Communicating Science: The secret world of ‘naked snakes’
7 Dec 2009 – 6:00 pm - 7:40 pm
The secret world of ‘naked snakes’ - a ZSL Science and Conservation Event.
Caecilians or 'naked snakes' are the least known but arguably most intriguing of the amphibians. A small yet diverse group, caecilians are characterised by a largely tropical distribution, elongate and limbless bodies, and enigmatic behaviour.
Modern caecilians evolved from limbed ancestors and have several peculiar adaptations, including a pair of protrusible sensory tentacles, eyes covered by skin and/or bone, and scales embedded in pockets within the skin.
The reproductive biology of caecilians is also remarkable for its diversity: the young of some species have been discovered to peel and eat the nutrient-enriched skin of their brooding mothers.
A lack of knowledge and study of caecilians has resulted in an astonishing two-thirds being Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. An introduction to caecilians will be given, and current and future directions for research and conservation will be discussed.
This event will be chaired by Ken Livingstone.
Speakers & talks:
An introduction to the world of naked snakes
Dr Mark Wilkinson - The Natural History Museum, London
Recent discoveries – a golden age for caecilian biology?
Dr David Gower - The Natural History Museum, London
Yummy mummy: skin feeding and caecilian reproductive biology
Dr Alexander Kupfer - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Caecilians on the EDGE
Helen Meredith - Zoological Society of London
Organised by Helen Meredith, ZSL, and Dr David Gower, The Natural History Museum, London.
Please note that this event has already taken place.
This event in the 'Communicating Science' series will begin at 6.00pm (doors from 5.00pm) and talks are scheduled to finish at 7.30pm; admission is free and open to everyone (no advance booking or registration required). This event will be held in the ZSL Meeting Rooms and seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis. A dinner with the speakers will follow this event and places must be booked in advance. Please download above dinner booking form for further information.
ZSL Science and Conservation Events: An essential part of ZSL's work is to communicate relevant, high-quality zoological and conservation science. The integrated ZSL Science and Conservation Events programme includes Symposia, and the new 'Wildlife Conservation' and 'Communicating Science' series. Topics cover a wide variety of zoological and conservation themes, and international experts present and discuss their research.
Further Information: please contact Joy Hayward, Scientific Meetings Coordinator, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY.
Tel:+44 (0)20 7449 6227. Fax: +44 (0)20 7449 6411. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.