Lizards & Snakes Online Resources
From the American Museum of Natural History:
Lizards & Snakes: Alive! Exhibition Website
Visitors can visit the exhibition online to explore the astonishing diversity of squamates. The site describes the exhibit contents, which include over 60 live snakes and lizards, numerous interactive stations, fossil casts and specimens, and a hands-on activity center for children.
Science Explorations: Uncover Lizards and Snakes
Science Explorations is a collaboration between the Museum and Scholastic, Inc., to promote science literacy among students in grades 3 through 10. Learners can use a slideshow introduction to squamates to create their own exhibition. They can also make a presentation based on the evolutionary history of squamates. Additional resources include a glossary, an interview with a curator, a booklist, and a “backyard science” activity section.
Herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History
The Museum's Department of Herpetology reflects over a century of studying and collecting reptile and amphibian species in their natural habitats. With over 351,000 specimens representing over half the world's species, the collection is one of the most heavily used herpetological resources in the world. This site describes its history, staff, and resources available to scientists and the public.
Hall of Biodiversity: Spectrum of Life
Drawn from the Spectrum of Life wall in the Museum’s Hall of Biodiversity, this is an interactive tour of the staggering diversity of life on Earth.
OLogy: Tree of Life Cladogram
Aimed at young visitors, this cladogram describes some important groups of species in the Tree of Life. There are instructions on how to read a cladogram, and a pie chart that shows the distribution of life across different groups.
Discovering Vietnam’s Biodiversity
Visitors can explore this rich introduction to the biodiversity of Vietnam through themes (such as Conservation, Biogeography, and New Discovery) or through individual species. Squamates such as the Oriental Pit Viper and the Green Pricklenape Lizard are represented.
Additional Online Resources:
Inspired by global amphibian declines, Amphibiaweb is a free portal to information about amphibian biology and conservation. The database is easy to search and browse, and has links to related organizations.
California Academy of Sciences: Herpetology
The California Academy of Sciences' amphibian and reptile collection is one of the ten largest in the world. This site describes the collection and how to access it. Many expeditions undertaken by herpetologists at the Academy are engagingly described, and there is a large photo gallery.
Center for North American Herpetology
This CNAH is dedicated to protecting and conserving North American amphibians, crocodilians, reptiles, and turtles through education. This site is a portal to a wealth of information, including related websites and organizations, standard common and scientific names, current news, new species, and jobs and careers in herpetology.
This site introduces visitors to Connecticut’s wildlife and conservation strategies. There are fact sheets, FAQs about wildlife, guidelines for hunting and trapping, updates about regional sightings and surveys, and activities for kids of different ages.
EMBL Reptile Database
Currently supported by the German Herpetological Society, this is a searchable database of information about the classification of all living reptiles. It currently describes 8364 species. The site explains the biological and evolutionary concepts of species, argues against keeping reptiles as pets, and links to many other resources.
In 2004, the distribution and conservation status of all amphibians known to science was assessed for the first time. This site presents the results of this Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA). It includes a summary of threats, maps of species distributions, and information about every amphibian species
New Jersey Online Field Guide
Each of New Jersey’s 71 species of reptiles and amphibians is described in downloadable fact sheets, complete with pictures and distribution maps. You can also listen to audio clips of the calls of all frogs and toads.
New York State Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project
Sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, this site describes a ten-year (1990-1999) survey that documented the distribution of amphibians and reptiles within the state. Maps and newsletters describe the project and illustrate how scientists identify and describe species.
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
A not-for-profit organization founded in 1958, the SSAR is the largest international herpetological society, and has a diverse program of publications, meetings, and other activities. Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in herpetology.
More About This Resource...
This reference list contains brief descriptions of and links to 15 Web sites that provide a broad range of squamate resources. The sites include:
- extensive reptile and amphibian collections and databases
- online field guides
- herpetological societies
- conservation organizations,
- cladogram information
Supplement a study of biology with an activity drawn from this list of Web links.
- Divide the class into small groups and assign each a Web site from the list.
- Have each group explore its Web site, taking notes about the information it covers and the resources it includes.
- In a brief presentation, have the groups share their findings with the class. Ask them to point out which resources they found most helpful and what details or facts they learned from the site.