Presentation in Mönchengladbach about South Africa

Presentation in Mönchengladbach about South Africa

Live lectures Reiseberichte

On Friday, 3 November 2023, Reinhard Münzer will give a lecture on a trip to South Africa that is not just about herpetology. The country, which is 3.4 times the size of Germany and has a diverse natural environment, offers the best conditions for exciting and varied discoveries. The lecture will not only show reptiles, but of course also the Big Five.

Reinhard Münzer Travel impressions South Africa
DGHT regional group Mönchengladbach/Krefeld
Vereinsheim SC 08 Schiefbahn
Siedlerallee 27
47877 Willich-Schiefbahn
Meeting from 7.30 pm, presentation starts at 8.00 pm

Picture: Reinhard Münzer

Presentation in Neu-Ulm about Turkey

Presentation in Neu-Ulm about Turkey

Live lectures Reiseberichte

On Saturday, 16 September 2023, Laura and Bobby Bok will give a talk on herpetological trips to Turkey. The herpetofauna of Anatolia is astonishingly diverse – not without reason it is also called “Asia Minor”. Reptiles from the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the deserts of Arabia meet here. From turtles to the smallest gecko – there is a lot to tell from Anatolia!

Laura und Bobby Bok Türkiye from Trabzon to the Taurus
DGHT city group Ulm
Il Mio Ristorante
Europastraße 15 (Am Mutenhölzle)
89231 Neu-Ulm
Begin at 6.30 p.m.

Presentation in Kassel about Morocco

Presentation in Kassel about Morocco

Live lectures Reiseberichte

On Saturday, 16 September 2023, Uwe Prokoph will give a lecture on a herpetological journey to the Western Sahara and the south of Morocco. Although the landscape there seems rather hostile at first glance, there is a lot to discover, especially in reptiles!

Uwe Prokoph Desert Wonderworlds
DGHT Stadtgruppe Kassel
House Schönewald
Wilhelmstraße 17
34233 Fuldatal
from 6 o’clock p.m.

Presentation in Münster about Cameroon

Presentation in Münster about Cameroon

Live lectures Reiseberichte

On Friday, 19 May 2023, the renowned herpetologist Prof. Dr Wolfgang Böhme will give a lecture on herpetological expeditions in West Africa. In several research trips, he studied the large-scale habitats of desert, savannah, and rainforest and their respective marginal areas with regard to their amphibians and reptiles, whose current distribution reflects the influence of the major postglacial climate fluctuations. The rediscovery of the desert crocodile in the Mauritanian Sahara, thought to be extinct for decades, is just one of many highlights. In Guinea, the Lama Forest proved to be a snake hotspot: in just two weeks, the travellers were able to find 38 species sympatrically. In the Cameroon mountains, where relics of German colonial history can still be found several times, the previously unknown herpetological Mount Nlonako proved to be the most species-rich amphibian site in Africa at the time. The vertical zoning, combined with numerous watercourses, led to a great diversity of frog fauna, which was inventoried for the first time. With over 90 species, including the charismatic hairy and goliath frogs, Mount Nlonako is one of the richest amphibian hotspots in the Afrotropical region. The various, beautiful Montane Chameleons in Cameroon also proved to be an excellent model group to exemplify the process of speciation.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Böhme Overland from Germany to Cameroon
DGHT City group Münster
Zoo school of Allwetterzoo
Sentruper Str. 315
48161 Münster
Admission from 6.30 p.m., lecture begins at 7 p.m.

Factors in the geographical dispersal of chameleons

Factors in the geographical dispersal of chameleons

Science

For a long time, people have been trying to find out how and why chameleons have spread across the African continent, to islands and as far as Europe and Asia. French scientists, in collaboration with international colleagues, have now used phylogenetics and various computational models to investigate how the factors of body size, coastal habitat and extreme lifestyles may have affected the distribution of different chameleon species. The study examined 181 species divided into nine main biogeographical regions: North Africa and Arabia, Central Africa, Southeast Africa, Southwest Africa, India, Socotra, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.

Chameleon species that occurred more than 10 km from the sea historically spread significantly less than the 74 coastal chameleon species. A similar phenomenon is known from skinks and crocodiles. Dispersal probably took place mainly along the coasts, mostly on the same continent and only rarely across the water to other continents or islands.

The size of the different chameleons also seems to have influenced their dispersal throughout history: Large chameleons spread further and more frequently than small chameleons. This could be related to the fact that larger chameleons have a lower metabolic rate – so they need less energy overall relative to smaller competitors. In addition, larger chameleons lay clutches with significantly more eggs, which simply gives them an advantage in numbers.

A somewhat unexpected result came from the study of different life cycles. One would initially assume that short life cycles are associated with faster dispersal. In fact, the calculations showed that especially chameleon species with extreme life cycles spread further. Thus, those that reproduced particularly slowly or particularly quickly were historically more successful among chameleons than the species “in the middle”. In this regard, the authors consider whether particularly slow life cycles with late sexual maturity and long gestation might be more successful on the same continent, while faster reproductive strategies with large clutches are more favourable for dispersal across the sea to islands and other continents. In line with this, Furcifer polleni and Furcifer cephalolepis in Comoros and Chamaeleo zeylanicus in India, all three examples of aquatic dispersal, have a very fast life cycle.

The 34 chameleon species with the combination of living close to the coast, large size and extreme life cycle had a 98% higher dispersal rate than species without these characteristics.  All in all, this is certainly a very theoretical study, but it nevertheless provides exciting insights into the historical distribution and dispersal of chameleons.

Chameleon biogeographic dispersal is associated with extreme life history strategies
Sarah-Sophie Weil, Laurie Gallien, Sébastien Lavergne, Luca Börger, Gabriel W. Hassler, Michaël P.J. Nicolaï & William L. Allen
Ecography
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.06323