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Miles the Water Monitor Wants His Own Day, Too by Elaine A. Powers, Author

photo of a large lizard, a water monitor, on a tree branch
Water Monitor image courtesy of Yarachan from Pixabay

Last post, I wrote about my adventures with script-writing and the short, comedic audio scripts of Conversations with Dudley Dewlap. In this excerpt from “First Noel,” Miles and Molly Monitor decide there should be a day honoring water monitors, because Dudley has March 17 or Green Iguana Day (as he calls it). However, Dudley manages to turn the conversation toward himself, as usual. He does give some pretty good advice and I hope you enjoy this tidbit from the script.

MILES: So what would you be celebrating on Dudley Day?

DUDLEY: I’ve been thinking about that.

MILES: Of course, you have.

DUDLEY: The celebration of the perfection of the green iguana.

MILES: ‘Cuse me?

DUDLEY: All animals should strive to seek the perfection that is the iguana. I realize I need to provide instruction in how to achieve ig-ness.

MILES: You came up with instructions? What are they?

DUDLEY: First, always look for a sunbeam to bask in.

MILES: Sounds delightful. Next?

DUDLEY: Swimming in warm water helps you find contentment.

MILES: I agree one hundred percent.

DUDLEY: Always reach for the top.

MILES: Does is have to be a tree?

DUDLEY: Of course not. Never be content with what you’ve achieved – always try for more.

MILES: Excellent advice. Never tolerate mediocrity.

DUDLEY: Bright colors make you look your best.

MILES: But the predators might see you more easily….

DUDLEY: It’s not easy being green.

MILES: Uh, Dudley, I think an amphibian already uses that phrase.

DUDLEY: Are you sure?

MILES: Yeah, he has his own TV show, has been in movies, quite famous. Dates a glamorous pig.

DUDLEY: Really? Give ‘im a call. We’ll do lunch.

MILES: Any other instructions?

DUDLEY: Be different and people will notice you.

MILES: It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.

DUDLEY: A diet with lots of vegetables is good for you.

MILES: Maybe for you herbivores and omnivores, but what about us carnivores?

DUDLEY: And last, but most important, look for the warmth in people.

There you have it–a short bit from one of the scripts in Conversations with Dudley Dewlap. Click the link below to check it out for your school or theater group. Purchase of any of the audio script books includes performance rights.

Gray book cover, illustrated with two iguanas standing in front of microphones
Funny and educational audio scripts ranging from five to 20 minutes in length

Conversations with Dudley Dewlap: The World from a Lizard Point of View is a collection of short comedy, small cast, audio scripts. Most roles are gender neutral. The primary characters are talk show hosts who discuss various amusing topics. The scripts can be combined or used individually. Additional cast can be used for the sound effects. Along with being entertaining and family friendly, many of the scripts are also educational. The scripts are amenable to radio theater, readers theater, or may be adapted for stage. Approximate running times vary with each script, ranging from 5-20 minutes.


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What Good Are Reptiles, Anyway? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

People often ask me what reptiles are good for, especially the venomous ones like rattlesnakes. Besides being an important part of the ecosystem and controlling rodents that spread diseases to people, several very interesting drugs have been developed from reptilian venoms. Venoms are known to affect the nervous or circulatory systems, and these properties have been exploited to produce effective treatments. Let me introduce you to four of them.

First is Captopril, an ACE inhibitor (angiotensin converting enzyme), that was approved by the FDA in 1981. This drug acts through vasodilation to reduce hypertension, treating congestive heart failure after myocardial infarction and preservation of kidney function in diabetic nephropathy.

Captopril is based on a protein found to be a peptide in the Lancehead Viper (Bothrops jararaca),Molecular Formula C9H15NO3S.

Molecular Formula C9H15NO3S.

Next is a drug that was developed from one of my favorite venomous snakes, the rattlesnake. Rattlesnake venoms have components that affect their prey in different ways. One way causes anticoagulation, and the victim bleeds to death. The anticoagulating properties of the venom from the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri) led to the drug Eptifibatide. Eptifibatide is used for anti-coagulation therapies to reduce the risk of heart attacks. However this drug is only used in severe cases, because of the possible side effect of thrombocytopenia, a condition where platelets are unable to aggregate at all.

Eptifibatide molecular formulaCourtesy of

The third drug derived from reptiles is Exenatide, one of my favorite venom drugs. It is a synthetic version of Exendin-4, which is found in the saliva of Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum), one of my favorite lizards. Gila monsters are not only colorful, they are the only venomous lizard in North America.

Exenatide is used to treat Type II Diabetes. It works by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin for the control of blood sugar levels. Its molecular formula is C184H282N50O60S.

Molecular formula is C184H282N50O60S.
                                  Courtesy of PubChem


With this fourth drug, we are back to snakes. Hemolytic venoms from South American pit vipers, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops moojeni, produced Batroxobin. Batroxobin’s valuable action is to cleave or break up fibrinogen, similarly to similar to the effect of Thrombin. Thrombin’s action on fibrinogen creates fibrin, which is necessary for stopping the loss of blood as a result of injury. It’s the body’s bandage. The Batroxobin from B. atrox is called Reptilase and is used to stop bleeding. The B. moojeni version is used to break up clots as Defibrase. When used as part of Vivostat, baxotroxobin treats blood before surgery to produce clots. These clots are collected and then dissolved until a fibrin glue is created, that can then be used on the patient during surgery.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. We often dismiss animals we fear or don’t understand, not realizing their importance to their ecosystems and the environments we live in, and what they may offer to our lives, such as these important medicines.

To learn about the very interesting rattlesnake, in a vibrantly illustrated book written in rhyme (to make learning fun) please see my book, Don’t Make Me Rattle.

A brown book cover, with a circle with blue sky, with a rattlesnake popping out of the circle, title: Don't Make Me Rattle

People fear rattlesnakes because they don’t understand them. Come inside and learn about these amazing snakes, how they help people, and why the rattlesnake should be respected, not exterminated.

Here at Lyric Power Publishing, science is very important–but we love to make science fun! We have developed wonderful, supplemental educational workbooks and activity sheets for children, to be used by teachers, parents and tutors. To learn about the fascinating and intelligent large lizards, the iguana, please see our workbook, My Unit Study on Iguanas.

a white and light blue book cover with an image of an iguana's head

To learn about the many differences between tortoises and turtles, please see the wonderfully illustrated and written in rhyme, Don’t Call Me Turtle!

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle