UPDATE: THANKS TO MY KNOWLEDGEABLE READERS, THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED!
Warning, this post might be a tad gross for some! For others who are a bit like me and love to examine a piece of dead animal...well, this is right you your ally.
As I was doing some digiscoping around Merritt Island NWR, I glanced down at something interesting. At first glance, it almost resembled a huge talon. As I bent down for a closer look, I realized that it wasn't a claw or a talon, but a piece of snake...or so I thought!
It was a bit dried up. I do not know my reptiles and had no idea what this snake was. I originally blogged that this was a snake, but N8 (aka The Drinking Bird) noticed that this reptile piece had eyelids (insert dramatic music) which meant that it is not a snake at all. I did not know this, but snakes do not have eyelids (more dramatic music). I had made an id mistake (insert sad trombone).
A few more readers wrote in agreeing with N8 that this was a glass lizard and I had to go ye olde google and find out about it. After a rant on my part about scientists being nuts for doing things like this (ie calling a bird a red-bellied woodpecker when you barely can see the red) and now we have something that is cold blooded, doesn't have arms or legs, and slithers BUT it's not a snake, it's a lizard. Aaaargh!
So, here's the skinny on the glass lizard. It is not a snake because of they have movable eyelids, their head shape is not what it should be for a snake, they have ear openings on the outside, and some species so have little stunted legs near the vents.
Who knew? Not me, that's for sure!
But I can tell you that it was a meal for some creature. I wanted to get a feel for size and I picked it up for scale. Big mistake, it was rather stinky. But you could see the tiny teeth it had. You also could see a puncture wound. Was that from a talon of some raptor or a beak mark left behind by some harrier that tried to eat it. Many questions left behind, but at least did receive the answer on the id and learned about a new creature!
Thank you to all the readers who wrote in and clued me in. I really appreciate it!
On a side note, since we're talking gross here. I got a new animal for my road kill list. On Tuesday, I passed a dead wild boar on the highway into Titusville.