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venomous bluff and grass snakes

Tatjana and I rode along the dyke near our house, fighting the cold East wind. Suddenly, she veered to the side. Something darted from her path and she narrowly missed it. We walk back to investigate and discover… a worm-sized grass snake writhing angrily and flinging itself at these two wheeled apes hundreds of times its weight and size. It huffed aggressively, feinting with occasional air strikes. Most impressively, it flattened its jaws, creating a much more diamond-shaped head profile, marked with those yellow stripes. I was definitely unsure whether or not this was a venomous specimen in front of me or not.

I fumbled to get my camera out, using my zoom to get close-up photos while maintaining distance, but missed recording the performances’ heated begin. Below you see a video after he’d calmed down a bit. Seriously. What a performance!

Out on the Dyke

Some pics from our bike ride along the dyke yesterday… more about the hyper grass snake in a later post. Still getting accustomed to the Canon G3X (it’s tough to view in bright daylight) but giving some fantastic pics.
dyke_grassSn dyke_gull dyke_heron dyke_osprey

amsel in distress

amsel

rotkehlchen bad


rotkehlchen

ozeanum octopus

IMG_3111sm

mr and mrs blackbird

IMG_2703sm IMG_2716sm

Gorgonopsid wip… ear

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update, with attempt at more plausible ear. Not happy with looks yet… need to look a bit more reptilian, methinks. Much obliged for further guidance!

gorgonopsian wip… teeth

so… questions to Rubidgeinae teeth: Christian, if you could clarify?
Here are quick paint-overs… do these guys have palatal teeth? Your paper shows them, would just like to make sure before modeling them in. Also… what do we know about the teeth on the jaw? I only have other illustrations to go on for them, they are absent in the papers I’ve seen. And if there are no molar-type teeth for crushing towards the back of the mouth where forces would make that feasible, does this mean they tore off and swallowed flesh? No processing of bones, etc? Were those massive skulls muscled only for attack / demobilization with primarily front portion of snout? (Would perhaps explain that somewhat unique ‘chin’.)

wip_b

Also made a quick sketch of what the open mouth would look like:

wip_b

gorgonopsian wip

gorgo