February 22, 2005 |
[ SCELOPORUS OCCIDENTALIS ] As the spring sun begins to warm the winter earth, expect to hear occasional rustles of awakening fence lizards among the dry, crinkled leaves and grasses. Sluggish at first, but soon heated on sun-drenched rocks, these handsome "blue bellies" have a knack for skittering away and startling passing hikers.
January 30, 2005 |
"That strange Marylander" is what Henry Louis Mencken ("the sage of Baltimore") called Samuel Dashiell Hammett, who was born in the Old Line State in 1894, 45 years after Edgar Allan Poe died there. Like Poe, Hammett grew up in an America still fashioning its social and cultural identity from raw materials. And like Poe, inventor of the detective story, Hammett would write tales that held not only the shocks and thrills of entertainment but also the lights and shadows of art.
September 25, 2004 |
A newly discovered fossil may be the remains of one of the first stealth hunters, a swimming reptile that could use its long neck to sneak up on prey and strike without warning. A resident of a shallow sea about 230 million years ago in what is now southeast China, the reptile hunted in murky waters. Its neck extended 5 1/2 feet, allowing its small head to sneak up on prey before its bulky body came into view.
July 4, 2004 |
Is the Cleveland Museum of Art's new acquisition, "Apollo the Lizard Slayer," an exceedingly rare and valuable work by the classical Greek sculptor Praxiteles? Or is the 5-foot-tall bronze a Roman copy of the great Greek's artistry? A year of study persuaded museum Director Katharine Lee Reid and curator Michael Bennett that the sculptural depiction of a young man preparing to kill a lizard matches a Praxiteles work described by Roman historian Pliny the Elder, but the truth may never be known.
July 1, 2004 |
A lizard has certainly become a pet project for a tiny San Diego biotech company. Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Indianapolis-based drug giant Eli Lilly & Co. said Wednesday that they had asked the Food and Drug Administration for permission to market a new treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The drug is derived from the saliva of a lizard known as the Gila monster that lives in the Arizona desert and eats just four times a year, according to Amylin officials.
June 13, 2004 |
IN the Western world B.D. (Before Darwin), few questioned the Book of Genesis description of how God made every living thing. But it was more than a little difficult to understand (or explain) the fossil remains of all those animals no longer visible in Europe, North America, South America or Africa. There was evidence of gigantic swimming lizards, reptiles with wings, huge hairy elephants, sharks with teeth the size of your hand.
June 12, 2004 |
Scientists in China have discovered a 121-million-year-old fossil containing an embryo of a flying reptile that lived alongside the dinosaurs. It is the only known fossil of an embryo of a pterosaur, a winged lizard that evolved powered flight, the team reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature. "Dinosaur embryos have been discovered all over the world, but so far no pterosaur embryos have been reported," the scientists said.
May 27, 2004 |
An effort to block U.S. distribution of an Iranian film that mocks that country's ruling clerics has been turned aside. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Jamavs on Tuesday declined to issue a temporary restraining order against "The Lizard," whose director, Manuchehr Mohammadi, has made a deal to release the film through Atlantis Enterprises.
HOME & GARDEN
May 20, 2004
The Los Angeles Basin is home to three types of lizards, according to reptile curator Russ Smith of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Below are Smith's notes on each, along with insights from Chicago-based Earth scientist Ellin Beltz's well-regarded work "Translations of the Scientific Names of the Reptiles and Amphibians of North America." WESTERN FENCE LIZARD According to Beltz, the scientific name of this lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, actually has science behind it.