Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Philippine Reptiles

Philippine crocodile
Crocodylus mindorensis Schmidt, 1935
Crocodylidae; Crocodilia; Sauropsida; Chordata
London Zoo
November 2008

An extremely endangered crocodilian, and quite a small one, the Philippine crocodile was previously thought to be a subspecies of the New Guinean crocodile (C. novaeguineae). It’s excellent that London Zoo should be keeping, and hopefully breeding, such a beautiful reptile, and it makes up for the lack of Chinese alligators that have been a staple in the Reptile House for as long as I can remember.

Philippine water monitor
Varanus cumingi Martin, 1839
Varanidae; Squamata; Sauropsida; Chordata
London Zoo
November 2008

Again, this species has recently been freed from being a subspecies, this time of the widespread water monitor (V. salvator). This is a poorly known species; there isn’t even a Wikipedia entry on it.


Peter Bond said...

This is interesting, Mo! I just got back from the Philippines but I didn't see any crocodiles!!! Why, oh why!?! (I like crocs!)

Mo Hassan said...

Thanks Peter! That's a shame, they are extremely rare and very good at hiding. What did you see there?