Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

#SciFri

#SciFri: Visiting the Wellcome Collection

If you’ve ever got off at Euston Station in London, or been for a walk up Euston Road, you’ve probably walked past the Wellcome Collection (and the adjoining Wellcome Trust). I thought it was about time I visited, so a…

#SciFri: The potential for damage from the JNCC 7th Quinquennial Review

Something happened this week but it’s taken a few days to sink in. There was news from the Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK (ARG UK), that the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) was recommending the removal of protections to species…

#SciFri: What haven’t I seen as many frogs this year?

A number of people this year have asked me why they haven’t seen as many amphibians as they usually would. I’m sure many of you are used to seeing your pond overcrowded with frogs, jostling for a chance to mate….

#SciFri: May Project Update 2021

It’s that time of year again when I make my annual pilgrimage to Norfolk, in the attempt to catch as many grass snakes as I can. You’ll be glad to know that I have made it here nice and early…

#SciFri: Why we need to accept that extinction is forever

Recently, news broke that stunned the scientific community. Members of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia revealed that they had irrefutable proof of the existence of thylacines, an extinct marsupial wolf-like creature that was once native to most of Australasia….

#SciFri: The power of citizen science

Imagine you’re running a project to map the distribution of a species or observe a phenological event such as the spawning of frogs. How is one person (or a small team of people) going to be able to collect data…

#SciFri: Reflecting on 2020, the year everyone wants to forget

For many people, this year has been quite a trying and stressful time. I fully sympathise with this view given the delays and isolation caused by lockdowns, in the attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. To me, it has…

#SciFri: What’s that lichen?

During a recent walk along the North Downs Way recently with my good friend Vanessa, we stumbled across some trees that were covered in lichen. Being the curious types that we are, we collected some twigs from these trees and…

#SciFri: Why are there so few herpetologists in the UK?

As a herpetologist working in the UK, it has always struck me just how few of us there are. This stretches through the realms of professionals such as ecologists or academics to students with a focus on amphibian or reptile…

#SciFri: The wonders of dissecting owl pellets

Did you know that many birds such as owls produce pellets? Pellets are formed of all of the indigestible material they’ve consumed such as bones, teeth, feathers and fur. This is then compacted in the gizzard and regurgitated as a…