In Pine Barrens, New Jersey, reptile experts Dave Schneider and Dave Burkett are carrying out some valuable – if potentially dangerous – research. As part of his work, you see, Burnett is photographing some baby rattlesnakes – a task that many people would fear. But as the zoologist stares through his lens, he notices something both strange and remarkable: one of his venomous subjects has a terrifying deformity.
And even as herpetologists, Schneider and Burkett may have been surprised at what they saw. Herpetology itself is the analysis of cold-blooded tetrapods – namely reptiles, amphibians and caecilians. Indeed, while such creatures may seem very much removed from us humans, scientists nevertheless believe that we have much to learn from them.