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NEWS
November 30, 2004
A brilliant piece on Camp Marlboro.... Keep lifting the rocks to expose the wriggling reptiles where they hide. Aaron Robinson Torrance
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
A man who owned an exotic reptile business in Lake Elsinore, where thousands of rats and reptiles were found in appalling conditions, has been ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution, prosecutors said Friday. Mitchell Steven Behm, 55, of Coto de Caza, pleaded guilty this month to a dozen misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty while he owned Global Captive Breeders. There, in December 2012, investigators discovered more than 18,000 rats, bred as food, and several hundred emaciated and decomposing snakes.
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NEWS
March 15, 1985 | From Reuters
Israeli airport customs officers caught an Israeli woman trying to smuggle dozens of snakes and other reptiles to the United States in her hand baggage Thursday, officials said. She was allowed to board her flight after agreeing to leave the snakes, which she had hoped to sell.
SCIENCE
March 21, 2014 | By Amina Khan
When a major extinction takes place, apex predators - those giant beasts sitting at the top of the food web - are often the first to suffer. But it turns out that in the worst extinction event in Earth's history, they might have actually branched out a little, according to a new study in PLoS ONE that looked at ancient armored amphibians and giant swimming reptiles. While the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago was a violent and dramatic end, this end-Cretaceous event wasn't the worst extinction in Earth's history.
NEWS
May 9, 1988 | From Reuters
A large collection of reptiles was destroyed by a fire in the Flemish city of Bruges early Sunday, officials said. The 120 reptiles, considered one of Europe's finest collections, were housed at the Bruges Baudouin Park, a leading tourist attraction in the area. Two dolphins also died and a third suffered burns. The cause of the fire, which the Belgian news agency Belga said caused more than $7 million in damage, was not known.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1992 | MARLA CONE
A Mission Viejo man was ordered to pay more than $2,800 and sentenced to three years' probation for illegally possessing 22 reptiles that he had taken from the California desert. Scott S. Craig, 33, pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of illegal wildlife possession. He was sentenced Monday in Laguna Niguel by Municipal Judge Ronald Kreber. State wildlife wardens believe that Craig collected the creatures to sell them, based on advertisements they saw in local papers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1996 | ED BOND
They were shut out almost a year ago when a tent didn't show, but Carl J. Hutter is promising to bring hundreds of captive breed turtles, snakes, lizards and amphibians to Cal State Northridge today and Sunday. "Give it a try, you might like it," Hutter says to people who are squeamish about reptiles. Hutter is the organizer of the Greater Los Angeles County Herpetological Expo Galapagos Island Benefit this weekend at CSUN.
SCIENCE
June 11, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Some of those enormous marine reptiles prowling the Earth's prehistoric seas may have had a surprising edge in their search for prey, researchers say. They may have been warm-blooded. In a study published online Thursday in the journal Science, French scientists explored whether three types of marine predators — ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs — might have been able to maintain their body temperature internally, much the way that mammals and birds do. Two of them appear able to have done so. The findings add to growing evidence that so-called warm-blooded animals and cold-blooded animals coexisted much further back on the evolutionary tree than scientists had believed — breaking some long-held ideas about evolution.
SCIENCE
November 20, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two fossilized, pregnant marine reptiles in a museum in Taiwan have provided the first evidence that the creatures gave birth to live offspring rather than laying eggs, Canadian researchers reported this week in Nature. The fossils of two sauropterygians, a large group of marine reptiles that lived from 250 million to 65 million years ago, each contain several embryos. The fossils show the embryos facing the wrong way, suggesting that the females died in childbirth.
SCIENCE
September 10, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The giant reptiles that flew above the Earth until about 65 million years ago could have grown to twice the size originally thought, with wingspans of at least 59 feet, scientists said. That would be almost the same width as the 64-foot wingspan of an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet. David Martill of the University of Portsmouth in Britain and collaborator Eberhard Frey of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, based their estimate on recent fossil discoveries in Mexico and Israel.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014 | By David Fleshler
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Paddling down the Intracoastal Waterway in southern Florida, Russell Fields noticed what appeared to be a large palm leaf floating near shore. The leaf began moving toward him. A few feet from his paddleboard, a reptilian head filled with teeth emerged from the water. Fields slapped the water with his paddle, and the head stayed there for a moment and then submerged. Fields' encounter with a 10-foot American crocodile in Boca Raton has become a more common experience in Broward and Palm Beach counties, as these light gray cousins of alligators reclaim their historic range.
SCIENCE
February 14, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered the fossil remains of an ancient marine reptile in the act of being born. As you can see in the image above, the little icthyosaur was just starting to swim headfirst out of its mother's body at the time of its death. Two other icthyosaur embryos, whose bones are rendered in orange and yellow in the graphic above, were still awaiting their own birth experience. The rare fossil was discovered in what was once an inland sea that split China in two. Today, the site lies 150 miles east of Shanghai near the city of Chaohu in the Anhui province.
NATIONAL
December 23, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
It was a snake that reportedly led to the ban on humans in the Garden of Eden. Now a reptile trade group wants to overturn a national ban on importing four giant snakes or transporting them across state lines. The United States Assn. of Reptile Keepers has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior seeking to overturn the ban on Burmese pythons, yellow anacondas and northern and southern African pythons. The suit calls the ban “injurious.” “This is a powerful day for the Reptile Nation, as we fight to protect your rights to pursue your passion and defend your businesses against unwarranted and unnecessary government intrusion," the group said in a post on its website.
SCIENCE
December 6, 2013 | By Amina Khan
As if crocodiles and alligators weren't terrifying enough, scientists have discovered that these ancient, sharp-toothed beasts are incredibly cunning. So clever that they use lures to trap and gobble unsuspecting birds. The discovery in two crocodilian species - mugger crocodiles and American alligators - is the first report of tool use in reptiles, according to a study in the journal Ethology Ecology and Evolution. Some birds, like egrets, actually choose to nest around crocodile and alligator hangouts because they offer some protection from tree-climbing predators like raccoons, snakes and monkeys.
SCIENCE
October 28, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below
We're not born with a fear of snakes, but it sure seems to develop early. Now scientists may be closer to a explaining why ophidiophobia ranks among the top fears of humans, and seems to be shared with other primates. Researchers inserted probes into the brains of Japanese macaques and found that neurons in a part of their brain that controls visual attention were more strongly and quickly activated in response to images of snakes, versus other objects. The results, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, appear to support a theory that early primates developed advanced perception as an evolutionary response to being prey, not as an adaptation that may have made foraging or hunting easier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2013 | By David Colker
If anyone could make lizards, salamanders, snakes and all measure of creepy, crawling things objects of wonder and even beauty, it was Robert C. Stebbins. His well-regarded books, lectures and artwork made him a superstar among those who studied reptiles and amphibians, from world-famous scientists to weekend naturalists who hiked with his nature guides in hand. Although he did much of his work alone and tended toward shyness, Stebbins' scientific discoveries and willingness to stand up for his convictions have been celebrated by many, including bestselling author Richard Dawkins.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2000 | DANIEL YI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Fullerton attorney has filed a libel lawsuit against a yellow-pages directory company, alleging that she was erroneously listed under "Reptiles." Linda K. Ross states in her suit that the error has become fodder for jokes in newspapers, on TV shows and for comedians such as Jay Leno. Ross, who is seeking $100,000 in damages, says the error has held her up to disrespect and contempt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 1987
A federal wildlife inspector and two others pleaded innocent Monday to charges that they illegally imported more than 50,000 exotic South American reptiles protected by international law. In what officials said is the first corruption case ever brought against a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspector, Daniel Gus Noether, 38, of Lakewood, is charged with taking $40,000 in bribes from three Southern California wildlife dealers to allow the reptiles into the country during 1986.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
In a 2010 episode of his Animal Planet series "Wild Recon," self-proclaimed reptile expert Donald Schultz told viewers that he planned to track down an Iranian desert monitor lizard -- an endangered species he described as the Holy Grail of monitors, offered the same level of protection as pandas. A court document says he was successful -- but not just on the show: The Inglewood-based herpetologist has been charged with illegally selling two of the lizards without a permit, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Los Angeles.
SCIENCE
September 11, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Ancient mosasaur lizards didn't slither like eels. Instead, these late Cretaceous sea monsters swam like sharks, scientists say. Mosasaurs ruled the oceans about 98 million to 66 million years ago. Most paleontologists have argued that these reptiles, which grew up to 33 feet long, had tapered, whip-like tails similar to those of snakes, their closest living relatives. Others thought the downward bend in mosasaur fossils' tail regions suggested they had shark-like fins. But without a clear picture of these tail fins, they couldn't say for sure.
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