A gecko’s end

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL–What is Will examining so intently? There was drama on the outcrop this afternoon. We are used to seeing cute little geckos clinging to the rocks we study. As we skirted the edge of a limestone cliff, Will saw a very long and narrow snake dash after a lizard. We all watched as the lizard dived down the rocks of the cliff, scrambling to the bottom. The snake followed its every move, catching it in a talus pile. The circle of life.

You can see the snake’s coils here and a motionless lizard. Why is he holding so still in such a dangerous place?

Because on closer view we see that the snake has him by the head and has started to slowly swallow him.

This encounter reminds me of the lizard-scorpion battle witnessed by the 2010 Wooster Geologists team in Utah.

This was our last field day in Israel. Tomorrow morning, very early (4:00 a.m.!), we start the long drive north to Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion airport. Then the long flight to Newark and then Cleveland. It has been another wonderful adventure of geology, biology and history.

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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7 Responses to A gecko’s end

  1. asamale says:

    What a great picture, and such good timing! You have a lot of good pictures, but that is probably my favorite. It looks like it was a great trip.

  2. Mark Wilson says:

    Thanks, Adam! Hope all is well with you.

  3. Christoph says:

    A great picture from a great area! There’s so much to see in the Negev, thank you for blogging about that trip.

  4. Mark Wilson says:

    Thank you very much, Christoph! We are fortunate to be geologists.

  5. Stephanie Jarvis says:


  6. Mark Wilson says:

    I knew you’d like this one, Steph!

  7. Anna Mudd says:

    A look of pure terror is in that gecko’s eye.

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