The Reptile Database is a scientific database that collects taxonomic information on all living reptile species. The database focuses on species and has entries for all recognized ~13,000 species and their subspecies, although there is a lag time of up to a few months before newly described species become available online; the database collects scientific and common names, literature references, distribution information, type information and other taxonomically relevant information. The database was founded in 1995 as EMBL Reptile Database when the founder, Peter Uetz, was a graduate student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Thure Etzold had developed the first web interface for the EMBL DNA sequence database, used as interface for the Reptile Database. In 2006 the database moved to The Institute of Genomic Research and operated as TIGR Reptile Database until TIGR was merged into the J Craig Venter Institute where Uetz was an Associate Professor until 2010.
Since 2010 the database has been maintained on servers in the Czech Republic under the supervision of Peter Uetz and Jirí Hošek, a Czech programmer. As of March 2018, the Reptile Database lists about 10,700 species in about 1180 genera, has about 45,000 literature references and about 11,000 photos; the database has grown since its inception with an average of ~120 new species described per year over the preceding decade. The Reptile Database has been a member of the Species 2000 project that has produced the Catalogue of Life, a meta-database of more than 150 species databases that catalog all living species on the planet; the CoL provides taxonomic information to the Encyclopedia of Life. The Reptile Database collaborates with the World Register of Marine Species, the citizen science project iNaturalist, has links to the IUCN Redlist database; the NCBI taxonomy database links out to the Reptile Database. The Reptile Database—Home Page Reptile Database Search—Search page at Reptarium
Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, country or other defined zone, or habitat type. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species, endemic is precinctive, which applies to species that are restricted to a defined geographical area; the word endemic is from New Latin endēmicus, from Greek ενδήμος, endēmos, "native". Endēmos is formed of en meaning "in", dēmos meaning "the people"; the term "precinctive" has been suggested by some scientists, was first used in botany by MacCaughey in 1917. It is the equivalent of "endemism". Precinction was first used by Frank and McCoy. Precinctive seems to have been coined by David Sharp when describing the Hawaiian fauna in 1900: "I use the word precinctive in the sense of'confined to the area under discussion'...'precinctive forms' means those forms that are confined to the area specified." That definition excludes artificial confinement of examples by humans in far-off botanical gardens or zoological parks.
Physical and biological factors can contribute to endemism. The orange-breasted sunbird is found in the fynbos vegetation zone of southwestern South Africa; the glacier bear is found only in limited places in Southeast Alaska. Political factors can play a part if a species is protected, or hunted, in one jurisdiction but not another. There are two subcategories of endemism: neoendemism. Paleoendemism refers to species that were widespread but are now restricted to a smaller area. Neoendemism refers to species that have arisen, such as through divergence and reproductive isolation or through hybridization and polyploidy in plants. Endemic types or species are likely to develop on geographically and biologically isolated areas such as islands and remote island groups, such as Hawaii, the Galápagos Islands, Socotra. Hydrangea hirta is an example of an endemic species found in Japan. Endemics can become endangered or extinct if their restricted habitat changes, particularly—but not only—due to human actions, including the introduction of new organisms.
There were millions of both Bermuda petrels and "Bermuda cedars" in Bermuda when it was settled at the start of the seventeenth century. By the end of the century, the petrels were thought extinct. Cedars ravaged by centuries of shipbuilding, were driven nearly to extinction in the twentieth century by the introduction of a parasite. Bermuda petrels and cedars are now rare. Principal causes of habitat degradation and loss in endemistic ecosystems include agriculture, urban growth, surface mining, mineral extraction, logging operations and slash-and-burn agriculture
Binomial nomenclature called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; the first part of the name – the generic name – identifies the genus to which the species belongs, while the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong within this genus to the species Homo sapiens. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most known binomial; the formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753. But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici many names of genera that were adopted by Linnaeus; the application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae and plants.
Although the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules. In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in writing, while that of the second part is not when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place. Both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text, thus the binomial name of the annual phlox is now written as Phlox drummondii. In scientific works, the authority for a binomial name is given, at least when it is first mentioned, the date of publication may be specified. In zoology "Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758"; the name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was that first published a description and name for this species of limpet. "Passer domesticus". The original name given by Linnaeus was Fringilla domestica; the ICZN does not require that the name of the person who changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although nomenclatorial catalogs include such information.
In botany "Amaranthus retroflexus L." – "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for "Linnaeus". "Hyacinthoides italica Rothm. – Linnaeus first named this bluebell species Scilla italica. The name is composed of two word-forming elements: "bi", a Latin prefix for two, "-nomial", relating to a term or terms; the word "binomium" was used in Medieval Latin to mean a two-term expression in mathematics. Prior to the adoption of the modern binomial system of naming species, a scientific name consisted of a generic name combined with a specific name, from one to several words long. Together they formed a system of polynomial nomenclature; these names had two separate functions. First, to designate or label the species, second, to be a diagnosis or description. In a simple genus, containing only two species, it was easy to tell them apart with a one-word genus and a one-word specific name; such "polynomial names" may sometimes look like binomials, but are different. For example, Gerard's herbal describes various kinds of spiderwort: "The first is called Phalangium ramosum, Branched Spiderwort.
The other... is aptly termed Phalangium Ephemerum Virginianum, Soon-Fading Spiderwort of Virginia". The Latin phrases are short descriptions, rather than identifying labels; the Bauhins, in particular Caspar Bauhin, took some important steps towards the binomial system, by pruning the Latin descriptions, in many cases to two words. The adoption by biologists of a system of binomial nomenclature is due to Swedish botanist and physician Carl von Linné, more known by his Latinized name Carl Linnaeus, it was in his 1753 Species Plantarum that he first began using a one-word "trivial name" together with a generic name in a system of binomial nomenclature. This trivial name is what is now known as specific name; the Bauhins' genus names were retained in many of these, but the descriptive part was reduced to a single word. Linnaeus's trivial names introduced an important new idea, namely that the function of a name could be to give a species a unique label; this meant. Thus Gerard's Phalangium ephemerum virginianum became Tradescantia virgi
Edward Drinker Cope
Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. He was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science. Though his father tried to raise Cope as a gentleman farmer, he acquiesced to his son's scientific aspirations. Cope had one child. Cope had little formal scientific training, he eschewed a teaching position for field work, he made regular trips to the American West, prospecting in the 1870s and 1880s as a member of United States Geological Survey teams. A personal feud between Cope and paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh led to a period of intense fossil-finding competition now known as the Bone Wars. Cope's financial fortunes soured after failed mining ventures in the 1880s, forcing him to sell off much of his fossil collection, he experienced a resurgence in his career toward the end of his life before dying on April 12, 1897.
Though Cope's scientific pursuits nearly bankrupted him, his contributions helped to define the field of American paleontology. He was a prodigious writer, with 1,400 papers published over his lifetime, although his rivals debated the accuracy of his published works, he discovered and named more than 1,000 vertebrate species, including hundreds of fishes and dozens of dinosaurs. His proposal for the origin of mammalian molars is notable among his theoretical contributions. "Cope's rule", the hypothesis that mammalian lineages grow larger over geologic time, while named after him, is "neither explicit nor implicit" in his work. Edward Drinker Cope was born on the eldest son of Alfred and Hanna Cope; the death of his mother when he was three years old seemed to have had little effect on young Edward, as he mentioned in his letters that he had no recollection of her. His stepmother, Rebecca Biddle, filled the maternal role. Alfred, an orthodox member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, operated a lucrative shipping business started by his father, Thomas P. Cope, in 1821.
He was a philanthropist who gave money to the Society of Friends, the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, the Institute for Colored Youth. Edward was born and raised in a large stone house called "Fairfield", whose location is now within the boundaries of Philadelphia; the 8 acres of pristine and exotic gardens of the house offered a landscape that Edward was able to explore. The Copes began teaching their children to read and write at a young age, took Edward on trips across New England and to museums and gardens. Cope's interest in animals became apparent at a young age. Alfred intended to give his son the same education he himself had received. At age nine, Edward was sent to a day school in Philadelphia and in 1853 at the age of 12, Edward was sent to the Friends' Boarding School at Westtown, near West Chester, Pennsylvania; the school was founded in 1799 with fundraising by members of the Society of Friends, provided much of the Cope family's education. The prestigious school was expensive, costing Alfred $500 in tuition each year, in his first year, Edward studied algebra, scripture, grammar and Latin.
Edward's letters home requesting a larger allowance show he was able to manipulate his father, he was, according to author and Cope biographer Jane Davidson, "a bit of a spoiled brat". His letters suggest he was lonely at the school—it was the first time he had been away from his home for an extended period. Otherwise, Edward's studies progressed much like a typical boy—he had "less than perfect" or "not quite satisfactory" marks for conduct from his teachers, did not work hard on his penmanship lessons, which may have contributed to his illegible handwriting as an adult. Edward returned to Westtown in 1855. Biology began to interest him more that year, he studied natural history texts in his spare time. While at the school, he visited the Academy of Natural Sciences. Edward obtained bad marks due to quarreling and bad conduct, his letters to his father show he chafed at farm work and betrayed flashes of the temper for which he would become well known. After sending Edward back to the farm for summer break in 1854 and 1855, Alfred did not return Edward to school after spring 1856.
Instead, Alfred attempted to turn his son into a gentleman farmer, which he considered a wholesome profession that would yield enough profit to lead a comfortable life, improve the undersized Edward's health. Until 1863, Cope's letters to his father continually expressed his yearning for a more professional scientific career than that of a farmer, which he called "dreadfully boring". While working on farms, Edward continued his education on his own. In 1858, he began working part-time at the Academy of Natural Sciences and cataloguing specimens, published his first series of research results in January 1859. Cope began taking German classes with a former Westtown teacher. Though Alfred resisted his son's pursuit of a science career, he paid for his son's private studies. Instead of working the farm his father bought for him, Edward rented out the land and used the income to further his scientific endeavors. Alfred gave in to Edward's wishes and paid for university cl
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica, as well as most oceanic island chains. The group is paraphyletic as it excludes Amphisbaenia. Lizards range in size from chameleons and geckos a few centimeters long to the 3 meter long Komodo dragon. Most lizards are quadrupedal. Others are legless, have long snake-like bodies; some such as the forest-dwelling Draco lizards are able to glide. They are territorial, the males fighting off other males and signalling with brightly colours, to attract mates and to intimidate rivals. Lizards are carnivorous being sit-and-wait predators. Lizards make use of a variety of antipredator adaptations, including venom, reflex bleeding, the ability to sacrifice and regrow their tails; the adult length of species within the suborder ranges from a few centimeters for chameleons such as Brookesia micra and geckos such as Sphaerodactylus ariasae to nearly 3 m in the case of the largest living varanid lizard, the Komodo dragon.
Most lizards are small animals. Lizards have four legs and external ears, though some are legless, while snakes lack these characteristics. Lizards and snakes share a movable quadrate bone, distinguishing them from the rhynchocephalians, which have more rigid diapsid skulls; some lizards such as chameleons have prehensile tails. As in other reptiles, the skin of lizards is covered in overlapping scales made of keratin; this reduces water loss through evaporation. This adaptation enables lizards to thrive in some of the driest deserts on earth; the skin is tough and leathery, is shed as the animal grows. Unlike snakes which shed the skin in a single piece, lizards slough their skin in several pieces; the scales may be modified into spines for display or protection, some species have bone osteoderms underneath the scales. The dentitions of lizards reflect their wide range of diets, including carnivorous, omnivorous, herbivorous and molluscivorous. Species have uniform teeth suited to their diet, but several species have variable teeth, such as cutting teeth in the front of the jaws and crushing teeth in the rear.
Most species are pleurodont, though chameleons are acrodont. The tongue can be extended outside the mouth, is long. In the beaded lizards and monitor lizards, the tongue is forked and used or to sense the environment, continually flicking out to sample the environment, back to transfer molecules to the vomeronasal organ responsible for chemosensation, analogous to but different from smell or taste. In geckos, the tongue is used to lick the eyes clean: they have no eyelids. Chameleons have long sticky tongues which can be extended to catch their insect prey. Three lineages, the geckos and chameleons, have modified the scales under their toes to form adhesive pads prominent in the first two groups; the pads are composed of millions of tiny setae which fit to the substrate to adhere using van der Waals forces. In addition, the toes of chameleons are divided into two opposed groups on each foot, enabling them to perch on branches as birds do. Aside from legless lizards, most lizards are quadrupedal and move using gaits with alternating movement of the right and left limbs with substantial body bending.
This body bending prevents significant respiration during movement, limiting their endurance, in a mechanism called Carrier's constraint. Several species can run bipedally, a few can prop themselves up on their hindlimbs and tail while stationary. Several small species such as those in the genus Draco can glide: some can attain a distance of 60 metres, losing 10 metres in height; some species, like chameleons, adhere to vertical surfaces including glass and ceilings. Some species, like the common basilisk, can run across water. Lizards make use of their senses of sight, touch and hearing like other vertebrates; the balance of these varies with the habitat of different species. Monitor lizards have acute vision and olfactory senses; some lizards make unusual use of their sense organs: chameleons can steer their eyes in different directions, sometimes providing non-overlapping fields of view, such as forwards and backwards at once. Lizards lack external ears, having instead a circular opening in which the tympanic membrane can be seen.
Many species rely on hearing for early warning of predators, flee at the slightest sound. As in snakes and many mammals, all lizards have a specialised olfactory system, the vomeronasal organ, used to detect pheromones. Monitor lizards transfer scent from the tip of their tongue to the organ; some lizards iguanas, have retained a photosensory organ on the top of their heads called the parietal eye, a basal feature present in the tuatara. This "eye" has only a rudimentary retina and lens and cannot form images, but is sensitive to changes in light and dark and can detect movemen
The Phrynosomatidae are a diverse family of lizards, sometimes classified as a subfamily, found from Panama to the extreme south of Canada. Many members of the group are adapted to life in hot, sandy deserts, although the spiny lizards prefer rocky deserts or relatively moist forest edges, the short-horned lizard lives in prairie or sagebrush environments; the group includes both egg-laying and viviparous species, with the latter being more common in species living at high elevations. The 136 species are organised into 9 genera in this subfamily; the earless taxa are sister genera. Family Phrynosomatidae Callisaurus Blainville, 1835 – zebra-tailed lizards Cophosaurus Troschel, 1852 – greater earless lizards Holbrookia Girard, 1851 – earless lizards Petrosaurus Boulenger, 1885 – California rock lizards Phrynosoma Wiegmann, 1828 – horned lizards Sceloporus Wiegmann, 1828 – spiny lizards Uma Baird, 1859 – fringe-toed lizards Urosaurus Hallowell, 1854 – tree and brush lizards Uta Baird & Girard, 1852 – side-blotched lizards Data related to Phrynosomatidae at Wikispecies Media related to Phrynosomatidae at Wikimedia Commons Phrynosomatidae Family