Hawkesbury Herpetological Society has many opportunities throughout the year for our members to get involved. We have our Show and Tell night in February for Scouts and Girl Guides. This incorporates our annual photo competition. In March, we hold our expo which draws thousands of people in. We have our member’s picnic, usually held in September / October. We also hold monthly meetings with guest speakers and field trips to suit a wide range of herpers. Most years, the herpetological societies of Sydney and surrounds join together for a Christmas BBQ.
In July we were graced with the presence of our Patron John Cann who provided an interesting and extensive power point presentation that covered a wide range of John’s vast experiences of various herpetological adventures over many years. They included The Galapagos Islands and many other interesting and less well known and beautiful places in Australia.
Neville Burns also signed copies of his book - "A Gift from The Snake that Bit Him" - for those lucky enough to be there.
At our June meeting, Tim Jackson gave a fascinating and very informative talk on venoms. In particular how what a reptile eats affects the properties of its venom. This then lead to the difference in venom properties between very young snakes and more mature snakes as young snakes are eating skinks, geckos etc as opposed to rodents.
Another interesting aspect is that specific antivenin for a particular species may not be entirely suitable in some instances as the venom of individual animals can vary widely. Something to think about for elapid handlers.
Tim Jackson works at the University of Queensland for Brian Fry and is doing his PhD on venoms. Thank you to Tim for this incredible insight into venom research I am sure none of us were aware of.
At our May meeting we were entertained by Hank van Leeuwen who is an osteologist / taxidermist who has a very large collection of skeletons from dinosaurs and reptiles through to zoo animals. Hank’s talk was very different from our normal guest speakers topics. It was one of the most interesting we have had. He is a very engaging person and spoke in some detail about how he deals with the various aspects of taxidermy and the different techniques of preserving skeletons. This was a fascinating talk and the members had lots of questions. For more detail of Hank’s talk see the next issue of the Broadhead News.
You can visit Hank's website, Museum Of Comparative Zoology Australia -- mocza.com -- you may wish to purchase one of Hank’s exhibits, of which there are many.
Annual Photo Comp - Apr 2014
At our April meeting we held our annual photo competition. The meeting was well attended and there were a considerable number of entries for our guest photographer judge Ken Griffith to mull over. Ken expressed a view that we could have different categories such as ‘natural’ and ‘contemporary’. Ken was very generous with his advice and gave some excellent advice and tips on how to take great shots of reptiles. Ken also provided a powerpoint presentation with some stunning examples of his work. We were also graced with the presence of another renowned photographer Jeff Higgins. The winning entry was claimed by Troy Hovenden with a great photo of a Mainland Tiger (Notechis scutatus). Fran Grant claimed 2nd prize and one of our younger members Scott Moller came in at 3rd place. Congratulations to all and thank you to both Ken and Jeff.