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A dog walker in Morpeth, England, found a lizard perched on a fence next to a road near the Widdrington Inn.

Sunita Samfryers, an official of the animal rescue group RSPCA, said the animal may have been abandoned. According to reports, there was cardboard box nearby, with some vegetables in it. Samfryers suggested the reptile may have been left at the side of the road and escaped the box on its own.

“Morpeth” the Iguana explores his new home

The local RSPCA nanny is hoping to find and arrest the former owner, if indeed this is an abandoned pet.

Fish may be at risk

“I am concerned that whoever had the iguana may have other pets like fish, and am worried about their ability to care for them,” Samfryers said.

“Very sadly, many people buy exotic pets without thinking through the responsibility first and with little or no idea of how difficult they are to care for, which as a result can lead to them being abandoned in a callous way like this.”

Bright future ahead

The lizard, which the RSPCA has nicknamed “Morpeth,” will remain in the local society pen for a month or two, after which it will be put down or donated to scientific experimentation or other useful purposes.

The Widdrington Inn is a popular country gastropub in the Tyneside area, about 6 miles (10 km) from Morpeth. It specializes in steak-and-ale pie, garlic-and-chive mash, and local game.

Original news story here.

| In Iguanas

Jon Stewart Leibowitz went off script. What is your guidance, my masters?

| In The Press

(From Changing America)

Time may be running out for several well-known invasive species that have established a dangerous foothold in Florida over the years.

Non-native reptiles have long been considered risks to Florida’s ecology, economy and resident health and safety, so much so that authorities have encouraged Floridians to humanely kill animals like the green iguana, which has been known to crawl into sewers and emerge on the other end of an unfortunate homeowner’s toilet bowl. The state spends about $8 million dollars each year in an effort to mitigate the invasive species.

Read the whole thing!

(Oh no wait, that’s the wrong link. Go here.)

| In Iguanas

More lizards, they are in hiding!

| In Iguanas

We’ve all secretly known that iguanas are really miniature dinosaurs left over the days when the Brontosaurus and Tricerotops ruled the earth! Well now some scientists in Antarctica have discovered there is some truth to this.

As reported by Business Insider:

Brontosaurus in his usual habitat.

Paleontologists have unearthed a new dinosaur relative in the rocks near the South Pole.
They named it Antarctanax shackletoni, or “Antarctic king.”
It was a carnivorous reptile about the size of an iguana that lived roughly 250 million years ago.

The scientists go on to say that although this specimen was a carnivore, it may not have had any teeth!

At the time Antarctanax lived, temperatures in Antarctica rarely dipped below freezing. (The continent froze over much later, around 30 million years ago.)

The reptile was about 4 to 5 feet long, and ate bugs, early mammals, and amphibians.

Sir Ernest Shackleton

“We think it’s an insectivore because of its body size,” Peecock said. “We didn’t find any teeth, but all of Antarctanax’s relatives were carnivorous at the time, so we’re pretty confident.”

Antarctanax shackletoni’s name is in part an homage to British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, who led multiple Antarctic expeditions in the early 1900s.

| In Iguanas

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is out of Memorial Sloan Kettering now and resting at home, but her days may be numbered. Rumors from her round-the-clock caregivers suggest that she is in extremely frail health and will not be walking the dog again anytime soon.

Marine iguanas.

However, joy has been brought into her life in the form of an animal companion. This is a brightly colored marine iguana that Ginsburg’s grandchild left many years ago on a visit, and which no one has succeeded in capturing.

No one, that is, except for Justice Ginsburg, in her motorized at-home hospital bed. She often keeps the iguana beside her, under the sheets.

The lizard, about four feet in length, is the ideal size to share an invalid’s bed. It has reportedly developed a taste for the green Jell-O that often accompanies Ginsburg meals.

Many golden-agers enjoy the comforting presence of cheerful iguanas.

The iguana bonded with the Justice a month ago, and since then they have been inseparable.

In the afternoon, when Justice Ginsburg sits in a recliner chair by the south-facing window and reads the newspaper, her iguana suns himself (or herself) on the windowsill.

Justice Ginsburg is 85. The iguana is about 12 or 13.

ADDENDUM Sept. 20, 2020: Justice Ginsburg has died at 87.

| In Iguanas