It’s often the case, that only in death can many animals be examined in detail; their intricacy of texture and form eludes the eye admidst the fleeting motion of life.
I had originally put this together with the previous post, but had trouble loading so many images.
Click on the images for high res photos.
The chin scales of a timber rattle snake.
The head of the smooth fronted caiman. If you take a close look at scales along his jaws, you’ll notice that each one has a small dot at the center.These are mechanoreceptors. Each dot is a dome of skin that covers a nerve ending. They’re used to detect slight disturbances in water, allowing the animal seek prey in even murky water. All crocodilians have these.
The underside of the caiman. Notice the pattern of scales surrounding the cloaca and on the limbs.
The head of a diamondback rattlesnake.
This large coastal carpet python belong to my friend Aaron. He lived in the herpetology lab for years until he was killed in a lab wide epidemic of unknown origin that killed most of the snakes in the lab. We never learned the origin or even the specific nature of the disease, although we suspect that may have had something to do with the introduction of a wild snake into the lab.
He has a really interesting ventral pattern. The photo doesn’t do justice to the brilliance of his yellows and greens.
Here’s a detail of the heat sensitive pits along his jaw. They’re actually perforations in the scale that begin as in dentions at either end.