Sunday, February 22, 2015

So true...XD

A satire I drew of myself...please don't ask. The characters are me and my Neopets (copyright Neopets 1999-2015), Kasandaria and kiss_angel_girl. Kiss_angel_girl is the dinosaur, and Kasandaria's the snake in black. The text goes as follows...and yes, I am still running Windows XP and scared of the Windows 8 start screen. XD

The Windows XP-rience
"Starting the terror"

Kasandaria:Would it be mean if I scared our owner?
Kiss_angel_girl:How much fear are we talking?
(Neopets end up looking like the evil maniacs they are.)
Kasandaria:Utter terror.
Kiss_angel_girl:What's the plan?
Kasandaria:Windows 8 start screen.
Kiss_angel_girl:Ooh.
Kasandaria: (dressed as Windows 8 start screen) This is your new start screen.
Me (human):AAAA!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snappy answers to snaky questions

Hey there! With Repticon in Memphis coming up, those of you who are coming are probably going to get a lot of snaky questions, some of which are downright stupid! So without further ado, I present snappy answers to snaky questions.

Snappy answers to snaky questions

Q:"Is this snake poisonous?"
A:"Why do you need to know, are you going to eat it?"

Q:"Can this snake bite?"
A:"Does this snake have a mouth?"

Q:"Is this snake venomous?"
A:"You'll find out if it bites you."

Q:"Could this snake constrict my *family member here*?"
A:"Depends. How big is your *family member here*?"

Q:"Will this snake bite?"
A:"If you try to hurt it, then maybe."

Q:"What kind of snake is this?"
A:"(Calmly say species' common name.)"

Q:"How big does this snake get?"
A:"Why don't you find out? Keep it for a couple of years."

Q:"What does this snake eat?"
A:"Almost any small animal that can fit in its mouth."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Graphing a heart...

from wolframalpha.com

There were other options, but they all used trigonometric functions...

(x^2+y^2-1)^3 = x^2 y^3

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Alli's Pick:Frank and Ernest

Where I found this comic


 If you don't get the joke, this involves a play on words of "lactose intolerant" which is when a human or animal cannot digest lactose, the sugar in milk properly. Because lactose sounds like lack-toes and snakes lack toes and many people don't tolerate them, we end up with the lack-toes intolerant, or, in scientist's terms, ophidiophobiacs. Either way, do what it says. Don't pay any attention to the lack-toes intolerant unless you're trying to educate them.

This cartoon copyright 2013 Bob Thaves & Tom Thaves

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alli's Pick:FoxTrot

Where I found this comic strip



 Quincy here has been escaping from his tank, terrorizing Paige, and eating things he shouldn't since 1988 in the Foxtrot comic strip by Bill Amend. He's Jason's pet iguana and seems incredibly tolerant. He isn't very realistic in behavior, for one thing, he eats crickets when iguanas are vegetarian, but he gets points for his utter cuteness.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hellbenders and their conservation issues

A hellbender is a large salamander that is endemic to North America and has two distinct subspecies, the eastern hellbender, a salamander found throughout the eastern states, and the Ozark hellbender, which is found only in the Ozarks of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. Hellbenders have existed for more than 65 million years, but sadly, they are now declining due to habitat destruction, poor water quality, predation, and invasive species.

State Wildlife Grants has helped these salamanders via securing hellbenders' futures. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Tennessee Hellbender Recovery Partnership were presented with a State Wildlife Action Plan Partnership Award in March 2013 due to their leadership in conservation of eastern hellbenders, and their many efforts to prevent the subspecies becoming threatened.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, in fall 2010, proposed listing both North American subspecies of hellbenders as federally endangered, due to declines in their populations since the 1990s. These two subspecies are North America's piece of the pie of giant salamanders, with only two other species in existence, the Chinese and Japanese giant salamanders. All giant salamanders are threatened by human activities, however.

While the eastern hellbender's federal status was being reviewed, the TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) looked to see if it was really true that hellbenders were at great risk in Tennessee. At the time this was done, it was believed that the eastern hellbender was just as threatened as its cousin in the Ozark Mountains, but data was not available to support this. Other local hellbender experts were needed to help develop projects to firmly discern whether or not Endangered Species Act protection was needed. The experts used were Dr. Brian Miller, a professor working at Middle Tennessee State University, Dale McGinnity, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at the Nashville Zoo, and Dr. Michael Freake, a professor at Lee University. The copious amounts of knowledge, experience, and passion these experts had for hellbender conservation truly informed a number of TWRA projects that would soon produce the data needed to determine the eastern hellbender's federal status.

Surveying efforts helped show more of the picture of the hellbender's status in Tennessee. The salamander's distribution and abundance within the range it had historically declined severely over the last 20 years. Hellbenders in Middle Tennessee were only present in four Tennessee River tributaries, but they were not present in the Cumberland or Barrens Rivers systems, places where they were once abundant. Hellbenders were also missing in action from other streams that once had grand populations. Many of the populations of older animals had either no reproduction or the recruitment of young hellbenders. Genetic surveying of tissue samples from hellbenders in each river system differentiated two main populations:the Duck river system and Hiwassee river system populations. This knowledge would help guide future efforts to restock systems with hellbenders, to maintain genetic diversity.

In later years, new techniques were developed to restore hellbenders. McGinnity produced the first captive-bred eastern hellbenders, and he and Dr. Debra Miller at University of Tennessee, Knoxville produced sampling protocols for better understanding the impact of chytrid fungus and ranavirus on hellbenders, and both conditions were detected contributing to the eastern hellbender's decline. Furthermore, via conservation, improved techniques, and captive breeding, this ancient, beautiful salamander's life can be secured hopefully for years to come.

Reeves, Bill, Pfaffko, Mary. "Conserving the Eastern Hellbender in Tennessee" Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. 2014. (?) http://teaming.com/sites/default/files/Conserving%20the%20Eastern%20Hellbender%20in%20Tennessee_0.pdf

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Alli's Pick:Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin loves snakes! <3 Of course, he kind of mixed up poisonous and venomous, but hey, he's Calvin. He can kind of get away with it.







Calvin and Hobbes copyright Bill Watterson 1985-1995.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Body Size and Growth of the Eastern Collared Lizard in Central Arkansas

Because of habitat fragmentation and population declines, the Eastern Collared Lizard is designated as a vulnerable species in Arkansas. Fertility is a major component of population dynamics, and size is related to fertility, it makes sense that age-specific size and growth can indicate the health of Eastern Collared Lizard populations.

Methods and Materials

Studies were done on a privately owned rock quarry near the Arkansas River Valley region in Central Arkansas that contained 4-5 colonies of Eastern Collared Lizards. No evidence of migration was found between adjacent colonies, even though it wouldn't be that hard for the lizards to migrate, as colonies were separated by grass and dirt roads. All colonies were treated as a population. Most of the site had large areas of rocks and boulders, with some vegetation and hardwood forest. Between May and October 2011, data on body size and growth was recorded to the nearest millimeter, gender of lizard, and age class. Bodies of female lizards were examined to see how well they were doing reproduction-wise. It was not attempted to distinguish the gender of hatchling lizards. After the lizards were captured, they were given a toe clip and mark with a paint pen. Growth rates of this Central Arkansas population were compared to the Sandy Ridge population's growth rates. Raw data and comparisons of individual growth rates weren't available for Sandy Ridge pre-suppression due to sample size. Sandy Ridge raw data was not available for post-suppression either, so comparisons were used via the mean, standard deviation, and sample size for each size/age class.

Results

Over the course of the study, 141 yearling and adult lizards were captured and there were 77 recaptures of 37 hatchlings. Body size was similar for all age/size classes between the central Arkansas and pre-suppression Sandy Ridge populations. Except for adult females, the lizards were larger in central Arkansas than in Sandy Ridge post-suppression populations. It was concluded that in their first full activity season, yearling females must reach a minimum body size of 77 mm to lay eggs. Egg sacs were detected in all but the two smallest yearling females. Growth rates did not differ significantly between the central Arkansas and Sandy Ridge post suppression populations. The mean size of lizards from central Arkansas and pre-suppression Sandy Ridge compared favorably with each other. However, most lizards from the central Arkansas population were much larger than Sandy Ridge post-suppression and do not differ from pre-suppression Sandy Ridge lizards in size. Data on the yearling females' body size and growth suggested that the annual fertility of the central Arkansas lizards should be fairly high. Six of eight yearling females in the Central Arkansas population reached the predicted minimum body size of 77 mm necessary for reproduction. Furthermore, the mean size of adult females in Central Arkansas was similar to that of Sandy Ridge pre-suppression. Thus, it was shown that this Central Arkansas population was fairly healthy.


Brewster, Casey, Sikes, Robert, Gifford, Matthew. "Body Size and Growth of the Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) in Central Arkansas" Herpetological Review, 45(4), 580-583. 2014.