Lizard in your luggage? We’re using artificial intelligence to detect wildlife trafficking

A scanned lace monitor lizard (Varanus varius) image produced by using new technology. Credit: Rapiscan Systems, Author provided Blue-tongue lizards and sulfur-crested cockatoos are among the native animals frequently smuggled overseas. While the number of live animals seized by the Australian Government has tripled since 2017, the full scale of the problem eludes us as … Read more

Scientists discover fossils of giant sea lizard that ruled the oceans 66 million years ago

Artist’s representation of Thalassotitan atrox. Credit: Andrey Atuchin Researchers have discovered a huge new mosasaur from Morocco, named Thalassotitan atrox, which filled the apex predator niche. With massive jaws and teeth like those of killer whales, Thalassotitan hunted other marine reptiles—plesiosaurs, sea turtles, and other mosasaurs. At the end of the Cretaceous period, 66 million … Read more

Fossils of 30-foot prehistoric marine lizard unearthed in Texas

One sweltering afternoon this spring, Stephen Kruse trekked along a dry creek bed with a backpack full of fossils. An amateur enthusiast, Kruse has been interested in dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures since he hunted for rocks with his brother as a kid. That afternoon, he was hiking by himself near the North Sulfur River, about … Read more

Tiny limbs and long bodies: Coordinating lizard locomotion

Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology Snakes and lizards have distinct body movement patterns. Lizards bend from side to side as they retract their legs to walk or run. Snakes, on the other hand, slither and undulate, like a wave that travels down the body. However, there are species of lizards that have long, snakelike bodies, … Read more