Wild Pakistan: Reptiles and Amphibians

Because of its diverse landscapes, Pakistan is home to many unusual animals. Here are just a few of the amazing creatures the country has to offer:

 

Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos, who live throughout Asia, grow to be 10 inches long as adults. They have little claws rather than sticky toes like most geckos. When frightened or attacked, the leopard gecko can shed its tail in attempt to distract predators. Luckily the tail will usually grow back, since leopard geckos store fat and even water in their tails. They have a calm manner and are not prone to biting, which has made them a popular pet.

 

 Gecko_léopard_Ile_aux_Serpents_171108_1

Checkered Keelback

This water snake can be found all over Asia, from Pakistan to Taiwan. They have a wide range of scale colorings and black tongues, and adults can reach almost 4 feet in length. Checkered Keelbacks eat mostly frogs, but sometimes they also eat small mammals and lizards. Though the snake’s bites are deep and painful, they are not venomous. Females lay can lay up to 80 eggs at one time, which allows the snakes to maintain a large population.

Xenochrophis_piscator-_Checkered_keelback

 

Mugger Crocodile

The Mugger crocodile is found throughout South Asia. They reach up to 16 feet in length, and have distinctively flat heads. They are very social and use sounds to communicate with each other. Mugger crocodiles have also been documented using tools to hunt. During mating season, and in areas with large numbers of birds, these crocodiles balance sticks on their noses to attract and trap birds. When the bird flies down to get the stick for its nest, the crocodile catches it. They are highly intelligent and their habits have been studied more in recent years.

 

 Large_mugger_crocodile

Gharial

Gharial, part of the crocodylia order of species, live all over South Asia. Once they reach adulthood, these reptiles have an unusual round snout, distinguishing them from other crocodiles. Males can reach up to 20 feet in length, making them one of the largest types of crocodiles in the world. With over 100 teeth, these animals are a fearsome sight. Unfortunately, there are only an estimated 1,000 gharial left in the wild and they are critically endangered.

 

 

Two_Gharials 

Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtles live in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and are known to have a large nest site near Karachi, Pakistan. While young turtles eat some small sea creatures, the adults are herbivores. Green sea turtles weigh 240 to 420 pounds, and are usually around four feet long. They are internationally recognized as an endangered species.

 Green sea turtle [Red Sea, Egypt]

Indus Valley Bullfrog

This mostly aquatic frog lives in Pakistan and India. This species of frog is fairly large, growing to be 6.5 inches in length. Though they are most often olive green or brown, some frogs have bright green or yellow patches on their sides and backs. Like all frogs, they do not chew their food, but still have teeth on the roof of their mouth that they use to hold prey until they can swallow. Males turn yellow during the mating season and their vocal sacks turn a bright blue, in the hopes of attracting females. This vibrant color change all for the sake of seeking a mate makes this species all the more fascinating.

 

Indianbullfrog_sal

Sources:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/reptilesamphibians/facts/factsheets/leopardgecko.cfm
http://thelife-animal.blogspot.com/2012/08/leopard-gecko.html http://www.snakesoftaiwan.com/Xenochrophis%20piscator/species_xenochrophis_piscator.htm
http://www.arkive.org/mugger/crocodylus-palustris/
http://www.sci-news.com/biology/science-american-alligators-mugger-crocodiles-lures-hunt-prey-01611.html http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/reptilesamphibians/facts/factsheets/gharial.cfm
http://a-z-animals.com/animals/gharial/
http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtleinformation.php?page=green
http://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/26258
http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query?where-genus=Hoplobatrachus&where-species=tigerinus 

Photos:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gecko_l%C3%A9opard_Ile_aux_Serpents_171108_1.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xenochrophis_piscator-_Checkered_keelback.jpg Photo Author: steve kharmawphlang
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Large_mugger_crocodile.jpg Author: jackol Permission: CC BY 2.0
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_Gharials.jpg Author: Harsha K R
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_sea_turtle_near_Marsa_Alam.JPG Author: Alexander Vasenin
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indianbullfrog_sal.jpg Author: Saleem Hameed Permission: cc-by-2.5
Banner Photos:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Babool_(Acacia_nilotica)_flowers_at_Hodal_W_IMG_1163.jpg Author: J.M.Garg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erythrina_variegata.jpg Author: Tauʻolunga
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indianbullfrog_sal.jpg Author: Saleem Hameed Permission: cc-by-2.5
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ursus_thibetanus_3_(Wroclaw_zoo).JPG Author: Guérin Nicolas
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_Avadavat_(Amandava_amandava)_W_IMG_4408.jpg Author: J.M.Garg

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Anne Sutherland

Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing
Anne Sutherland is an Administrative Coordinator at Allshore Virtual Staffing, a remote staffing agency. Having a BA in Asian Studies, minor in Japanese, and time spent abroad, Anne excels at multi-cultural communication and continually stays up to date on cultural events and research.

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