Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Hey everyone,

I haven't been very active here the past few years, due to our relocation to Taiwan and the lesser amount of time I could dedicate to herping in either Borneo or Taiwan, and due to a thousand other factors, some tragic, some boring.

The good news , though, is that I've finished 80% of my Borneo memoirs I've been promising since 2015. They will be officially called The Snake in the Monkey Cup, and will most likely be completed around Chinese New Year 2021.

As an early present to those who've always showed such touching interest in my little jungle stories, I wonder if you guys would like to read a sample of the book. The chapter is called "Where's the Lizard" and describes the rediscovery of the Bornean Earless Monitor, aka Lanthanotus borneensis, in 2013. I'm offering this here because back in the day when I was allowed to play with the reptile on a regular basis, I was not allowed to tell anybody about it, unless I wanted to face deportation from Malaysia. Now, seven later, I'm free tell the story, and you guys should be the first to hear about it.

Let me know if you want to hear it :)

Cheers from Taiwan!

Hans

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by BillMcGighan »

Be interesting to preview a sample, Hans.
Keep us posted when all is complete.

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you, Bill. Here you go. No pix , though - the ones available online outpretty the ones I took back then :)

==========================================================================================
In December 2013, the cover photo of the august Herpetological Review shook the world of reptile science to the core. Shot from above, it showed a creature ripped straight from the pages of a fantasy novel. It was a brown lizard sitting on a bed of wet rocks, hind legs and prehensile tail partly submerged in clear, shallow water. Instead of scales, its leathery skin was covered in small beads. Half a dozen rows of large, triangular knobs running along the back of the beast like teeth gave it a dragon-like quality. Its head was thick, blunt, and heavy-jawed, and the nostrils sat on top of the snout, hinting at an aquatic lifestyle. In stark contrast to the animal’s gnarly, prehistoric look, its tiny eyes surprised with the color of a bright blue sky.
The Malays call it cicak purba – “ancient gecko”, and it really is a remnant from the depths of time. To many reptile fanciers and scientists, this is the “Holy Grail of Herpetology”. Known in English as Bornean Earless Monitor, its scientific name, Lanthanotus borneensis (“hidden ear from Borneo”) also reflects the lack of an external ear opening. Together with the lizard’s forked tongue, this strengthens the argument that monitor-like lizards were the ancestors of snakes. In 2013, the Bornean Earless Monitor was still a poorly known, enigmatic species considered to be the only living representative of the clade Lanthanotidae. The only other taxon allocated to this family is a fossil from the Upper Cretaceous period. The Austrian herpetologist Franz Steindachner described Lanthanotus borneensis in 1878, but for roughly the next century, this obscure species fell off the radar before a few specimens reemerged in the 1960s. At the time, Tom Harrison, curator of the Sarawak Museum, obtained some Earless Monitors and published two papers about their appearance and general behavior in the journal Nature, and three further articles in the Sarawak Museum Journal. These were the only existing data on live specimens. A few monitors were kept alive for several years in captivity, facilitating the first important behavioral studies of this rare species. Some mysteries could be lifted, but all further assumptions about the natural history, behavior, and specialized morphological adaptations of this unique species remained highly speculative. The following decades revealed no additional knowledge on the animal, and it remained hidden to the scientific world.
In 2013, lizard researchers and breeders alike still spoke of the Earless Monitor in hushed tones of nearly fetishistic adulation. And now, the cover of Herpetological Review rocked a photo of the world’s rarest lizard in the wild, recently taken at an unknown location by Professor Indraneil Das. The saga behind the rediscovery of Lanthanotus borneensis in Sarawak is as weird and wonderful as the critter itself, and I had the great fortune to experience it from a front row seat.

It all started with a cryptic WhatsApp text from Neil Das. As a reptile fancier myself, I was very much aware of the little dragon and its mythical status, but the only Lanthanotus I had ever seen was a stuffed specimen at the Sarawak Museum that had seen better days. I had long made peace with my assumption that L. borneensis had gone the way of its closest ancestor from the Upper Cretaceous a hundred million years ago. Even if a few of them were still kicking around in Sarawak, I would never see one alive. This species had been one of the reasons Neil Das moved to Borneo in 1991, and for twenty-two years, he and his team had unsuccessfully tried to rediscover the monitor. If the pros couldn’t find it in over two decades, what were my chances?
All this was radically turned on its head when my phone screen lit up with a message from the professor that threw me in a state of high confusion:

“Going on a Lanthanotus hunt!”

I texted back for more details but received no answer. Neil called me two nights later to explain. A Lanthanotus had been caught in a border village two hours from Kuching, and would I like to accompany him next time he visited the lizard? This can’t be happening, I thought. Not in my lifetime. This is a prank. But I pretended to take Neil seriously, and a few days later I collected the professor and his assistant Pui Yong Min at Neil’s house, to drive out to the border and see the magic dragon. Over a hasty breakfast at a noodle stall, Neil finally offered an explanation. The Lanthanotus was held captive at a mom-and-pop shop in a tiny village on the Indonesian border, right by a steep, forested hill streaked with small, fast-flowing streams. Early one morning, the shop owner’s wife had found the earless wonder perambulating the paved area in front of the shop that she was sweeping. His native habitat was most likely one of the nearby hill streams. Speculations still abound on what exactly had possessed the lizard to leave his stream and venture into the village, but the answer remains an enigma to this day. Lucky for the lizard, the shop owner and his wife were ethnic Chinese with strong traditional superstitions. They concluded that the animal had sought them out for a reason and would therefore bring them luck. Initially they housed it in an empty rat trap. Nobody in the village had ever seen such a creature or knew what it fed on. The elderly shop owner, affectionately known as “Uncle”, tried a variety of foods ranging from carrots to dry instant noodles. The lizard rejected them all until Uncle offered him a piece of raw fatty pork that was devoured in three seconds flat. Uncle was a smart man and quick on the uptake. He sensed that a rat trap was probably not the most natural environment for his new pet, and somehow assumed it might be fond of a wetter place. He transferred the Lanthanotus to a shallow plastic container filled with an inch of water and two flat rocks for basking. He also experimented with other meaty fare such as earthworms and small fish, all of which the lizard devoured with great relish.
One day, a neighbor took photos of the beast and put them on Facebook asking for identification. The post immediately went viral, and within hours, a friend of Neil’s and a fellow reptile buff, saw the pictures and notified the professor. Neil had driven out to the village to convince Uncle to donate the lizard to the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, to be kept in a large comfy terrarium and studied at leisure. Neil explained the animal’s incredible rarity (at the time, it was the world’s only known captive specimen), and its priceless importance for science. He even brought a stack of scientific papers to support his claims. Uncle read them all, but his mind was made up. The lizard had come to his house on his own volition, ergo it would bring luck, ergo it was not to leave the premises under any circumstances. Uncle was so enamored with the reptile that he even took it for daily walks in front of the shop. For a brief, mad moment of frustration, Neil’s group considered calling Sarawak Forestry and have them raid the place. Under Sarawakian law, Lanthanotus borneensis enjoys the highest protection, and anyone removing this species from the wild will suffer the full wrath of the government. Neil dismissed the notion as quickly as it had come up. One earless monitor at Uncle’s shop meant more where it had come from. Neil needed the cooperation of the villagers if he wanted to launch scientific expeditions on the hill behind the village. If he brought law enforcement down on the locals, they would forever shun him and any other outsider inquiring about the species. After lengthy negotiations, they reached a compromise. Uncle’s lucky pet would stay where it was, but Neil’s team was granted unlimited access to it for further studies. The village’s communal house would be repurposed as a makeshift dormitory for the scientists. (As mentioned, Uncle was a shrewd man. A dozen hungry and thirsty biologists living in the village also meant brisk business for his shop.)

We were getting closer to the border now. While I tried to digest Neil’s stranger-than-fiction tale, I noticed that the secondary-growth trees had disappeared from the roadside. We had entered an area that reminded me of old photos of the Battle of Verdun. Trees and undergrowth alike had been cleared, leaving a wasteland that vibrated in the super-heated air. We passed a stack of huge logs piled up by the road. A dozen indigenous and Indonesian men in identical black t-shirts bearing a company logo were loading the tree trunks onto a logging truck with the help of heavy machinery. A Chinese man with a rabbity look and the same black company t-shirt watched the operation. He had his hands in his pockets, which outed him as the foreman. I stopped, rolled down my window, and inquired what species of tree those logs were. In lieu of an answer, he asked me - not unfriendly, but straight to the point - what business I had here. Instead of picking up on the vibe, rolling up my window, and getting the hell out of Dodge, I feigned ignorance. “Just curious, sir. Never seen these trees before, I believe. What company do you work for?”, I added unnecessarily because that information was clearly visible on the man’s shirt. In a puzzling move, he turned to one of the workers and relayed my question to him. The worker shrugged and walked away. This alone should have triggered a dozen alarms. But my curiosity benumbed me to the scene. I had to know. “Where are the trees from?” The foreman had now decided that there was no need to come up with an elaborate lie, after all. He had marked me as a harmless foreign dunce whom he could trust with the full truth because I wouldn’t believe it anyway. He pointed at Indonesia. “From the inside.” The fog in my brain started to lift. They cut down trees just beyond the border in Indonesia and dragged them out here to haul them off on Malaysian trucks. They wore shirts with the logo of a company they didn’t seem to know or even want to know about. They were suspicious of strangers. My sense of self-preservation kicked back into gear. I thanked the man for his time and kindness and hit the accelerator. Neil looked at me with an inscrutable expression which I interpreted as “You really don’t know what a bonehead you are, do you?” His assistant, Pui, tended studiously to his own thoughts and avoided eye contact. I guessed it was true: God watches over drunks and fools.

The village sat on the edge of the wild. It looked as old as the hills around it but was kept trim and neat. A school, a small church, and a baruk, a skull house, were the prominent features. Boulders lined the village trails winding between colorful stilt houses. The porches were alive with pets and children. I waved and said “hello!” to a particularly sweet little girl. She bolted into the house in naked terror, dragging her poor puppy behind her by the neck. Like the rest of the kampung, Uncle’s shop was rustic, but squeaky clean. Not including the drink fridge and the enormous freezer, all furniture was made from rough wood, from the floor-to-ceiling shelves to the large counter. A dozen people in traditional garb milled around the shop. They belonged to different tribes, including a few from Indonesia. The border was less than five hundred feet away, and judging from their bare, calloused feet, some of these folks had just hiked over the border to shop here. A stocky woman in a Bidayuh turban was transferring hundreds of large, live, and presumably edible frogs from a big net into a waist-high gunny sack. The shelves overflowed with snacks and candy, dried fish, canned goods, sacks of rice and flour, bottled beer and moonshine, farming tools, and a thousand useful things more. The shop was dark and swirled with aromatic scents, and it transported you three hundred years back, while taking care that you always knew what century it really was. A sixty-inch flatscreen hung on a wall between parang machetes and fish traps; and a group of rough-looking fellows, maybe plantation hands or loggers, were watching the show with great interest. It was a home video of a traditional gawai harvest celebration in an Iban longhouse. As we entered the shop, one of the celebrants in the video projectile-vomited over the veranda railing, wiped his mouth, and reached for the tuak bottle again, cheered on by his equally hammered buddies. The video sound was muted; instead, indigenous sape music poured from powerful loudspeakers chained to the walls. The place and its patrons reminded me of the Mos Eisley cantina on Tattooine, described in the Star Wars Databank as “a dimly-lit tavern known for its strong drinks, hot tunes, and occasional outbreaks of shocking violence.”
On the shop counter, next to a rosewood abacus polished to a high gleam by decades of daily use, sat the world’s rarest lizard. The reptile rested on two flat rocks in a transparent Tupperware box and soaked his tail in the surrounding water. A sense of unreality stole over me like a shadow. Time stalled. I pinched myself in the thigh. Yep. Still awake. Not dreaming. Yes, Mr. Hans, you are standing in front of a genuine, breathing Lanthanothus borneensis. Few things could have excited me more at that moment, short of a triceratops crashing through the back wall and raiding the icebox. As lizards go, the dirt-colored monitor wasn’t exactly an aesthetic triumph. But his archaic ugliness was part of the legend. He was large for the species, about a foot and a half long. His blue eyes were the size of rice grains, the legs short but equipped with long sharp claws. Adding to this the knobby ridges and antediluvian head resulted in an animal that was simply beyond comparison. This was the greatest moment in my career as an amateur herpetologist, and I believe Neil was similarly enthused. The lizard did not reciprocate our feelings; the bipedal mammals on both sides of the counter were of supreme disinterest to him. When I picked him up with almost religious veneration, I discovered one of his most surprising qualities: his skin and flesh moved loosely against each other, like two independent entities. The wart snake I had found at the Serian market had provided the same sensation. Some believe this allows both animals to move easier deep inside narrow underwater cracks and crevices; according to another theory, it helps with oxygen uptake, as it does in certain cold-water frogs. Science is still unclear about the precise reason for the baggy skin. Uncle watched us from under his bushy eyebrows with visible pride. We asked and received his permission to take the lizard outside for a photoshoot. Ten minutes of wobbly walking on wet rocks and roots brought us to a fast-flowing streamlet running over shale-like rocks. Pui was tasked with controlling the Lanthanotus while Neil photographed it. It was a thankless job. As soon as Pui set the lizard on the ground, it took off like a wind-up toy: not overly fast, but never stopping. Neil shot the animal in a dozen poses – in and out of the water, on a rock, on a tree trunk, and walking around. Walk around it did a lot, and Pui really had his work cut out for him putting the lizard back in focus times without number.

When we returned to Uncle’s shop, the table outside was occupied by four sweaty, camouflaged soldiers in full battle rattle. They carried Austrian-made sub-machine guns; the frag grenades hanging from their chests almost outnumbered their jacket buttons, and one of them packed an assault rifle with attached grenade launcher. They were chugging ice-cold liter bottles of 100+, that legendary Malaysian pick-me-up sports drink, and helping themselves to a small mountain of potato chips on the table. If you ignored the modern firearms and the southeast Asian faces, you could easily mistake them for an American long-range recon unit heading into Laos, ca. 1971. They smiled at us as we passed by, and after returning the Lanthanotus to his Tupperware box on the counter, I went back outside and struck up a conversation. They were indeed on patrol. “We just came out of the jungle after seven days of checking the border. We’ll R&R here for a day, then go back in for another week.” What were they looking for? “Smugglers carrying contraband like illegal firearms, drugs, protected animals, unlicensed alcohol and cigarettes, the usual stuff. But our main job is to pull out the border posts and plant them back in their original positions.” That put a blank look on my face, and they explained: “The Indonesians remove the posts and replant them on Malaysian territory, to increase their acreage for farming, mostly rubber trees. But it’s a tug-of-war we can’t win. When we come back in a few weeks, the posts will be right back where we pulled them out, if not even deeper on Malaysian soil.” I asked if I could take a photo of their group, but they declined with apologetic smiles. This time, I took the hint.

Neil instructed me to keep the Lanthanotus and its location strictly under wraps. For the foreseeable future, my photos were not to leave my computer, and under no circumstances was I to mention the lizard online or to anyone I didn’t trust. Poachers have identified sites even from close-up photos by analyzing the leaves on the ground next to the animal, and the earless monitor was to be treated like an Area 51-level national secret. This was still the status quo a few months later when I took two visiting American herpers to see and photograph the reptile, and almost committed one of the worst blunders in the history of herpetology. Bill, Kevin, and I had taken the Lanthanotus to the table outside Uncle’s shop. He slowly wandered around the table, with no particular place to go, allowing us great close-ups from every conceivable angle. An hour later, we had taken every photo we could possibly want from the animal. He was resting in the middle of the table, flicking its forked tongue out in lazy intervals. We were “chimping” now, reviewing our photos on the back screens of our cameras like curious apes. Each of us had taken hundreds of shots, so the chimping took a while. Then Bill casually looked up, surveyed the table, and said,

“Where’s the lizard?”

On that sunny morning in early 2013, “the lizard” was still the only living Lanthanotus borneensis known to science. Uncle, and by extension, Neil, had trusted my friends and me with this one-of-a-kind reptile. And now, in an astonishing outbreak of collective stupidity, we had managed to lose it. The lizard had never displayed any sense of urgency in its movements; he was slow, if occasionally determined, and we felt he was too small and physically unfit to jump off a table. This had bred complacency; we had been duped into believing that we could surely afford to ignore the mini-dragon for a few minutes. We looked under the table. No Lanthanotus. Panic welled up in my stomach like hot magma. If we didn’t find this animal, not only would we get into serious trouble with Uncle and Neil (not to mention the instantaneous loss of our reputations as herpers) but I in particular faced possible retribution from the government. In my mind I already saw myself and my family getting deported, leaving behind forever the life we had carved out for ourselves in Borneo. My heart raced at a dangerous rate. Kevin ran into the shop to see if the lizard had tried to return to his Tupperware palace. He hadn’t. I felt I was about to black out and came even closer to full-bore hysteria than on that September night in 1999 when I and my young family lived through the Great Taiwan Earthquake. Bill and I looked around the corner of the shop, and there, thirty yards ahead of us and well on his way into the jungle, was the lizard. He was moving at a previously unrecorded pace, and by the time the two overweight pink apes – now panting hard and drenched in sweat - reached him and picked him up, he was just a few more seconds away from forever disappearing into the underbrush and from our lives.
Crisis averted, we carried “the lizard” back into the shop. As we placed him in his box, Uncle scrutinized us through squinted eyes. We were giddier and louder than necessary, and we bought way too many cold drinks. I'll bet Fort Knox against a rotten jackfruit that Uncle just knew something foul had happened. In the future, he would be more careful around random gringos who wanted to take his lucky pet for a spin.

Not long after Lanthanotus borneensis had appeared on the cover of Herpetological Review, rumors about poaching operations began to materialize. Ron Orenstein, a Canadian wildlife lawyer with a Ph.D. in ornithology, a Sarawakian wife, and a sheer unquenchable thirst for the natural world, wrote to me:

"It looks like illegal collectors are now finding Lanthanotus and smuggling them out of Borneo. I recently received this news from a German colleague: ‘Two Germans went to Borneo in late April and again in late May. During their first trip they poached 21 pairs of L. borneensis (we don’t know whether in Sarawak or Kalimantan) – and the first online adverts for these animals appeared in May – asking for 7,500 and 8,000 Euro/pair’. All the more reason to keep things close to our chest!”

About the same time, a Japanese reptile magazine printed a multi-page story about the discovery of an earless monitor in a stream in Kalimantan, just south of the border from Uncle’s shop. According to the article, the author had released the lizard in the stream after taking photos in situ. Curiously enough, a week later a Japanese reptile zoo announced that they had acquired a breeding pair of L. borneensis and would put it on display soon. Grapevine buzz about German and Czech poachers kept increasing, and a Lanthanotus pair was offered at the Terraristika Hamm, the world’s largest reptile trade show, for 25,000 Euros. There is an ironic upside of wildlife poaching for the hobbyist market: as soon as people start to breed rare, “new” animals, the initially extreme prices implode. Today, various zoos and private lizard keepers around the world are running successful Lanthanotus breeding programs. The earless monitor is still not cheap by any standard, but the days when a single specimen could fetch USD 28,000 in Japan are history.

Since those heady frontier days in 2013, field work by Neil and his team has produced support for the assumption on encyclopedia.com that “(t)he earless monitor lizard is not threatened, but should be considered gravely endangered as it occurs only in riverine areas of Sarawak (and Kalimantan) that have been dramatically altered by human activity.” In short, another not-rare-but-rarely-seen animal under pressure from habitat loss. The authors add a positive note: “However, the earless monitor lizard can survive in high densities in areas surrounded by degraded habitats (including oil palm plantations), and rocky streams, possibly its preferred habitat, are relatively unaffected by humans.”
At the time of this writing, almost eight years after Uncle’s wife rediscovered Lanthanotus borneensis, Neil’s teams are working at two sites deep in Sarawak’s remote interior. They put radio transmitters on a good number of earless monitors to track their daily business and gain information on their ecology, thermoregulation, and other data. L. borneensis has long lost its ultra-rarity status, and that is good news for the species. Although I must admit, sometimes I wish it was 2013 again, when the only live dinosaur science knew of lived next to an abacus in an ancient village shop in the middle of Borneo.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by BillMcGighan »

Perfect...
Let us know when all is finished.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you, Bill! Will do!

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by gcsnelling »

Good stuff, thanks for posting.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

gcsnelling wrote:
October 5th, 2020, 3:31 pm
Good stuff, thanks for posting.
Thank you! By the way, what happened to all the traffic here on FHF? Looks pretty deserted these days. Does the pandemic keep people from herping, or have they moved to a hipper place I haven't heard about yet? :D

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by BillMcGighan »

Many herp faceted interests used this as a central place for cussing and discussing. It was entertaining, enlightening and brought together research folks, hobby herpers, delicup herpers, etc. Facebook seriously impacted this by separating the groups, enabling like thinkers to consolidate.
Final nail in the coffin was increased assault by lunatic fringe.

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by gcsnelling »

Admittedly I have not been a regular poster these days, in my case I just don't get out as much as I used to.

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you both for your replies, guys! "Lunatic fringe"...what's that about?

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by BillMcGighan »

You and I.....
And I'm not sure about you! :lol: ;) ;)


PM sent

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Jeff
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Jeff »

Hans
What an eloquent story. Your subtle and entertaining use of humor as an undertone throughout made for non-stop reading. The story probably could not have been better told.
In contrast, one of my recent books (2014 - Snakes of the World...Wallach, Williams and Boundy) rated this review on Amazon dot com "... The excitement starts and ends with the cover. Not worth the amount of paper it took to print it." Hmmm, probably a different reader target.
I and my five friends remain to comprise FHF - I because I don't fool with Facebook, nor have an i-phone, wear an aluminum foil cap to deflect 5G, and avoid Belgium - the others because they are the lunatic fringe.
Jeff

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by dendrelaphis »

Hi Hans, a wonderful story, each time I entered the Bornean jungle (and I did that many, many times) I hoped to see this amazing creatue, but I never did. I will centainly get the book!!

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by jonathan »

BillMcGighan wrote:
October 6th, 2020, 7:23 am
Many herp faceted interests used this as a central place for cussing and discussing. It was entertaining, enlightening and brought together research folks, hobby herpers, delicup herpers, etc. Facebook seriously impacted this by separating the groups, enabling like thinkers to consolidate.
Final nail in the coffin was increased assault by lunatic fringe.
That is a nearly perfect summary of what happened.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Hi guys,

I'm very sorry to reply this late - all FHF notification mails have been ending up in my Spam folder since October, and only now I've discovered them there!

Thank you for your compliments and your explanations regarding the fate of this forum. It's very sad, to say the least - this was always such a vibrant community. Another reason for the decline of quality posts here might be smart phones. Everyone gets their online fix on their phones nowadays, and people just don't want to write sprawling posts with only two thumbs on a tiny keypad.

@Jeff: don't be put off by Amazon reviews. A lot of the "reviewers" are just morons doing what they do on Facebook: firing off whatever goes through their little brains at the moment they're writing. And keep in mind that the world is not exclusively populated with morons, as another review of your snake book shows: ""… a specialized resource focusing on the history and documentation of naming conventions … comprehensive, comprising over 1,200 pages, and including almost 400 pages of references. … key reference source for any professional herpetologist interested in naming nomenclature. Recommended for academic libraries."
―By Kevin McDonough for ARBAonline


I'd go with that one :)

Cheers, and thanks again!

Hans

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Kelly Mc »

I would go with that one too, Jeff.

Accuracy is timeless and timelessness is exciting.

Im a morbid procrastinator but need to get your book Hans and Jeffs too. There is no duplicate for a book.

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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Kelly Mc wrote:
November 10th, 2020, 2:15 pm
Im a morbid procrastinator
I'm a morbidly obese procrastinator. So I win. But I'm very grateful for this comment; I've been percrasternatin' the entire November so far, and you pushed me back on the writing track again.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Kelly Mc »

Your generousity is wanton in the kindest way.

You have the ability to change things with a few words. And make a person want to be like you.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you very much, Kelly, that's the nicest thing anybody has said to me in a while...I'll strive to live up to it!
Kelly Mc wrote:
November 11th, 2020, 1:49 pm
Your generousity is wanton in the kindest way.

You have the ability to change things with a few words. And make a person want to be like you.

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krismunk
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by krismunk »

Thanks for the teaser, Hans, looking forward to the book. As I guess pretty much everyone else around here I've always been a fan of your writing but this is good even by your standards.

Inspires me to get started on my own reports again. Atm I'm some 3+ years behind with a couple of nearly finished ones stuck in limbo on the laptop's hard disk for ages, a score of others never even making it from my own internal processing unit to the keyboard.

Procrastination...

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Bornean Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) - THE BOOK

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you, Kris - JUST DO IT - the herping world needs more reports!
krismunk wrote:
November 13th, 2020, 3:25 am
Thanks for the teaser, Hans, looking forward to the book. As I guess pretty much everyone else around here I've always been a fan of your writing but this is good even by your standards.

Inspires me to get started on my own reports again. Atm I'm some 3+ years behind with a couple of nearly finished ones stuck in limbo on the laptop's hard disk for ages, a score of others never even making it from my own internal processing unit to the keyboard.

Procrastination...

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