Come back to this page each day to read another entry from Cathie Katz's beautifully illustrated journal, "Nature a Day at a Time."
||All lizards which are reptiles have scales, unlike salamanders which are amphibians and thus smooth-skinned.
The scales on reptiles are similar to the scales on bird legs -- and not surprisingly, lizards' skeletons, eyes and brains are very much the same as those of birds. Both lay eggs and both use an egg tooth to break out of their eggs. Reptiles are cold-blooded, and, at hatching, birds are cold-blooded - but within days they become warm-blooded.
Once upon a time there was a lizard with a perfectly good lizard's brain. ... This simple brain has survived for 200 million years in all animals. ...The newest and largest addition to the brain is the part that makes us human. The neocortex is rational and lets us store logic, language, mathematics, and speculation about the future. The neocortex lets us consciously change the behavior patterns dictated by our more primitive brains.
Dr. Joan Minninger in Total Recall
Cathie Katz, the author of several books on natural history, also co-founded The Drifting Seed, an international newsletter about rain forest drift seeds. In her engaging Nature a Day at a Time, published by Sierra Club Books and Random House, Katz interweaves fascinating facts about familiar creatures, pen-and-ink drawings and quotations.