endless forms most beautiful

Hi, I'm Zach. My primary focus is herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), but my interests span many topics relating to the natural and unnatural world.

Most of the material I post here is my own, unless otherwise stated.

For posts I have reblogged from other tumblr users, click "Stuff I Like"

Feel free to send any comments or questions my way!

Back in Vinh, we stopped by the university for a tour of their specimen collections. Sadly, most of the specimens were in bad shape, and many were downright terrifying. (My favorite is the tiger)

©Zachary A. Cava

*Originally posted on the Field Herp Forum: Vietnam: Part 4

As we traveled through neighboring Kenya, Nairobi National Park evoked surprisingly powerful nostalgia for North American prairies. Surrounded by zebras, buffalo, and several species of antelope, I imagined the richness of other equally grand, now extinct savanna faunas: not many centuries back the Great Plains held thirty million bison, and only twelve thousand years ago mammoths, ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats inhabited North America.

—Harry W. Greene, Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art (2013)

Large rock art panel in Clark Co., NV.
©Zachary A. Cava

Large rock art panel in Clark Co., NV.

©Zachary A. Cava

A nice Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchelli) from today.©Zachary A. Cava

A nice Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchelli) from today.

©Zachary A. Cava

Splintered sunlight. Vietnam 2013. 

©Zachary A. Cava

Blister Beetles (Lytta magister) eating/mating. These insects are called blister beetles because they secrete the compound cantharidin, which causes blistering. Cantharidin is used medicinally for wart and tattoo removal, and may also have cancer-fighting properties.

Found two sparrow nests today while surveying - must be springtime in the desert.

Horned lizard just chillin!

Sinonatrix sp. (S. aequifasciata or S. percarinata?). Vietnam 2013.
©Zachary A. Cava
*Originally posted on the Field Herp Forum: Vietnam: Part 3

Sinonatrix sp. (S. aequifasciata or S. percarinata?). Vietnam 2013.

©Zachary A. Cava

*Originally posted on the Field Herp Forum: Vietnam: Part 3