3 images with each genus + one invasive species that is not in the museum
The frogs are the most numerous and diverse of the amphibians. Frog and toad are the tail-less amphibians, with a short body (at most 9 vertebrae). Frog have a soft skin and long limb and like living in water. Toad are “ugly”, stout-bodied, with warty-skinned and mainly live in the dark, away from water. Greenhouse frog: Greenhouse frogs deposit their eggs on land, under damp vegetation or debris, where close to 100% humidity is maintained.
They are basically the amphibians with a tail. They typically have an elongated body and two pairs of legs of roughly similar size. They like cool shady places, and are mainly active at night. Unlike frogs and toads, they are quiet, they do not advertise their presence by making loud sounds. Amphiuma (ditch eel) found in canal and mud, with little tiny arms. Salamander: Salamander and newt are active carnivores (the tadpoles are mainly herbivores), they eat insects, slugs, snails, and worms.
None found in Louisiana.
Turtle and tortoise (only one)
- All the Pseudemys, Graptemys, etc. are all aquatic turtle. .
The turtle shell is of course their main characteristic (carapace on top and a plastron on the belly). The highly aquatic forms (softshells and sea turtle) have lighter weight shells. The musk and Mud turtle are also aquatic and are smaller. They mainly live in the mud, or moist environment Turtle— Spends most of its life in the water. Turtles tend to have webbed feet for swimming. Sea turtles (Cheloniidae family) are especially adapted for an aquatic life, with long feet that form flippers and a streamlined body shape. They rarely leave the ocean, except when the females come ashore to lay their eggs. Other turtles live in fresh water, like ponds and lakes. They swim, but they also climb out onto banks, logs, or rocks to bask in the sun. Tortoise— A land-dweller that eats low-growing shrubs, grasses, and even cactus. Tortoises do not have webbed feet. Their feet are round and stumpy for walking on land. Tortoises that live in hot, dry habitats use their strong legs to dig burrows. Then, when it’s too hot in the sun, they slip underground.
Slider is the common Louisiana pound turtle - what you see in the LSU lake, everywhere in Louisiana. Turtle’s diet: juveniles are highly insectivorous, adults are mainly herbivorous, but can exploit other sources such as mollusks. The Alligator snapping turtle eats fish, it has a small worm-like projection in its tongue that it uses to lure fishes. It makes the lure wriggle by moving its muscles.
Skink live on the bottom of the forest. Skinks have thick-bodiies, typically with stripes running from head to tail,some species have amber-colored lower jaws Anole are the green lizards all over the place. Many amphibians can change colors by concentrating or dispersing melanin. They use it to regulate body temperature, to conceal themselves (Rebecca will talk to you about camouflage), or if they are stressed. The anole does it in seconds unlike most lizards. The Texas Horned Lizard spends most of their time heating up their bodies in the sun, and eating ants. They dig burrows or occupy one constructed by another animals, often near the mounds of their favorite food source. They are most active during the warm days of summer.
Geckos are chubby-looking, often flat-bodied lizards, usually with toe pads enabling them to climb walls. Most geckos have thin, soft skin that tears easily, and their tails break of very easily; geckos are the most vocal of lizards.
They have no legs, no eyelids, no external ears. Yet, they are a quite successful group. Most lay eggs, but many bear live young.
Only 6 snakes in Louisiana, out of 40 species are venomous in Louisiana. Note that snake venoms are generally not dangerous when ingested, and are therefore not technically poisons. The venoms are most of the time produced by glands located in the upper jaw. Snake venom is a highly modified saliva. There are three types of venoms: * Cytotoxic venom has a localized action at the site of the bite. * Hemotoxic venoms act on the heart and cardiovascular system: The copperhead and rattlesnake’s venom affects your muscles * Neurotoxic venom acts on the nervous system and brain: The Coral snake and cobra’s venom. They are very dangerous.
Red touches black, he is ok Jack. Red touches yellow, dangerous fellow.
Red touches black, he is ok Jack. Red touches yellow, dangerous fellow. Milk looks like coral but the color rhyme can be applied. The Nerodia looks like cottonmouth (common in the lake)
The alligators have eyes and nostrils set high on the head so that they can see and breathe when lying of floating almost totally submerged. They can close their ear and nostril in the water.
Not found in Louisiana
LSUMNS Life in a Louisiana Bayou
Life in a Louisiana bayou
Sophie Warny, Ph.D.
Museum of Natural Science & BASC
We will talk about…We will talk about…
1. The MNS Collections
2. Field trips to the MNS
- Learn about herpetology: Louisiana species and MNS displays
3. Field trips to the MNS: Practical Details
4. Children’s activity book: For the MNS or schools
- English and French
5. Hands on activities to do in your schools
- Learn about scales
- Learn about camouflage
- Learn about life cycles
7 main fields of RESEARCH7 main fields of RESEARCH
Ornithology (Birds)Ornithology (Birds)
Ichthyology (Fishes)Ichthyology (Fishes)
Herpetology (Reptiles and Amphibians)Herpetology (Reptiles and Amphibians)
Vertebrate PaleontologyVertebrate Paleontology
Anthropology (Archaeology and Ethnography)Anthropology (Archaeology and Ethnography)
1. The MNS collections1. The MNS collections
- More than 270,000 specimens
- Biodiversity, Conservation, and
- Stream restoration
Dr. Mike Fitzimons
- > 81,000 specimens
- 880 species of snakes
- 27 holotypes (new species)
- Snake skeletal collection = one of the
largest and most diverse in the world.
- Genetics, Systematics, Biogeography…
Dr. Chris Austin
Students help build
the collection during
Masters student Jamie Oaks
learn how to collect herpetology
here with a young alligator on a
A make-shift laboratory in Papua New Guinea: PhD student CJ
Hayden preserving reptile and amphibian specimens.
2. FIELD TRIP: CONTENT2. FIELD TRIP: CONTENT
What is herpetology?What is herpetology?
Greek wordGreek word herpetonherpeton means “Crawling things”means “Crawling things”
Carolus Linnaeus (Swedish scientist who establishedCarolus Linnaeus (Swedish scientist who established
the system for naming species) called thesethe system for naming species) called these
herpetology species “these foul and loathsomeherpetology species “these foul and loathsome
animals” … or are they fascinating???animals” … or are they fascinating???
The study of amphibians and reptilesThe study of amphibians and reptiles
The reptiles used to be the dominant forms on EarthThe reptiles used to be the dominant forms on Earth
- Amphibians: ~4,000 species, smallest vertebrate group- Amphibians: ~4,000 species, smallest vertebrate group
- Reptiles: ~7,500 species, second smallest vertebrate group- Reptiles: ~7,500 species, second smallest vertebrate group
What are amphibians?What are amphibians?
They were the first vertebrates to conquer land.They were the first vertebrates to conquer land.
GreekGreek AmphibiosAmphibios: “a being with a double life” -: “a being with a double life” - TypicallyTypically
bi-phasic life cycle with aquatic larval stage (tadpole)bi-phasic life cycle with aquatic larval stage (tadpole)
AllAll = ectothermic: use environmental T to regulate their T.= ectothermic: use environmental T to regulate their T.
Amphibians have moist, scaleless skinsAmphibians have moist, scaleless skins
They have permeable skin: high evaporative water loss.They have permeable skin: high evaporative water loss.
They have ears, skull and teethThey have ears, skull and teeth
Divided in three orders:Divided in three orders:
Frogs and toadsFrogs and toads
Salamanders (including newts and sirens)Salamanders (including newts and sirens)
Legless caeciliansLegless caecilians
What are reptiles?What are reptiles?
They have dry scales (different than fishes)They have dry scales (different than fishes)
They have low evaporative water lossThey have low evaporative water loss
Terrestrial ‘egg’ and no larval stage. They either lay shelledTerrestrial ‘egg’ and no larval stage. They either lay shelled
eggs on land or bear their young aliveeggs on land or bear their young alive
Ectothermic: depend upon external temperatureEctothermic: depend upon external temperature
They can survive on hardly any food (desert)They can survive on hardly any food (desert)
They include:They include: