Friday, January 30, 2015

Shake my Tail-Parody of "Shake it Off"

If rattlesnakes could do songs of protest...

I'm just a little snake
There's no reason to hate
That's what I will say, mm-mm.
That's what I will say, mm-mm.

Some lives I might just take
but before that, I shake.
That's what I will say, mm-mm.
That's what I will say, mm-mm.

But I keep slitherin'
Can't stop, won't stop givin'
'Cause I eat the rodents
In the towns,
'Cause I gotta keep the pests out.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail
The chasers gonna chase, chase, chase, chase, chase
And the snakers gonna snake, snake, snake, snake, snake
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake shake shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail

I eat up all your pests
Your crops can do the rest
And you don't think I'm the best, mm-mm.
You don't think I'm the best, mm-mm.

My venom's not for you
Humans don't make good food
I don't want to bite you, mm-mm.
Don't want to bite you, mm-mm.

But I keep slitherin'
Can't stop, won't stop givin'
'Cause I eat the rodents
In the towns,
'Cause I gotta keep the pests out.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail
The chasers gonna chase, chase, chase, chase, chase
And the snakers gonna snake, snake, snake, snake, snake
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake shake shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Hey, hey, hey
Just think while you've been getting scared and panicking about the

rattlesnakes and the little tiny rat snakes of the world,
You could've been getting educated by this rattlesnake.

Someone's man brought their new girlfriend
She's like "Aah, a snake!" but I'm just gonna shake it.
And to the fella over there who's about to chop my head
Put that machete down! I'll just shake, shake shake

Yeah ohhh

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail
The chasers gonna chase, chase, chase, chase, chase
And the snakers gonna snake, snake, snake, snake, snake
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake shake shake
I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail
I, I, I shake my tail, I shake my tail

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pattern-recognition software usage in identifying individual Eastern Box Turtles

 Introduction

     In studies of the behavior and ecology of wild animals, being able to identify and monitor individuals is essential. After all, without marking, how do you know that the turtle you just picked up is the one you're studying or not? Traditional methods of tagging, like bands and transponder tags are all good and well, but they might cause altered behavior, stress, or opportunities for infection, and usually, when studying behavior and ecology, you want fairly healthy, happy animals whose behavior is the way it normally would be. Now, with modern technology, pattern recognition via photographs is possible, but with a large number of images, that's time-consuming and frankly, quite boring. But, what if you could use pattern recognition software to identify turtles? It's cost-effective, doesn't affect the behavior of the animals, and could be much better.

Goals
     The goals of the project were to see if pattern recognition was a decent method of identifying box turtles, to determine which parts of the turtles it's best to take photos of for pattern recognition, and to see if the pattern recognition program could identify individuals from different populations.


Methods
     Photographs of turtles were collected from the Oak Openings region of northwest Ohio, the Ft. Custer Recreation Area in Michigan's southwestern area, and the Manistee National Forest from 2009 to 2013. The reason images from different states were collected was to see if images from different places would end up with false matches. Upon capture, pictures were taken of the carapace and plastron of the turtles, and there were also images taken from any angle. The pictures were cropped to contain the least possible background.Very young turtles with a plastron length of less than 7 centimeters weren't used because their shell patterns weren't fully developed. The program used was Wild-ID, which in its user interface, compared each focal image with the top 20 images and lets the user discern visually which is a match. If it was a recapture, in no case was the top-ranked image a different turtle. Wild-ID didn't erroneously match images between sampling locations or states, as confirmed by notches on shells and PIT tags.

Results
     Wild-ID worked fairly well for identifying Eastern Box Turtle recaptures, but didn't work quite as well with off-center images. There was no real statistical difference between carapace and plastral images, even though it was expected that plastron images wouldn't have quite as much in the way of identifying patterns. There were no mismatches between states, so therefore Wild-ID is in fact suitable for identifying individual Eastern Box Turtles!

Wild-ID's user interface, image from original work.


Cross, Matthew, Lipps, Gregory, Sapak, Janice, Tobin, Eric, Root, Karen. "Pattern-Recognition Software as a Supplemental Method of Identifying Individual Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene c. carolina)" Herpetological Review, 45(4), 584-586. 2014.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Math with the Little Pythons

Stripie climbed up a 40-foot flagpole at 1 PM. At the same time, the 4-foot Caramel Apple is yelling at him telling him to get down with a shadow length of 0.8 feet. If Stripie is 6 feet long, how much longer is the shadow of the flagpole with Stripie on it then the shadow of the flagpole alone?

Step by step
1.We know that the length of Stripie and the flagpole together is 46 feet.
2.We know that the length of Caramel Apple is 4 feet...
3....and that her shadow length is 0.8 feet.
4.Because the flagpole is 10 times the length of Caramel Apple...
5....it would have 10 times the shadow length, so therefore its length would be 8 feet.
6....If a 4-foot snake has a shadow length of 0.8, then something that's 2 feet long would have a shadow length of 0.4...
7....and using this knowledge, we just add to get Stripie's shadow length of 1.2 feet...
8....and because we know how long the flagpole's shadow is, we know that the shadow length of the flagpole and Stripie together is 9.2...
9....and therefore the difference between the shadow length of Stripie and the flagpole and just the flagpole is 1.2 feet!

This problem originally from Art of Problem Solving Introduction to Algebra

For more fun with the Little Pythons, check out mylittlepython.blogspot.com!

Friday, January 23, 2015

*sigh* The media...

"Snake Attack"? Yeah, right!


Recently, in a Lowe's store in Mississippi, a nonvenomous colubrine snake fell from a cabinet and latched onto a man using its teeth because it was falling and needed something to hold on to. And this was documented in the news as a "snake jumping out of a cabinet and latching its fangs onto a victim's head" when it really should have been "snake falling out of a cabinet and grabbing onto a man for its own survival". Plus, there's several flaws with the article. The snake was identified as a black rat snake, and black rat snakes aren't even native to Mississippi. And the victim was taken to the hospital, even! Anything falling onto your head can be dangerous, but rat snake bites are called "angry Velcro" for a reason. And, not to mention, the snake didn't have fangs. It had tiny, triangular teeth which probably didn't even hurt the man. And it's not the snake's fault that the people at Lowe's didn't realize there was a snake in the store. And they called the police chief about a nonvenomous snake biting somebody's head, when really, there wasn't really that much threat to the man. We're talking a thin, fairly small animal with teeth like Velcro that only bit the man so that it wouldn't die when falling onto the ground! The point is, this is better than some (at least they mentioned that it was nonvenomous), but all it is is just a dramatization intended to shock of something that really wasn't that bad.


Moran, Lee. "Snake bites customer's head in Mississippi Lowe's store" New York Daily News. January 21, 2015.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What the Hydra got (and gave) for Christmas


This is a school project, may not have anything to directly do with snakes!

What I ended up getting for Christmas
the Hydra

Flameproofer for my heads. That way nobody will be able to try that idea again.

Container of breath mints. Sure, my breath is poisonous, but at least it won't smell poisonous anymore.

Ugly Christmas sweater with nine head holes. Mom, I love you, but did you really have to knit me this?



New pet crab. It was nice of Hera to send that, can you believe that Hercules killed the first one?

"How to Keep From Eating Your Pet for Dummies" book. Very important considering I'm a giant water serpent with a pet crab.

More multiplayer video games. It's a fun way to spend time, but the head on the far left always cheats.

A baby brother? I don't care what you say, that little two-headed viper you sent me is NOT my brother.

Nine hand-knitted hats. Mom, why can't you find some other hobby?

What I gave to people for Christmas

To heroes:Slow and painful death. I put their things in my treasure cave.

To the community:Got banned from the blood drive. How was I supposed to know that they didn't want poisonous blood?

To farmers:Got rid of the burden of taking care of all those livestock. Got chased out of yet another village by guys with spears just because I had a little midnight snack!

To the river:Killed all that life that was going around in the river. Ate the fish, had poisonous breath make all the scum and algae die.

To the baby snakes in my swamp:Gave education on how to be a big, strong monster and not get killed.

To frogs:Quick and painless death. They're just so chewy, like gummy bears!

To the city:Nothing brightens up a fountain like a giant nine-headed water serpent.

To children:Sent another group of children (I think it's called a school) into ophidiophobia.

To anybody who passed by:Slow and painful death. Lightened their load of all their stuff.

To fish:An amazing tour of my digestive system.

To algae:Quick and painful death.

To scum:Quick and painful death.

To the local pet store:Got rid of the expense of buying so many fish and frozen rodents.

To the local zoo:Was the best exhibit at both the Aquarium and Herpetarium sections. Ate all the former residents.

To Mom:My undying affection.

To Dad:I can't really give him anything because he's trapped under a mountain.

To myself:Anything I wanted to claim and a good Christmas dinner.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stable atoms comic

Okay, so it's not snake-related, but it's cute and related to science! And it comes with this lovely guide on how to draw your own atoms!

Pretty easy, isn't it! Your circles don't have to be blue or black, but those colors are what I prefer for my atoms. This can be done in almost any paint program, as long as it has a selection of colors, an Ellipse tool, and a Text tool, which are pretty standard.


Monday, January 5, 2015

If You Build it, They Will Come:First year work

We set up our temporary frog pond in July 2014 on our backyard patio, a largely shaded area. In the past, we had observed amphibians on the property and in the area, but not regularly. Within a several block radius, there were no other known stable water sources. Some people in the neighborhood had swimming pools or chlorinated ponds, but these were not animal-friendly sources. We set up the pond using a small children's wading pool, a corrugated ramp to allow animals to enter and exit, rocks at the water end to weigh down the pond, and several floating cover objects, including a turtle dock and imitation lily pad. We treated the pond once every two weeks with mosquito bits made by Summit Chemical, BACCILUS THURINGIENSIS SUBSP. ISRAELENSIS SEROTYPE H-14, to stay within the limits of local codes. Non-amphibian animals were observed in the pond, such as mayfly larvae, hornets, and slugs; there were also larger animals such as doves, squirrels, and cats observed drinking. On 8/21/2014, the first sign of amphibian use, a young Green Frog, Lithobates clamitans, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) was observed resting on the lily pad, resting on ramp, in the water, and utilizing ramp for cover when startled. The frog was observed daily until 9/15/2014, when there was a major rainstorm and sudden drop in temperature. On 8/19/2014, the next sign of amphibian usage, a Southern Leopard Frog, Lithobates sphenocephalus, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) was sighted in pond. On 9/20/2014, an American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.), and Woodbridge's Toad, Anaxyrus woodbridgei, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) were observed in shrubbery near the pond. On 9/28/2014, a Gray Tree Frog, Hyla chrysoscelis/versicolor, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) and Green Tree Frog, Hyla cinerea, (The University of Tennessee Press, et al, 2011.) were observed on the side of the house under the porch light, near the pond. No amphibian sightings were after 9/28/2014 due to drops in temperature.




Niemiller, Matthew, Reynolds, Graham. "The Amphibians Of Tennessee." The University of Tennessee Press. 2011.