Showing posts with label Lizard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lizard. Show all posts



(Original Title: Catapult Your Success With These Simple Bearded Dragon Facts)

A W:Bearded Dragon lizard
Bearded Dragon lizard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Bearded Dragon lizard is capable of living a healthy and active life in captivity.  They do well when they are able to interact with both their owner and other bearded dragons.  Here are some interesting facts that will aid in healthy and happy bearded dragon care.

The bearded dragon lizard originated in Australia.  There are six to seven species of Australian dragons.  The most predominant species in the Pogona vitticeps, also known as Amphibolurus vitticeps.  Virtually all bearded dragons that have been captively bred have come to the United States from Germany.  There have not been any legally exported bearded dragons come from Australia.

The bearded dragon lizard will breed very well in captivity.  With a proper egg nesting area and incubation, the female bearded dragon will produce multiple clutches of eggs per year.  These captive bearded dragons tend to be healthier than the wild-caught bearded dragon lizards and are often free of pesticides.

Birth defects in captive bearded dragons are rare and most populations survive quite well. Bearded dragon breeding has also produced numerous different colours of bearded dragons, although they are still of the same species.

An early sign of inbreeding causing problems in captively bred bearded dragons is that the bearded dragon will not grow to its full adult size.  If you intend to breed your bearded dragons, you should ask your breeder what lines your bearded dragon lizards come from so that you may avoid those lines.  Inbreeding also occurs when bearded dragons are sold to pet stores.  People buy these dragons not realizing that they are related and then breed them.

Bearded dragons are like any other reptile and they may carry Salmonella.  This is a bacterium that causes food poisoning and can sometimes be lethal.  This is especially true for children that have an immuno-compromised condition.  Careful handling of the bearded dragon lizard will ensure that you remain healthy along with your bearded dragon pet.

Bearded dragons require regular vet checkups as well as.  Check with local veterinarians to see if they are familiar with reptiles.  If your vet is not, ask him if he can refer to you one that is.  You may also check with the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Vets for recommending reptile veterinarians near you.

Bearded dragons will go through a moulting process like other reptiles.  The bearded dragon lizard adult may exhibit signs of depression during this phase.  They will enjoy a warm bath to help remove their shedding skin.

A warm bath is also another way to make your bearded dragon eliminate before handling him or her.  There is nothing worse than having a bearded dragon eliminate in your lap.  Before handling, place the bearded dragon in warm water.  The warm water will make it eliminate and you will feel safer with your bearded dragon in your lap.

Bearded dragons should have a wide variety of choices in their diet.  The bearded dragon should not, however, be fed meat such as beef or chicken.  Meat contains too much protein and the bearded dragon will suffer from kidney problems or failures.

Avoid feeding crickets that are too large.  Crickets should be no larger than the distance between the eyes of your bearded dragon.  Baby bearded dragons should be fed one quarter inch crickets and juvenile bearded dragons may be fed half-inch crickets.  These crickets are generally around two-weeks old.  Babies will be eager to eat larger crickets but they are unable to digest these and may die from impactions.

Crickets can be tricky to manoeuvre from their box to a cricket holding tank.  One method is to place the cricket box in a plastic bag.  Open the box in the bag and shake the crickets out into the bottom of the bag.  Remove the box and then place the bag in the tank.  The crickets should slide easily out of the bag as there is nothing for them to grip onto. This is also a good way to feed crickets to your bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons will change their feeding patterns with age.  A young bearded dragon will be ready to eat on a moments notice while the adult bearded dragon may eat one day but not the next.  This is especially true during the winter months.

The bearded dragon will be tempted to munch on your houseplants.  There are a few houseplants that are okay for the bearded dragon to eat.  Plants such as ficus, geraniums, hibiscus, petunias, pothos and violets.  There are some houseplants that are treated with systemic pesticides, this means that the plant has taken the pesticide into its system and it will have to grow out to remove the pesticide.  This will generally take six to twelve weeks.

These bearded dragon facts should aid you in the care of your bearded dragon.  The bearded dragon will live a healthy and long life if it receives proper care and nutrition.



Chameleon - Photo: Pixabay
Chameleons are lizards with many fascinating features. There are several different types of Chameleons. By current classification, there are over 160 different species of Chameleons. Most Chameleons are native to Africa and a small island off the coast of Africa called Madagascar. There are also a few Chameleons native to Europe, such as Spain and Portugal, and some regions of Asia. 

They have also been introduced to Hawaii. They tend to live in warm climates from rain forests to deserts. Chameleons are truly unique creatures. Through evolution, they have developed many interesting features.

One of those features is the ability to move their eyes independent of one another. One eye can look beside or behind them while the other eye looks in front of them. This feature gives Chameleons the ability to have a 360-degree view around them. Contrary to the belief, Chameleons do not change their color to blend in with their background. They are naturally camouflaged because of their colors. Usually green to match the treetops.

They do however change their color by brightening or darkening their skin, but this is based on temperature regulation or emotional changes like stress or frightening. Chameleons are arboreal, which means they stay in trees most of their life. They have strong feet that grip like vices. 

Chameleons are didactyl. They have five toes on each foot, but they are connected together into a group of two and a group of three. This makes their feet appear to look like tongs. Each toe has a sharp claw.

They also use their long tail to help with balance and with climbing. Chameleons have a quite extraordinary tongue. Their tongues are made up of bone, muscle, and sinew. Most Chameleons can stick out their tongue one and a half times its body. They use this feature for food. They can shoot out their tongue in just a fraction of a second to catch their food. The tip of their tongue is also very sticky. Chameleons vary greatly in their sizes.

The smallest Chameleon is about 1.3 inches and the largest at 27 inches. Many Chameleons show some time of head or facial ornamentation, such as nasal protrusions, or horn-like projections or large crests on top of their heads. Like snakes, they do not have a middle or outer ear. This might suggest that Chameleons may be deaf. Most Chameleons are oviparous (egg-laying) and others are ovoviviparous (live birth). After about 3 to 6 weeks, oviparous Chameleons will climb down from the branches and dig a hole to lay the eggs in. Eggs will hatch between 4 to 12 months depending on the species. Ovoviviparous Chameleons will give birth between 5 to 6 months.

Chameleons mainly eat insects, such as locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, roaches, and mantis. Some larger Chameleons have been known to eat small birds and other lizards. Chameleons do not seem to recognize standing water so they tend to drink water from leaves. Chameleons are truly beautiful creatures with many interesting features. Chameleons continue to be one of the most fascinating lizards in the world.


BEARDED DRAGON Lizards Are Now the Most Popular Exotic Pet

This image shows a close-up photo of a bearded...
This image shows a close-up photo of a bearded dragon head (Pogona vitticeps). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bearded Dragon Lizards turn out ideal pets for first time owners and children alike. As you may well have guessed the bearded dragon lizard takes its name from its look.   Additionally, Bearded Dragon Lizards are calm to handle and will not cause any difficulty even if they are moved from place to place.  The Bearded Dragon lizard is capable of living a healthy and dynamic life in captivity. 

Captive dragons tend to be healthier than the wild-caught bearded dragon lizards and are often free of pesticides.  If you mean to keep a lizard in your house, you at least have to know its diet and the methods of feeding them.

Bearded dragon lizards are very much a daytime creature and become sedentary very quickly as soon as the sun goes down.  They are well-liked exotic pets, most commonly Pogona Vitticeps, the Inland or Central Bearded Dragon who bask most of the day, absorbing the warmth they need to digest their food.

These beautiful lizards are well known for their beard display and another fascinating behaviour.  They have a fantastic temperament, will happily climb on you voluntary if you want.  Beardies are independent lizards that fend for themselves but do not mind being handled.  When you are handling them ensure all of its body is being supported.

Bearded dragons are found all over Australia; they are hardy creatures and can stay alive as well in the desert as they can in the bush, and they are just as contented in urban or populated areas. When the bearded dragon lizard sits upright and cocks its head towards the heavens, Australian Aborigines know that rain will fall the next day.   Lovingly called 'beardies' by their fans, these lizards are not just tame around humans, but many also seem to get pleasure from the contact.

Many lizards have native habitats that are dry and lightly vegetated, so food may often be hard to obtain in the wild.  As a consequence, Beardies are omnivorous, capable of subsisting on a wider variety of food sources.  Fireflies and all other animals with bioluminescence chemicals are fatal to Bearded lizards.  They are hardy hunters and you will have to provide them with sufficient food so that they can remain satiated.

Beardies adore grasshoppers, mealworms, and other bugs.  Dark green and leafy vegetables are also ideal for bearded dragon lizards.  Feeding supplies, enclosures and accessories are obtainable to purchase from specialist pet and lizard supply stores.

The vital thing to remember when using sand as a substrate is to sift it to start with to get any gravel out to keep your dragon from impacting, clean it on a daily basis to keep a fresh and hygienic ecosystem for the lizard. Thought should certainly be taken to emulate their natural setting to reduce stress to the creature.

The estimated lifespan of a bearded dragon is probably about 10 years when cared for correctly, although longer life spans have been reported. When provided with the proper environment, temperatures, and UVB lighting, juvenile they are capable of growing up to an inch or more per week. The nearer the lizard is to the light source, the better.  In keeping with a bearded dragon lizard, it is imperative that you employ a temperature gradient inside their housing.  Kitchen paper towels make excellent substrates for baby lizards.  Optional habitat accessories can be placed inside your lizard's habitat to imitate their natural ecosystem.

I advise that you read at least one book on the care of bearded dragons and that you talk to someone who has experience caring for this special species. Beardies are becoming the most fashionable exotic pet to own in the 21st century.  Exotic pets might not be everyone's cup of tea but if you knew anything concerning the bearded dragon lizard then you might change your mind.


A LIZARD's Eye View of Life as a REPTILE

Mexican Beaded Lizard from the local reptile h...
Mexican Beaded Lizard from the local reptile house.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you think of lizards at all, you think of those little reptiles that you see scurrying down a tree trunk or across your back door at dusk.  There are many different types of lizards in the reptile family, and the group as a whole has some very interesting behaviors.  The first unusual behavior, and the one most people know is that they can separate from their tails when they are in danger of being caught.  You may have experienced this as a child when trying to catch one of the small lizards or striped skinks, and ended up with only a tail in your hand.

The Texas gecko actually uses his tail as a decoy when confronted by a predator, such as a snake.  The gecko makes his tail point straight up, waves it slowly from side to side, and then sheds the tail.  The tail itself continues to wriggle for several minutes and is hopefully more interesting prey than the gecko itself.  Lizard's tails are made so that a wall of cartilage passes through several vertebrae in the tail, and the blood vessels and muscles are modified at these points to allow easy breakage without much damage to the lizard.  It will grow a new tail, but never quite the same as the original tail. 

A number of lizards also avoid being eaten by changing color, in order to blend in with the background.  It generally only takes several seconds for a lizard to expand the pigment in its skin to become more like his surrounding colors.    This color change is made even more effective if the lizard remains motionless.  Even without color change, a number of lizards can effectively play dead, or, as we normally call it, "play possum".  A number of predators need the vibration or sounds of movement to detect the where the lizard is, and so becoming entirely rigid can be an effective way of disappearing from the menu of the predator.   

When a lizard is not being chased by a predator, it can do interesting and unusual things with its tongue.  The tongues of reptiles can come in a number of different shapes, and lizard tongues are usually either long and narrow with a forked tip at the end, or short and broad.  Both kinds of tongues are used to collect molecules from the air and bring them back to an organ in their mouth.  This is a sense different than either smell or taste, but somewhat similar to each in some respects.  Geckos use their long tongue to clean off their eyes, as many geckos do not have eyelids, and so wipe their eyes with their tongues.  One Great Plains lizard regularly licks her eggs while waiting for them to hatch.  In Australia, a skink with a bright blue tongue sticks out its tongue at predators and lets it stay lolling out of its mouth.  Naturalists are not sure of the reason for this behavior.  Finally, chameleons use their long and sticky tongue to reel in their nightly diet of insects.

These behaviors are only the tip of the iceberg for this fascinating group of reptiles.  Make your own study of these beautiful and unusual creatures, whether capturing one in your backyard or discovering those a world away at the library.


When LIZARDS will not eat, they have to eat

Like any animal, lizards at times in captivity will need to be force fed. There are situations and conditions which will result in a lizard not eating on their own.

Some diseases lizards can get will result in seizures or a similar condition. It is imperative not to feed them during an incident like this. They will most likely not be able to swallow the food. It is best to seek the help of a veterinarian at this point. 

Fistful of Lizard
Fistful of lizard - Photo by jurvetson 

The animal will need to have a tube placed into their stomach to feed. If the animal shows no signs of seizures, they can be fed using a syringe. It is tricky to get their mouth open but should be possible using the syringe itself. 

Using the syringe, squeeze the processed food into the back of the throat, taking great care to avoid the trachea at the back of the tongue. Make sure to only offer as much food as the animal can handle. Larger lizards can obviously handle more food. 

It may also be possible to force-feed feeder insects. If the lizard is having digestive problems, however, the liquid substitute is much easier to digest, as much of the work is already done. Another advantage of liquid feeding is the fact that you control exactly what the lizard is getting into its diet.

For the vegetable part of the liquid diet, vegetable baby food works very well. This food is high in vitamins and can easily be digested by the lizard. Make sure to add in a calcium supplement to the food. Younger lizards need to be fed more often but in smaller quantities, while larger lizards will need to be fed less often, but with higher quantities per feeding.

You have to follow the natural way your lizard eats its food, as not to upset their natural metabolism. If your lizard eats both insects and vegetables, you can use a type of cat food (used for sick cats) if they will eat it. You can also try to add insect matter (use fresh insects) into the liquid mix.


Top 3: Types of LIZARD PETS

There are several types of lizard pets available for sale at most pet stores which can make deciding which is the best for you a difficult decision. You will need to keep in mind how much money you have to spend, how much room you have available, and how long you are willing to care for the pet. Of the several species available, I have chosen my three personal favorites which are easy to care for, enjoy being handled, and have affordable starter and upkeep costs.

Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragon showing tongue
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Native to: Most regions of Australia

Size: Adults can grow to around 24″

Diet: Omnivore

Habitat: Dry, Hot Desert Conditions

Cost: Varies from around $ 40 for regulars, to over $ 200 for special morphs

Life Span: Around 10 years on average

Pros: Beardies are a very hardy and well-tempered lizard that grows to a comfortable handling size. The desert environment they need to survive is fairly easy to create and maintain when compared to other lizards who require moist conditions.

Cons: As juveniles, this lizard’s appetite can get quite expensive, as they need insects to be offered daily. UV lighting is required and bulbs need to be replaced a couple times a year, adding to costs. Beardies also require a 55 gallon enclosure at minimum to live happily, which takes up a lot of space.

Leopard Gecko

Al the Leopard Gecko
Photo by simply.jessi

Native to: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Northwestern India

Size: Adults grow to around 8-10″

Diet: Insectivores

Habitat: Warm, dry desert conditions

Cost: Varies from $ 20 to $ 400 or more

Life Span: Up to 20 years

Pros: Geckos can be housed comfortably in a 20 gallon tank, requiring little space and expense.

They don’t need UV lighting and require less heat than a beardie or uromastyx. They only eat insects so you wont need to fuss with cutting vegetables daily and save a bit on the food bill.

Cons: Geckos have very few cons, but they are nocturnal, so they aren’t very active during the day. They are also fairly small and squirmy compared to a larger lizard, so handling can be risky.

Mali Uromastyx

Uromastyx Lizard
Photo by hj_west 

Native to: North Africa, Middle East, South Asia to India

Size: Around 16″ for an adult male

Diet: Omnivore

Habitat: Dry/Very Hot Desert Conditions

Cost: $ 40 to over $ 200 depending on size

Life Span: Up to 30 years

Pros: Uro’s are very docile lizards that are very similar to bearded dragons. They seem to enjoy human interaction and are fairly hardy. These critters are very active during the daytime, often throwing their veggies around to make a nice mess for us.

Cons: Much like the beardie, uro’s need a large enclosure and UV lighting. Mali uromastyx also need extremely high temperatures around 120F. These lizards can live up to 30 years, so be ready for a long-term commitment if you decide a mali uro is for you.

All three of these types of lizard pets are great for beginners. Which suits you best will mostly depend on how much room you have available, and how much money you are willing to invest. Beardies and Uro’s are the best for handling, but cost more than a gecko to start-up and maintain. Gecko’s and bearded dragons live around 10 years, whereas a mali uromastyx can live up to 30. This could make them a poor choice for a child who will  most likely be moving from Mom and Dad’s to go to college or start their own family in the near future. Keep these things in mind so that you don’t regret your purchase, or end up having to give your pet away because they cost too much, or because they don’t fit in with your lifestyle.

Author: Joselyn


What Types of LIZARDS Make Good Reptile Pets?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a reptile for a pet, provided of course you first arm yourself with knowledge.  Education is the key to being a responsible owner.  Of course, there are instances when you may not first get the chance.  Suppose your well-meaning relative decided it would be a good idea to give you an exotic pet for a gift, not thinking of the reptile's welfare should you be unable to care for it or uneducated about its care.  But, of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

An Eastern Bearded Dragon displays its beard i...
An Eastern Bearded Dragon displays its beard in a threatening position. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are ways of choosing your pet when you do decide to obtain a reptile.  You can choose to buy a pet to fit the cage you are able to get, or you can buy a cage to fit the pet you want.  Either way you go, please make sure you take into account that the reptile will grow and must be able to fit into the enclosure as it gets bigger.  Please refrain from purchasing the reptile if you will be unsure about being able to afford a larger cage later on or if you won't have the space.  There are plenty of other choices you can make that will fit into your budget.

A Leopard Gecko is a popular lizard choice for people who want a reptile that will be smaller than the Iguana.  The Iguana has been known to reach 7 feet in length!  A bigger lizard means a bigger cage and a bigger food bill.  The Leopard Gecko only reaches 10 inches.  There's obviously quite a difference there.  First time owners have more success when they start small and build up to the other interests.  This lizard also stays active at night, so night owls may get more enjoyment from it than someone who wants to interact or watch their reptile during the day.  The Leopard Gecko can live up to 15 years and is easy for a beginner to care for.

A Bearded Dragon is a popular lizard choice.  They're fond of crickets, but they also need fresh vegetables and fruits like the Iguana.  The Bearded Dragon looks fierce and beautiful when it fans out its spiky beard.  These reptiles can grow to 20 inches.  Blue skinks are known for their blue tongues.  Skinks can grow anywhere from 12 to 20 inches, depending on which type you get.  They enjoy a diet of earthworms.  This may be easier to stomach than the diet of mice and rats a snake requires!

Another common lizard choice is that of the Green Anole, also known as the American chameleon.  While it isn't actually related to the chameleon, it is able to change colors from green to dark brown.  This reptile only grows to 9 inches normally and eats insects.

Whatever your choice of lizard or other reptile as a pet, just make sure you do your research before you purchase.  If you are given the animal as a gift, please educate yourself as quickly as possible to prevent unintentional harm to the reptile.


CRESTED GECKO Health: Keeping Your Crested Gecko Fit and Healthy

Crested geckos are some of the easiest reptiles to keep as pets, providing that a few very simple rules are followed.

  • Crested geckos require a nutrient and calcium rich balanced diet, in order for them to grow properly and live a long and healthy life.
  • They also require a temperature gradient in order for them to thermo-regulate and better digest the nutrients in their food.
  • They also require plenty of space to move around, and being arboreal tree dwellers they also require a lot of climbing branches / perches.

English: The New Caledonian Crested Gecko (Rha...
The New Caledonian Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most common health problems that occur in cresties in captivity are usually a result of one of the above not being offered, or not being offered to the correct standard.
Below you will find an insight into the most common of these problems and ways to ensure that they are prevented.

MBD: Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:
Metabolic bone disease in geckos is most often caused due to a lack of the correct nutrients being provided in their diets.

Metabolic bone disease is a deficiency of calcium, which results in the gecko utilising the calcium reserves from its own body and skeleton to supplement this lack in calcium.

By using the reserves of calcium in its own body, the gecko's skeleton is 'warped' and misshapen due to the bones becoming very weak and pliable.

This often results in permanent disfigurement of the gecko, especially in the form of bumps, twists and dips in the spine and a rotating of the hips, causing the tail to flop or jut-out at an unusual angle.
Metabolic bone disease can also cause a weakening of the jaw, resulting in the gecko finding eating much more difficult.

The jaw is often too weak for the gecko to close it itself, and the jaw remains permanently open.
Due to the weakening of the bones, MBD can also at its worst result in numerous broken bones.
A gecko with MBD finds it more difficult to climb, and often lose the 'stickiness' on their feet and tail. If a gecko with MBD falls from a height, broken bones are usually the result.

Metabolic bone disease in its latter stages is a horrific sight to witness, and the gecko is twisted and contorted out of recognition.

In younger and crested gecko breeding females it is extra important to supplement feeding properly. Hatchlings put a lot of calcium into bone growth, and breeding females use an extraordinary amount of calcium when producing eggs.

Providing a healthy, nutrient rich and balanced gecko diet is the most foolproof way to help prevent your crested gecko developing MBD.

Preventing gecko Metabolic Bone Disease in crested geckos:

  • Gut load live food prior to feeding making them more nutritious
  • Dust live food with nutrient powders, Calcium, and/or Calcium D3
  • Provide a good meal replacement gecko diet powder
  • UVB light can also help to prevent MBD, as it helps the gecko to absorb and utilise the calcium in its diet more efficiently
  • Too much phosphorous in a diet can prevent calcium being absorbed. Avoid foods with high phosphorus content.

Floppy tail syndrome: FTS in crested geckos
Floppy tail syndrome in geckos is when the gecko's tail literally flops in an abnormal direction. It is most noticeable when the gecko is laying upside-down, flat against the side of its enclosure, at which point the tail usually flops down over its head or at a jaunty angle.

A healthy gecko tail would rest against the glass in its natural position.

It is thought that Floppy tail syndrome results mainly from a captive environment as cresties in the wild would rarely come across a surface as flat, smooth and vertical as an enclosure wall.

It is believed that this flat surface is what can contribute to FTS in crested geckos, as laying on this vertical surface for extended periods of time results in the tail 'flopping' over due to gravity, and weakens the muscles at the tails base.

At its worst, floppy tail syndrome is believed to be able to twist the pelvis of the gecko, predominantly due to the excessive weight put on the pelvic area when the tail flops to the side.
Due to this it is not advised to breed a female crested gecko with FTS, as she could well encounter problems trying to pass the eggs.
Although no concrete evidence is available, it can be assumed that providing plenty of climbing and hiding places for your gecko could help to prevent them from sleeping on the enclosure walls.

However it is still not fully understood whether this is the actual underlying cause of FTS. Many believe it could be a genetic deformity, and as such it could be passed from parents to their young although at the minute this seems unlikely.

Heat Stress in Crested Geckos
Heat Stress in crested geckos is the number one killer of these usually very hardy and easy to care for reptiles.

Crested geckos will begin to show stress if kept at temperatures above 28C for prolonged periods of time.

It is much easier to maintain your crested gecko enclosure at temperatures closer to around 25C than to risk over exposure to higher temperatures.

That being said you can allow parts of your enclosure to reach 28C - for example directly below the basking bulb - so long as your pet gecko can choose to move into a cooler area if they wish.

Higher temperatures only become a deadly problem when your gecko is forced to endure them constantly or for long periods of time without the option to cool down.

Research has shown that crested gecko exposed to temperatures of 30C without being able to cool down, can and will very likely die within an hour.
Young/small geckos are even more prone to heat stress so it is best to always allow them the choice to move to the cooler end of their temperature range.

Cleaning your crested gecko vivarium:
Keeping your gecko enclosure clean will help to prevent illnesses linked with bad hygiene, bacteria and moulds.

The crested gecko tank / enclosure will periodically need a thorough clean when it becomes dirty.
I find it easiest to spot-clean the enclosures every day or two, removing uneaten food and excrement and wiping the sides of the enclosure with damp paper towel.

There are numerous reptile-safe disinfectants available now and these can be diluted with water to ensure a safe environment for your gecko after cleaning and you can use newspaper to clean up smears and streaks on glass enclosures.

It is advised to do a thorough complete clean of the enclosure and all of its contents once in a while. I tend to do a big clean out every month to help stop any unwanted bacteria building up.

With regular cleaning and upkeep your crested gecko enclosure should not create an unwanted odour or create mould/bacteria.

Choosing a healthy crested gecko:
A healthy gecko:

• Will have clean and clear nose and eyes. Eyes will be bright and shiny and will not be sunken into the head.
• Will not have layers of retained shed skin stuck at its extremities. Healthy geckos shed in a few hours and shed should not remain much longer than this.
• Will not be dehydrated: Dehydrated geckos will have loose skin, sunken eyes and will be somewhat lethargic. Dehydration often results in the gecko looking thin in comparison to a well hydrated gecko.
• Will be alert when handled, a unhealthy animal will be limp and possibly shaky in your hand and will show little to no interest or reaction in being handled
• Should have a plump, straight tail that can 'grasp' onto objects. A good test of this is if the gecko wraps its tail around your finger.
• Should have almost Velcro like feet. If the gecko is failing to stick/climb - this can be a sign of MBD or retained shed.

    By Daniel Sharples
    Take a look at our website dedicated to the care and husbandry of crested geckos and leopard geckos.
    Thank you for taking the time to read our article, we hope it was informative.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


IGUANA Facts - What a Newbie Needs to Know

If this is the first time that you'll be caring for an iguana, then it's probably best to acquaint yourself with the anatomy and basic behaviors of an iguana. By educating yourself, it will be easier to tell when there's something wrong with your new pet reptile. These are a few basic iguana facts you should know.

English: Adult male iguana (Iguana iguana) in ...
Adult male iguana (Iguana iguana) in Morikami Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida
(Photo credit: 

Iguanas Require Heat and UV Light
Iguanas are reptiles and, therefore, they need a consistent supply of heat and Ultra violet rays to stay healthy. Iguanas won't be able to function in habitat with a temperature which is lower than 79 degrees.

Ultra violet rays are necessary so the iguana is able to metabolize calcium and other minerals. Without Ultra violet rays, your iguana will probably experience bone mineral disorders that frequently result in their death.

Iguana Behavioral Characteristics

Iguanas can seem to be threatened fairly easily, and when you don't observe their mannerisms and behavior closely enough you may get bitten or hit by its massive tail. Unlike cats and dogs, iguanas will not vocalize a lot before biting, so be careful particularly if the iguana hasn't been fully tamed.
When you first bring your new pet home do not over handle him or overexpose him to strangers. 

It will take a few weeks to gradually acclimate him to his new environment. Once he is comfortable in his new surrounding, begin to socialize him gradually and the bonding process will go much better.
The dewlap, or the large wad of skin beneath the iguana's jowls, is additionally used to communicate. In the wild, an iguana may raise its head to extend the dewlap to signal a basic "Hello" to members of its own species.

An extended dewlap may also mean that it is attempting to protect its territory from the human owner or from other iguanas. During mating season an extended dewlap may mean "I desire to mate". This only applies should there be female iguanas in the same enclosure, and it's mating season.
If your iguana has been tamed, and is used to your presence, an extended dewlap may signify it is just a little drafty and it's making an attempt to make itself feel warmer.

Iguana Mannerisms

  • Head Bobbing: I am the man of the house?

  • Head Bobbing: (to owner) "Howdy Mate!"

  • Head Bobbing: (fast, laterally then up and down) I'm threatened do not go near me!

  • Tongue Flicking: Just exploring the air. Possibly eating something.

  • Tongue Flicking: I'm about to take a bite from something.

  • Sneezing: I'm purging my system of something.

  • Tail Whipping: I'm planning to attack.?

  • Squirming Around: I do not like being held.

  • Head and Front Legs Stretching: I feel great and I feel good!

  • Iguana Anatomy
    Just like other reptiles, your iguana has a set of eyes that have evolved to scan the environment for food and potential predators. It has a pair of ears that are protected by a fairly wide element of skin called the subtympanic shield.

    The iguana also forms spines along its back; these pliable spines are called the caudal spines and, as time passes, these grow in length and become harder. Iguanas also have a flap of skin under their lower jaw known as the dewlap.

    Iguanas are herbivorous (they are nourished by plants only), so they are equipped with small, yet very sharp, teeth that are designed to tear apart fibrous plant matter. Be cautious when bringing your hands near the iguana's mouth, because those teeth can cause serious tears in your skin. If you look closely at the top of the iguana's head, you will observe a prominent, light patch of scale.

    This is called the parietal eye, or third eye. The iguana uses its third eye to detect changes in light in a given area. It is thought this primordial eye is also used to detect flying predators, hence the iguana can make a run for cover before becoming another animal's lunch or dinner.

    It is essential to learn about iguana behavior and mannerisms. The basic facts discussed in the article should help to decipher your iguana's moods. Don't forget that no two iguanas are exactly alike so you must also learn the personality of your new pet. Ask questions and gather as much information as possible to ensure that your iguana is long lived well cared for.


    Guidelines on What to Feed a LEOPARD GECKO

    One of the most important factors in the health and well being of your Leopard Gecko is a healthy diet. Leopard Geckos are insectivores, they prey on insects, such as spiders, moths, mosquitoes, and worms.

    Adult geckos can be fed live prey every other day while baby leopard geckos should be fed daily. This is not always the case, but it is a pretty good rule of thumb.

    Eublepharis macularius1
    Eublepharis macularius1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    You can also feed your gecko crickets, but when giving a gecko crickets as prey, you need to make sure that you use crickets that are small enough for your gecko to hunt.

    Two appropriately sized mealworms for each inch of the geckos length is a good amount. but you can treat your pet to waxworms or superworms once a week. Although some geckos have been known to have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating fresh fruit or even honey. They should be given live insects that are small enough for the gecko to deal with.

    You can feed your gecko anywhere from 4 to 8 crickets at one time, depending on the size of your gecko and the size of the crickets. If the crickets aren't eaten within a couple of hours they should be removed and used for the next feeding, so that they don't cause your gecko any unnecessary stress. It is normal for geckos to eat the skin that they shed, so they may not always need the same amount of food for each feeding.

    Super-worms, mealworms or anything else that can be contained in a dish can be left within the cage without putting the gecko in any danger.

    If you wish, as a treat you can offer your adult gecko an occasional tiny pinkie mouse. One that is only a few days old will be little enough for a fully grown gecko to manage. In fact, pinkie mice are a wonderful choice to offer breeding females.

    Wax-worms are also a good treat for your gecko however, because wax-worms can become additive for geckos, they should only be given sparingly. Even though geckos love wax-worms, they are very fattening and generally unhealthy for geckos.

    The prey that you offer your pet should be no larger than half the width of your gecko's head, this will ensure that your gecko doesn't choke on it.

    The skin that the gecko sheds, and then eats, does help to provide them with protein and other healthy nutrients.

    One of the best ways of keeping your leopard gecko healthy in regards to feeding it, is to gut-load your geckos prey 24 hours prior to feeding it to them. Gut-loading is feeding the crickets or other insects a highly nutritious, high quality meal prior to feeding them to your gecko.

    Offering your gecko a healthier insect in turn makes a healthier gecko. You can buy a feed the insects things like chick or hog mash, fruits, vegetables and grains. They also make and sell products that come in a powdered form and can be fed to the prey. Along with gut-loading, you can offer your gecko calcium and vitamin supplements by sprinkling the prey with powdered supplements prior to feeding them to your gecko.

    Calcium and vitamins supplements are very important to the overall health of your leopard gecko. Dusting the prey does run the slight risk of the cricket cleaning it off or even getting the dust in your geckos eyes. So, gut-loading and leaving the powder in a lid might be best.

    Dusting is also a good way to enrich the diet of baby leopard geckos and breeding females.
    Water should also be given to your gecko and kept fresh at all times. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to illness in your gecko so the water should be changed frequently.