Wednesday, October 27, 2010


OK on to the second part of the class. The vet Michelle brought in a Red Bellied Black Snake, two water dragons and a Blue tongue.

All were casualties of war in that they were brought in by wires and had to be euthanised except the black snake which had just died for unknown reasons.

Beautiful little guy.
Red Bellied Black Snake

BUT As he was an elapid, his lovely head had to be cut off. YES Even dead his fangs carry venom. But his venom would only make us sick, not kill us. (Myth busted unless you are a delicate person anyway...)

Autopsy of a Black snakeAutopsy of a Black SnakeAutopsy of a Black SnakeAutopsy of a Black SnakeAutopsy of a Black snake Anyway this series of photos shows what you see when you unzipper a snake. This species of snakes are ovoviviparous, so they give birth not lay eggs. This allows them to live so far south. There was nothing in his stomach but the worms you see in all wild caught reptiles. (Ew ew ew) but we could see he had testes... so a boy, some damage to his chest so maybe run over and the rest was just the usual bit just laid out differently.

2 chambered heart, as all snakes, short intestine as they don't eat plant material at all. a long lung that I could not show as it was destroyed when we took out the rest of him.

A lovely animal that even in death I got covered in smelly liquid. SIGH

On to the Two water Dragons. Just be looking at the two bodies, one was large and had a red belly (Male) and the other a brown grey and not red tummy. Smaller body so either juvenile male or a female.

The male was HUGE! for a lizard he had a bloated stomach. The vet at first thought he had a growth, the wires person thought eggbound (IN a male??)
Autopsy of a Water Dragon

SO we had a look. OK look at the layers of FAT that we found in his stomach. They were huge pillows of fat. THIS was a wild lizard that someone had been feeding. The vet could not see anything else wrong with him (Besides being dead) so came to the conclusion that he died of obesity.

Autopsy of a Water DragonAutopsy of a Water Dragon

the Smaller lizard turned out to be female...
Autopsy of a Water Dragon
the round orange/yellow globes are ova (?)folicles(?) anyway they develop into eggs. If you slice one open there is even a yolk like a chicken egg. The heart, liver, lung and intestine is clear in this photo

Autopsy of a Water Dragon

so our matched set.

This was followed by a Blue tongue. but it was small and she was fast in the autopsy of that one. Looked similar to the female water dragon and it was female too.

After all this, Tim and I headed for our respective homes. Me smelling like inners of Black snake and Tim smelling like urine of Water python.
On my way home I saw a red moon rise above the distant city.  In a hurry I quickly snapped a few but nothing clear. :-(

Will do a separate post for the squeamish....

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