mark scherz


A small selection of the frogs I photographed in Marojejy, NE Madagascar in 2016. Click the photo to see the species name.

Photos by Mark D. Scherz © 2016.

anonymous asked:

I feel ignorant for asking this, but I plan on getting a snake in the future (when I'm old enough) and want to be sure I get information from good sources. I've read every post you have on Spider Morphs, but you don't have many detailing Duckbills, Small/Bug Eyed, and Kinked Spines. I know these are bad, but what exactly happens to the snake when they have these?

hey!! don’t ever hesitate to ask questions because we all stated somewhere and questions are how we learn!! I’m happy to answer anything I can. 

Okay, so duckbilling, small/bug eyed and kinked spines show up in other Ball Python morphs. Morphs like Carmel Albino (kinking and female sub-fertility), Super Cinnamon/Super Black Pastel (duckbill and sometimes kinking), Super Lesser Platinum/Super Butter (bug eyes) and Lesser Platinum x Piedbald (small eyes) are examples. There are more, so be sure to research if there are any problems for your chosen morph! 

Anyways, going over these individually: 


Dr. Mark D. Scherz ( a herpetologist here on tumblr, great blog) explains it best: “This mutation arises from a loss of bone in the lateral portions of the skull. I would not be surprised if it were accompanied by respiratory and feeding problems.” The Ball Python’s face, essentially, looks like it has a duckbill. 

Small Eyes: 

Really as it sounds; this is a ball python that has a genetic deformity that causes small eyes. Couldn’t find a good picture for this one, so if anyone knows where I can get one, that’d be great! 

Bug Eyes:

Complete opposite of small eyes! These are abnormally large eyes that stick out further than a normal ball python would. 

Kinked tails/spines: 

Kinks are twists or turns in the animal’s tail or spine. It’s a huge deformity. These vary on how the impact the snake. Some are so deformed that they die in the egg while others can still live a long and relatively healthy lifestyle depending on the severity of their kink. 

Hope this helps a bit and if you have any more questions then feel free to ask me or shoot me a private message! 


Boophis anjanaharibeensis by Mark Scherz


Gephyromantis striatus by Mark Scherz


Uroplatus phantasticus by Mark Scherz


Lycodryas cf. granuliceps by Mark Scherz

Do you wanna build a phylogram?
Mark Scherz
Do you wanna build a phylogram?

A scientific parody of Do you wanna build a snowman? from Disney’s Frozen. Lyrics by hyacynthus and myself. Vocals by me. A music video may be forthcoming.


Portia schultzi Karsch, 1878

This little spider is one of the most intelligent arthropods on the planet. Their behaviour is bizarrely familiar, and they show signs of reasoning, planning, and focus. I encourage you to read the wikipedia article about them.

I found this individual on the wall of a hotel in eastern central Madagascar, just outside the Anjaha Community Reserve. I have a deep love of salticids, and although I couldn’t identify it initially, I immediately knew it was something special. The result was the most satisfying photoshoot I can remember. Such an enchanting animal.

Photos © Mark D. Scherz, 2014


Vistas in the Bealanana district of northern Madagascar.

Photos © Mark D. Scherz, 2016

Boophis andreonei 

I spent this winter in a forest in northwestern Madagascar, where my team and I were investigating the herpetofaunal diversity of some unstudied tracts of forest, and how their distribution is affected by proximity to the edge of the forest. The next few months will be spent processing the data and writing reports and papers. I estimate we found at least four, but perhaps as many as ten, new species. I’ll keep you posted on progress! In the mean time, my blog will be featuring some photos from the field :)

Photo © Mark D. Scherz, 2015