watch a cryptic animal. But tracking it via radio transmitters means that the animal will just go about its life and you can tune in without effecting its behavior. But, for adult Tuatara, it's known that this works. But for young tuatara, not so much. So, there are studies on how radio transmitters effect young tuatara.

There were both tagged tuatara and untagged tuatara released into a natural area. It was evaluated whether or not there is an effect on growth, behavior, and body weight on tagged and untagged tuatara. Another method was using dummy transmitters such as clay molds, beads, or broken transmitters. Both dummy and functional transmitters had cylinders so the tuatara could be harnessed.

Methods for tracking
Do you ever think about reptiles with backpacks? If you do, then you'll understand this method. Straps were made out of elastic, and there were stitches so that the transmitter would sit by the neck of the tuatara in question. The next method:duct tape. Yes, duct tape can be used for anything, even tracking reptiles! The tape was wrapped around the tail of the tuatara, so that the transmitter would sit at the tail. This method was known as "surgical tape". But the next method-a variation of "surgical tape" with you guessed it, duct tape. Duct tape lasts longer than other tapes, but it might scar the reptiles. (physically, not emotionally.) Another method is a harness that holds the transmitter on the animal's back. It was secured with elastic, and the transmitter was held in place by a knot.

Methods for tracking cont.
For the backpack harness, it remained attached, but it swelled up the tuatara's shoulder. But contrasting, in less than 30 days, the tuatara shed the surgical tape method. But duct tape stayed, and some good news:from the tape, there is no injury. Now, for the translocation (moving the tuatara somewhere else), the backpack harness was used as it would last for the 5 months of the study, including when the reptiles shed their skin. However, modifications to the elastic and cylinders made it less likely the reptiles would get injured by the backpack harness.

Main study methods
The tuatara were released in spring, when they will have increased temperatures and activity. 14 wild-caught tuatara were released, as were 41 captive-raised tuatara. 2 more were then released.

 Results with juvenile tuatara
Four juveniles had implants in their abdomens, and they came from Stephens Island.  The implants stayed in for less than a month. Data was collected surrounding movement and habitat use, but there was no data surrounding negative effects. Another set of 2 juveniles were translocated to the Titi Islands. They had the backpack harness, that stayed for around 2 months. There was data collected about their movements and how spread-out they were. But there is good news. No negative effects were observed!

Study results
Three juveniles escaped from their harnesses, but they were found and their harnesses replaced. However, one tagged individual was found dead about 3 months from release, but it was probably due to a human crushing it, either purposefully, or accidentally by not watching where they stepped. But one main thing that is important is that tagged juveniles did fine. There were not negative effects on growth, weight, or how spread out they were. But how spread out they are is essential for re-introducing them to certain areas. The backpack harness did not effect the behavior of the tuatara. Both tagged and untagged animals had the same behavior. Radio transmitters are a good method for research of cryptic species, and they do not effect the behavior of juveniles.

Jarvie, Scott, Ramirez, Edward Dolia, Jignasu, Adolph, Stephen, Seddon, Philip, Cree, Alison. "Attaching Radio Transmitters Does Not Affect Mass, Growth or Dispersal of Translocated Juvenile Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus)" Herpetological Review, 2014, 45(3).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Oracle of Delphi-Python included

This is a school project, may not be directly related to snakes.


What do you first think about when you hear the word "python"? Many think about the ball pythons that are abound at breeders and pet stores, while some might think of the reticulated pythons of Asia. But the original Python was a dragon, guarding the Oracle of Delphi. The dragon was killed by Apollo. But wait, how did the snake get there? So Zeus had a child with Leto. Hera was highly jealous at Zeus' interest in other women, so she sent Python to pursue Leto. But then Apollo chased the Python into the Oracle of Gaia (Mother Earth), and killed the snake with some arrows next to where the priestess stood. However, Python was still honored via funeral games.

The Priestess
Prophecies were delivered at the Oracle via a priestess. The priestess was in a trance-like state, possibly brought on by hallucinations from vapors, or potentially snake venom. As far as snake venom, the priestess may have been made immune to snake bites and then bitten by a venomous snake. The venom may have created hallucinations which became prophecy when translated. However, in my opinion, I do not think venom is likely because immunization to snake bites, especially in Ancient Greece, may have been notoriously difficult to do. I would say that hallucinations are more likely, due to vapors.

The word "Python" when referring to constrictors
Now let's talk about the word "python". One question about it is what does an Ancient Greek dragon have to do with a constricting snake? Now, think about what colonies Greece had. But wait a minute! None of the snakes native to the country of Greece are pythons! But think about Alexandria. It was in Egypt. There were pythons in Egypt! But how did we get from a dragon to a constricting snake? Let's look at Reticulated or Burmese Pythons. In ancient times, these very large serpents probably were identified with dragons. Now, Ancient Greek culture had spread across the globe so the existence of Python was probably known. Somebody probably thought about the serpentine dragon, and when trying to colonize Asia, saw a Reticulated Python. They thought it was a dragon and said it was Python. The name stuck to the constricting snakes. Later, herpetologists found that species related to these pythons could also be called "pythons". But because we haven't moved on from Ancient Greece, many people still identify the word "python" with very large constricting snakes. I am not sure about this, but it seems highly likely.

However, pythons can also mean very sweet snakes like Pinkie here, my pet Ball Python.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When copperheads meet invasive plants

In an Indiana park, there are copperhead populations. But there are also invasive plants. The invasive plants in the wild areas block the copperheads' sun absorption and therefore keep them from getting enough heat, meaning that in areas where people are and the invasive plants are controlled, such as the campgrounds, visitor's center, cabins, and picnic tables are where the copperheads are found. Now, it is bad for the people if they get bitten by copperheads because copperheads are venomous. And it's bad for the copperheads if they get killed by people! Therefore, in this park, there should be wild areas with no invasive plants that don't have people intruding so the copperheads can live in peace without humans posing danger to them and without copperheads posing danger to park visitors. But in the areas where there are no invasive plants, lawnmowers and herbicide are also present, causing an ecological trap. The copperheads need areas with no invasive plants, but they also need to not be disturbed by people, lawnmowers and herbicide! Having wild areas without exotic plants is essential to continue these copperheads' survival without ecological traps involved.

Kingsbury, Bruce, Carter, Evan. "Copperheads, Invasive Plants, and Ecological Traps" Presentation at Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists 2014, August 2, 2014. Live presentation. August 2, 2014.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The snake in the zodiac

Snakes have many forms. Real animals, mythical gods, Neopets when winged, and pop culture when often in gigantic, man-eating forms. But snakes are also connected with the Chinese zodiac. I don't really do astrology, but I decided that today there would be information about a different kind of snake.

Symbol of zodiac snake, image from Wikipedia

The story of the Chinese zodiac goes like this:12 animals had to cross a river. The snake wasn't a very good swimmer (it wasn't a sea or water snake), so it hitched a ride on the Horse's hoof. (It might have also eaten the Rat and gone to sleep considering its position), but when the horse was about to cross the finish line, it saw a tasty mouse nearby and slithered out, scaring the horse, having the snake end up in sixth place. The snake also has hours from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, which means because it's about 10:00 AM, I am writing this post in the Hour of the snake, when the sun warms up the earth and snakes slither out of their holes. Unless you count the fact that this is being written in Memphis in August when snakes would much rather stay in their holes than come out in 100-degree heat. Snakes are supposedly intelligent, but somewhat unscruplous. And 2013, which was last year, was a Snake year, and 2025 and 2037 will also be Snake years.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Snakes in history and culture

Think about most people's reactions to snakes today...fearful. Filled with hatred, even malice. You might never have thought humankind could like snakes. You may have believed that snakes were always identified with evil. You might have given up your dreams because you thought nobody would appreciate them. But then peek back many years and uncloak mankind's reactions to snakes, to find the diamonds in the rough. But if you turn back the clock, you find wonderful things...snakes as gods, such as the Egyptian Wadjet and Renenutet. They were protectors of the pharaoh, his children, and the harvest. There are many temples in India dedicated to the worship of cobras, even today. While the Ouroboris, a snake with its tail in its mouth, represents life, death, and rebirth, causing a connection between snakes and immortality. In modern times, the festival Nag Panchami every year worships cobras in India. The symbol of the healer is a snake coiled around a pole to this day...snakes have been demonized by Christianity, which made them symbolic of evil. But think about those years, those years where serpentine gods were common, and when mankind did not have the hatred he has today...just think about those years.

Uraeus cobras from Ancient Egypt, image from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Save the its

Okay, I just finished an etymology webinar, and I am panic-stricken. The English word "its", like in Every dog has its day is slowly turning into the possessive "it's" like in It's a very nice day today. SAVE THE ITS! Comment on this post if you agree about it!

Big news!

Big news coming from Alli's Snakes! A new species of nonvenomous snake has been discovered in Brazil. According to a Brazilian journal which wrote about its discovery, it has fifteen dorsal scale rows, and is reddish pink to red with black spots. It is approximately a foot long and was previously a cryptozoological creature. It sounds like a cute little snake! :D
                                          Image from http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/08/19/new-foot-long-species-of-snake-discovered-in-brazil/

Passos, Paulo et al. . "A new species of Atractus (Serpentes:Dipsadidae) from Serra do Cipo, Espinhaco Range, Southeastern Brazil, with proposition of a new species group to the genus" Papeis Avulsos de Zoologica (Sao Paulo), March 31, 2013. Web. August 20, 2014.  

Eavesdropping lizards

Originally by Ryo Ito and Akira Mori, modified by Alli of Alli's Snakes for a change in audience. Most lizards, as you might know, are more the silent type. But at the same time, those little guys have good hearing. But not many people study lizards' hearing use in their habitat. But there is a hypothesis that lizards can eavesdrop. They're not trying to learn secrets or anything, but they might listen in to birds' alarm calls so they know to activate the anti-predator response. Now, three lizards were tested, the Madagascan giant day gecko, the Madagascan spiny-tailed iguana, and the wide-tailed zonosaur. Day gecko, iguana, and zonosaur images from Wikipedia To test this hypothesis, alarm calls and songs were played back to the lizards and videos were taken of the lizards' reactions to the alarm calls. The day geckos changed their color so they got darker and blended in. The iguanas kept watch for danger more often, and the zonosaurs stopped looking for food longer. This therefore shows that lizards can eavesdrop on bird calls! Ito, Ryo, Mori, Akira. "Non-vocal Lizards in Madagascar Eavesdrop on Avian Alarm Calls" Presentation at Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists 2014, August 3, 2014. Live presentation. August 3, 2014.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Snakes are long and Matrix references

Hi, it is Alli here and I am recommending another blog known as Life Is Short, but Snakes are Long. But I will give you a warning that this contains science content. If you like this half snakes, half Neopets fan ramblings blog, you can stay here. Take the blue pill if you want to stay here and know whatever it is you know about snakes now. Or you can take the red pill and you will find the truth about snakes with no Neopets ramblings. I would like to give a shout-out to Andrew, the person who runs Snakes Are Long. It was great to meet you at JMIH, and I'll tell people about your blog.

JMIH 2014

What I did at the Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists Day 1:Adventures in African Amphibian Biology Many pictures of frogs went across the slides. Taking notes was not a skill I had fully mastered, so I doodled to take notes. What I mostly remember is a slide of a frog being X-rayed and seeing that it ate an entire snail, shell and all. And what did I draw? A frog with a snail inside it! They showed a hairy frog that had claws. What did I draw? A hairy frog with claws. (that doodle sort of resembles a kiwi fruit with legs) They showed a picture of a frog with long fingers. What did I draw? A frog with long fingers. This was a way to take notes and understand the session that was nothing more than related doodling. Doodle notes. What I also did that night was meet the various mentors. I discovered that I had a lot in common with them in that there were common interests, blog services, and various other things.
What we didn't know in 1964:50 years of herpetology I do not remember much from this session, but what I do remember is that herpetology did not know in 1964 that you did not have to cut the turtle open to see if she had eggs. X-rays are much better. Very much better.
Day 2 One of the sessions I found particularly interesting was "Thanks Mom! Maternal Body Condition Influences Magnitude of Anti-predator Response in Tadpoles" and that tadpoles coming from healthier parents had more anti-predator responses such as larger tails and the idea that tadpoles via chemical signals when another gets eaten basically can say, "Woah, he's getting eaten so I should watch out." was interesting because previously I did not think that a tadpole or other baby animal would get the idea from their sibling getting eaten by a predator that the creature in question is something they should respond to. Another session I found interesting was Effects of Agriculture on Snake Diversity and Abundance in Northeastern Swaziland. The idea that in protected areas, you find the rock pythons and snakes that will do you no harm, but in the sugarcane fields you get the cobras and mambas and venomous species. My idea on that is that it would not be a good idea to get rid of protected areas and replace them with sugarcane fields unless you want the cobras and mambas rather than the largely harmless pythons. Another thing I did on that day was the student social, where I got signatures from some of the larger names in herpetology when it was less crowded, but I found it a bit overwhelming when it started having larger crowds. The reception at the Tennessee Aquarium was nice because the aquarium has the various exhibits you go down or up stairs to see all of, and when it was just a knowledgeable group of people, I had a lot more fun with it than I would if it was just a tourist destination for me.
Day 3 There were many sessions on this day, but one of my favorites was When A Mysterious Natricine Snake Met An American Natricine Expert. The idea of poisonous snakes and no, I'm not saying venomous with the wrong term, and the idea that if this snake eats fish, it won't be toxic, but if it eats toads, then it will be. And the fact that its babies know that toads are poisonous and will eat them is just cool and really hints at their intelligence. Another interesting session was Are Eastern Gartersnakes attracted to alarm substances in fathead minnows?. The idea that a snake, a predator, can via alarm signals, sort of sense its prey's fear is cool because there are many people who think snakes can sense human fear, and they can sense fear, but in minnows. This implies that the people who think that are right, if they were minnows. The latest thing on that day I was particularly interested in was Snakes And Primates, an 80 million year dialog? Primates influenced snake evolution, and snakes influenced primate evolution. Primates evolved tool use, and snakes evolved long distance weaponry. So you can blame our ancestors for spitting cobras.
Day 4 The main session I enjoyed on this day was Copperheads, Invasive Plants, and Ecological Traps. A park, by controlling invasive plants, is attracting copperheads to the campgrounds and the picnic area and the cabins, and everywhere else where people are, because the invasive plants are keeping the copperheads from getting enough heat by blocking it. My conclusion is that they might want to create reserved, exotic-plant-free areas for the copperheads as having them in the human areas is not good for people or snakes. I also particularly enjoyed the fact that translocation is NOT a good tule for Bamboo Pit Vipers. None of the translocated snakes would get gravid and therefore would die without creating new baby pit vipers.
Day 5 I particularly enjoyed Sand Boa Jaws are Specialized for Snagging Prey on this final day of the sessions. The idea that these cute, harmless snakes who make great pets explode out of the ground using part of their jaws as a fang to hold prey is just cool because you would never expect cute little sand boas to do that but they do. I also enjoyed Non-vocal lizards in Madagascar eavesdrop on avian alarm calls. Lizards will listen in on birds' alarms because they have the same predators. By eavesdropping on birds, the lizards will do an anti-predator response like darken in color, show a dewlap, or run. This was interesting because I never thought that an animal would eavesdrop, let alone for the purpose of survival!
Conclusion JMIH was very interesting and I learned skills like how to break the ice in a social situation, that lizards eavesdrop, that you can take notes by doodling, and how to be more professional. As well as everything else in sessions and that snails are easy to draw.
I would like to thank SSAR for inviting me and paying my entry fee, as this was a great experience I hope I can visit in following years.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Multi-headed serpents

Have you ever heard of the Hydra from Greek mythology? That nine-headed snake that would sprout another head unless you burned its head stub? Well, there actually are real many-headed snakes in this world. But a public service announcement:

This is NOT A REAL IMAGE! This is an Internet hoax! The only multi-headed snakes that we can be sure aren't hoaxes are two-headed snakes.

Watch this video. Notice that the heads are separated. But don't get your hopes up about keeping a hydra. Most of them don't survive in captivity and wouldn't survive in the wild either. No, not even in Greece. Even professional breeders and herpetologists usually struggle with keeping snakes with multiple heads. Video of two-headed Honduran Milk Snake eating

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A note from Alli and sea snakes

Dear readers of Alli's Snakes,
Please note that I am a young lady who is interested in reptiles and amphibians, and you are reading my humble blog. I would like to say that I thank you for your support and continued viewing of this blog. Anyway, let's get to the real post. Today we'll be looking at sea snakes.

Head of Beaked Sea Snake, from arkive.org

Sea snakes are found mainly in the Pacific and Indian oceans, most species found in Australia. They are in the family known as Hydrophiinae, meaning "water lovers" which is a subset of Elaphidae which is the same family as the cobras. They are curious about divers, and unless grabbed or stepped on, will not bite. However, I can see the threat in having a snake that is far more venomous than a cobra swim toward you while you're diving. But sea snakes are not to be confused with the mythical sea serpents!

Images from Wikipedia, first image real sea snake, next image mythical sea serpent.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Okay, it's been so long since I've done one of these style posts, you might think I'm now living on Neopia and reading webcomics, and customizing Neopets, and pondering phobias, and whatnot, but I'm actually still here! Anywho, this is a Keelback Snake. Tired of people talking about poisonous snakes? Well, the Keelback is actually poisonous! It is a non-venomous, Australian species of colubrid snake.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Okay, now I have a favorite webcomic.

from birdandmoon.com

Friday, July 4, 2014

I have found out why exactly us humans hate snakes. Even though there are exceptions, there is a reason. To our primate ancestors, snakes were a known and hard-to-detect predator which could threaten our survival. For this reason, we evolved good vision and a pre-wired response in our brain to snakes. However, now, a fear of snakes seems to be less nature and more nurture. Nowadays, we seem to be more influenced by our friends, enemies, parents and playmates, in short:people we interact with, than our natural responses. So, a child with nature-loving parents probably will love nature, however, a child with not as knowledgeable parents who hate snakes who also has friends who hate snakes will probably end up hating snakes. Another reason for an opinion of snakes is where you come from. If there are more snakes in the area you come from, you are a lot more likely to be knowledgeable about snakes and not fear them than somebody in a less-diverse area. So, if you come from New Zealand, you're less likely to be scared of snakes than somebody from New York City. However, if you are scared of snakes, I would suggest gradual exposure and education to show you that you can respect snakes and back away slowly without fearing them. Most deaths from snakebite happen when somebody is trying to kill the snake. They do not happen because the snake ate them, or purposely bit them, following them everywhere. Look at this image.

This is a piece of cartoon snake clip art. Look at it. It is not scary. It does not have huge fangs or anything like that. It is a cute snake. These are the kind of images for gradual exposure! Then, after this little bit of exposure to cartoon snakes and having the person get comfortable with cartoon snake images, introduce them to images of real snakes in cute poses, like baby snakes or snakes in hats.

After they get comfortable with the cute snake photos, start using images of people holding snakes, ideally nonvenomous species.

Then once they get comfortable with the photos of people holding snakes, show them some photos of snakes, ideally nonvenomous.

You may then introduce them to somebody who has a pet snake. Tell them that it is not sizing them up to eat them, nor is it right in front of them. It is a snake in a box. If somebody is keeping it as a pet, it is not dangerous. 

There are things you should not do, however.
Do not force the person to hold, pet, or come into contact with a live snake.
Do not go to zoos, as this puts snakes with animals that regularly kill.
Do not force the person to find a snake in the wild.
Do not tell the person to get a snake.
Do not make fun of the person's fear of snakes.
Do not prank the person with snakes, fake snakes, or images of snakes.

This is Alli of Alli's Snakes, signing off, and certainly not afraid of snakes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Yes, parental consent! Recently, (a day ago) my parental consent form for Neopets was accepted. So now, despite being under 13, I have 13-year-old perks such as being able to edit my lookup and petpages.

click here
This is my edited petpage for screenies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Could it be possible to genetically engineer a Hissi? I know you would expect something pure science or pure Neopets, but this is a bit different. So, a Hissi is a snake with wings.  
Hissi copyright Neopets 1999-2014

So, everybody knows that dinosaurs were reptiles. They evolved into creatures such as snakes. However, birds also evolved from dinosaurs. So, reptiles and birds are related. First, one could try creating a dragon from, say, an alligator being genetically engineered with a hawk to give it wings. Then, as we advance, we could add the appendages that are wings to a limbless snake. However, for it to be a true Hissi, we would need to add the wings to be used as hands. So, our options are a cobra hawk-type creature, which is just a snake with wings, or a strange, kind of reptilian humanoid-ish thing with scaly hands, a serpent-like body, and wings. So, it would be impossible to make a converted Hissi, but however, the unconverted Hissi Neopets had wings that were actually wings. So, with genetic engineering, it could be possible to make a UC Hissi. Now, the Hissi wearing clothes is another story.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

*sigh* Those lazy TNT staffers...they activated one of my side accounts, but all they have for the other one is an automated response! Why, I'm sure they can just push a button and be done with it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The next Snake You Didn't Know Existed is the Eastern Indigo Snake. Image from Wikipedia It is a large, nonvenomous snake native to the eastern United States. It is rare, however, its status is being of least concern.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thinking far too deeply into customization

Lately, I have noticed that I form a whole strange, Neopian mythology through just Jellyneo wardrobe customizations. If you don't believe me, click on these links to customizations that have roles in this strange, Neopian, insane, beautiful mythology I formed.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why do we hate snakes?

Why do we hate snakes? Sure, they have a strange way of life that seems alien to humans, but why do we feel so satisfied to kill them? If we knew enough, then it would be easy to simply just understand them. Like if we went here. It would be obvious what we could know if we just tried to understand snakes. But why don't we?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The first Snake You Didn't Know Existed is the Jungle Carpet Python.
Image from Wikipedia

It is native to jungles of Australia and New South Wales, a medium-sized python. They are popular as pets in Australia and other areas of the world because of their mild disposition.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Go to this URL to vote for Kasandaria. DO NOT STEAL. Theft will be reported.

Welcome to Alli's Snakes! This is a random blog about various cool snakes you didn't know existed from the Hissies of Neopets to the real snakes that are living in your backyard. So come with me to explore Alli's Snakes.