Friday Weird Science: Heeeere, lizard lizard lizard...

Aug 07 2009 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Sci is unfortunately coming down to the wire on several projects (including approaching Super Awesome Conference at which Sci is going to BLIND PEOPLE WITH SCIENCE), and so there was no time to cover a paper this week, even though I had several in mind. Instead, Sci will show you...this:

The image is courtesy of You Suck at Craigslist (which is a GREAT site), and if I knew from whence this lizard came, I would truly like to barter...something...for it, and then I would give it as a gift to Laelaps, because he is awesome and clearly would know how to take care of a lovely mummified lizard that has "Numerous other detailed parts that you would find on any of today's Lizards" (because this species apparently died circa 1997...). In fact, I bet Laelaps and Mrs. Laelaps would find this gift pretty awesome for their anniversary. And I owe Laelaps. He's the one who introduced me to You Suck at Craigslist. I mean, it's got all these FEATURES:
Toes = 10
Fingers = 10
Tail = one complete
Eye sockets = two GOOD'URNS
No cracks, scratches or broken parts. 100% Complete!!!
Additionally, the seller asserts that he harmed no lizards in the obtaining of this mummy, he found a car. An old, broken car.
Seriously, I think this thing is awesome. Sci would totally put it on her mantle. But she would be nice and give it to Laelaps. Happy (belated) anniversary, Laelaps!!!
So today, Sci has a weird science question for YOU: how would such a lizard come to be mummified by being in a car? And what kind of lizard IS it? Anybody? And who wants to send the awesome mummified version to SCI?!?!

4 responses so far

  • Clearly it's a typo, they wrote "CAR" but meant "SARcophagus" - it's a common mistake.

  • You know, I think it's something strange about reptiles. they prefer to dessicate rather than rot. How do I know this? In my previous abode I had several geckos that hung around the front door (they were far better mosquito control than those zapping UV lights) - anyway, one day one of them scurried between the door and the door jam while I was closing it. Squish! I found the gecko the next day when I opened the door. It wasn't totally flat, but it was completely dry and brittle. I found this to be pretty remarkable in a climate that is regularly above 80% humidity.

  • Laelaps says:

    Aww, thanks Sci! I would put it on my desk next to my skull comparison display. 🙂
    This reminds me of when Mrs. Laelaps saw an ad on Freecycle for a full-size "stuffed alligator." We had joked that I would eventually need a real taxidermied alligator for the office, so when we saw this we shot back an e-mail asking if it was a toy or a "real" 'gator. The person, no doubt somewhat befuddled, wrote back that it was a toy. I can't imagine that they expected that response.

  • MsBothropoides says:

    Sci, I think this is a pretty common occurrence. Looks like an anole, and probably the green anole, Anolis carolinensis. I find they turn brown when they're dehydrated, and they're certainly not always green. Here in Florida it's simple to find dried up anoles around. We actually have a little brown anole mummy in the light fixture of our department's conference room. I don't know why small reptiles dry out; I agree with ambivalent academic that it seems odd for these little guys to mummify in a moist climate.

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