Tuesday, July 12, 2016

JMIH 2016:Plenary #1

This year at JMIH, there were a ton of plenaries. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but there still were 4 of them. The first plenary was the SSAR President's Travellogue on reptiles and amphibians in the Amazon and Sahara Desert. The speaker and his team of fellow herpetologists had huge amounts of progress in herping the Amazon and Sahara. They were the first herpetologists to sample personal mines. At one point, they were in Africa and heard rumors about big snakes from the locals. This interested them, so they herped it and found pythons in that area for the first time. Then they were reading about biography in National Geographic and biology journals. They were interested in biography, so they did it in the Amazon and managed to find 14 new species in 3 weeks including frogs, lizards, and snakes. After this, they spent 6 more months in the Sahara and found lizards that swim through sand, lizards similar to North American fence lizards, and many species that specifically made their homes in sand dunes. Also, they found sand vipers, rock pools in the desert which contained fish, caecilians, frogs, and monitor lizards. Then they returned to the Amazon again, finding beautiful agamas and geckos in the mountains, and huge numbers of tiny frogs, all coming from different lineages, as well as new lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, and species that only existed in certain microhabitats. This totaled 187 new species from their expeditions.

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