Evolution caught in action. This species of skink, normally an egg-laying type, is pregnant with live young.
My favorite part of this photo is that she looks like she’s going, “Yeah, I’m evolving. You wanna make something of it, punk?”
Science is fun.
The whole story is on National Geographic News.
I’ve always been fascinated by animals that are in a state of pronounced evolutionary transition. Everyone in primary school wanted a pet lion or shark - you know, some really cliche variety of carnivorous mega-fauna. I got weird looks whenever I said I wanted an Archaeopteryx.
I love skinks, but it has occurred to me that they would have been so much more bad-arse if their primordial ancestors hadn’t allowed the venemous proclivities of their serpentine forerunners to devolve into vestigiality, given the subsequent oblivion that invariably follows. I’m pretty sure I would never have caught these with my hands as a juvenile if they were capable of administering a heart-stopping toxin via a nip to the finger.
I can already hear the bible thumpers proclaiming the awesomeness pictured above as some divine experiment by Dr. Whitebeard in Heaven.