Showing posts with label Reptiles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reptiles. Show all posts

2018-12-01

Setting Up A TERRARIUM for Your REPTILE

Photo Wikipedia
A terrarium is similar to an aquarium except that it isn't full of water and fish.  It's a tank made of glass or plastic with a wire mesh lid.  The mesh allows air to come in and keeps the reptile from escaping.

Reptiles are cold-blooded, unable to make their own body heat, which is why it is hard for them to move around if the temperature isn't right in their environment. Reptiles lay eggs to hatch their babies.  Unlike human babies, which are dependent at birth, reptile babies are born ready to care for themselves.

A successful terrarium is set up with the proper heat source for temperature perfection.  A thermostat will ensure the correct temperature at all times.  Reptiles need a basking lamp to sunbathe and a light tube for ultraviolet rays.

It sounds expensive and complicated to a beginner, and it very well may be depending on what your idea of expensive is.  But once your terrarium is set up, the biggest hurdle is being able to afford the proper food and bedding.  The expense of bedding is reduced if you buy two pieces of indoor/outdoor carpeting to allow one to be cleaned while you use the other for your pet.

There are several ways to set up your terrarium, depending on the needs of your reptile.  The desert terrarium will need coverage over the inside bottom floor.  Most people choose sand or gravel for the desert appeal.  Plants will add a hiding place for your reptile and helps increase the natural look and feel of their environment.

You must provide water even in a desert setting for three reasons---drinking, bathing, and moisture.  Even in the desert a certain amount of water is necessary.  It should be kept clean and accessible at all times for your pet's comfort and to ward off disease from unclean water.  Sometimes a lizard or snake reptile will prefer a tropical forest terrarium setting.  You'll have to make sure you regulate the day and night temperatures.  Investing in some sort of timer will make this less of a chore and safer for your pet.

The tropical forest is kept damp at all times.  Provide a layer of wood chips and maybe some moss to hold the moisture.  Keep some sort of trees to allow your reptiles to climb among the branches.

Turtles and some snakes require a habitat that is part land and part water.  You must purchase a heater designed to control the water temperature.  Adding rocks allows the reptile access out of the water when needed.  The rocks should be free of sharp edges to avoid injury to the reptile as it navigates through its home.  Place a fluorescent light over the dry areas to allow sunbathing.

The last habitat choice is called a savanna.  You can consider it a medium ground between the dry desert setting and the very humid tropical setting.  It's also cooler than either and stays only slightly damp.  Shady areas should be included for the pet's comfort.  Plastic plants discourage the reptile from eating the scenery.  Coarse gravel is allowed in the savanna setting.



2018-11-17

Tips On BREEDING SNAKES

Red milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspil...
Red milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
When you've had some success caring for captive snakes, you might find yourself interested in breeding them. This can be done, but it requires record keeping and attention to many details concerning the living conditions of the snakes. The breeding is generally done in the winter so that the babies are born or hatched in the spring.

Breeding snakes require feeding them well for about four months and then putting them into a cool state of hibernation. To do this, you first need to fatten them up, especially females, for a few months in late summer, then lower the temperature for a few more weeks or months. The exact timing varies with the species, as do the temperature requirements.

Just a quick note about determining the sex of a snake. This skill needs to be learned from an expert. It is a tricky process, sometimes requiring the use of a metal probe to look for the male reproductive organ. Even the most experienced of snake breeders make a mistake now and then.

During the hibernation, the snake is not fed but is provided with fresh water. When the time is up, the snake is gradually warmed up and fed well again for a little while. Then the female and male are placed together. If she resists him, separate them and wait another week. If not, leave them together for a week or so.

A female snake that is developing eggs within is called "gravid." Some species of snake eat well during this time and others don't. The length of time it takes varies even within the same species. Again, the amount of heat provided makes a difference. Most females will shed shortly before laying their eggs.

Some snakes give birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs. The boas are examples of this. The hibernation requirements for these tropical snakes are much less, amounting to just a couple of weeks with low nighttime temperatures. Their humidity needs are higher, and they should be misted daily. With boas, you can add more than one male to the female's enclosure.

Pregnancy takes from 4 to 10 months. The mother to usually eat well during this time, but you should choose smaller food items since her inside body space is getting more crowded. Shedding usually precedes giving birth, but it can be as much as another month before the birth. The litter size can range from 10 to as many as 80 for large, robust females.

In general, snake babies should be removed and placed in separate containers lined with paper towels. The paper towels should be kept moist for the first two weeks. They will shed around this time and can feed on pinkies or fuzzies (young mice) after the shed.

There may be a market for these young reptiles, and the process is certainly fascinating for the hobbyist. Do remember, though, that there are growing numbers of pet snakes being shoved off into rescue shelters because the owners just can't handle them anymore. Be a responsible snake breeder, and make sure your young snakes won't just be more casualties.



2018-10-26

Find Out What Do IGUANAS Eat

Iguana named King Kong
Photo  by -Cy- 
Iguanas are very quickly becoming one of the most popular pets to own. So before you buy an iguana you must know what your iguana can eat and what they can not eat. Read below to find out what do iguanas eat!
1. Acorn Squash- This is a good source of fiber for the iguana. Chop into small pieces so it is easier for the iguana to swallow. This vegetable can be fed to your iguana daily.
2. Apples- This is a great way for the iguana to get some extra water in them. Peel, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces for your pet. Apples should only be fed to your pet iguana on occasion, about once a week.
3. Asparagus- This is a great source of protein for the iguana. Chop into small pieces and feed only occasionally.
4. Bell Peppers- Your pet will love the taste of bell peppers, any color peppers, and they are very healthy for it. These should be chopped fine and can be fed to your pet daily.
5. Berries- A great fruit to feed the iguana, but because of the seeds should only be fed to your pet on occasion.
6. Collard greens- A great vegetable for your pet iguana that is high in calcium. This can be fed to the iguana daily.
7. Green beans- Another great vegetable for the iguana that can be fed to it daily.
8. Mustard greens- Like collard greens, mustard greens are high in calcium and can be fed to your iguana daily.
9. Papaya- A great source of fiber for the iguana. Can be fed to your pet daily.
10. Whole wheat bread- A great treat for your iguana. You should put some water on the bread to get the iguana more water.

You should mix up the iguana's diet on a daily basis so that your iguana can get all the vitamins it needs. By changing different foods on different days also gives the iguana something new to taste on. Note that iguanas are strictly herbivores and should never be given meat as well as some other foods. Avoid all dairy products, eggs and dog/cat food. Feed the iguana the 10 above fruits, vegetables and bread, and you should see your iguana live a happy and healthy life.



2018-09-04

Which REPTILES Do Not Make Good Pets?

English: Caramel Burmese Python
Caramel Burmese Python (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Basically, any reptile that is caught in the wild is discouraged for use as a pet.  It is cruel for a reptile to be removed from its natural environment, for it to be thrust into captivity against its will just so someone can say they own it as a pet.  If you must have a reptile for a pet, buy one that was raised or born in captivity.

Compared to lizards and turtles/tortoises, snakes tend to be easier pets for kids to raise.  Just make sure your child is old enough to be properly educated in the handling of the reptile for the child's safety and the reptile's safety as well.  Because reptiles carry salmonella, it is essential that any person who handles the creature either wear gloves or wash their hands immediately after putting the reptile back into its housing.

But there are some lizards, turtles/tortoises, and snakes that are truly not suitable for pets.  Although it is possible to keep them in captivity, it is better for the reptile to respect that it is meant to be kept in the wild.

Burmese pythons can certainly become tame enough to make good pets; however, the cute little baby will grow into a very huge adult.  The size alone, once it is grown, will make it less suitable to keep as a pet.  The African Rock Python and the Reticulated Python have been known to be kept as pets, but their temperament makes it more of a challenge.  Just because they are so cute as babies, it doesn't mean they will still be appealing to adults.  The price should not be your only decision in owning one of these reptiles.  Pet shops will often sell low-cost animals that often turn into high-cost maintenance, which certainly enhances the chance of return business.  But it is really unfair to the unsuspecting consumer.

Imported reptiles such as the pythons are often sold with problems that occurred before or during transport.  The prospective owner must be well-educated to be able to spot any deficiencies in the animal prior to purchase.  Mites, ticks, dehydration, and emaciation are some of the possible problems.

Green anoles are sold at a low cost, but their set up can be expensive.  Anoles tend to be caught wild which means parasite infestation is more likely, and they don't like to be handled.

Wild-caught ball pythons are known to have heavy parasite infestation and are picky eaters.  Their stress during shipping causes trauma, which affects their temperament, appetite, and overall health.  Captive hatched or farm raised are still imported and still suffer from shipping distress.

Wild-caught chameleons suffer stress, parasite, and crowding from being imported as well.  They are an antisocial creature even without the added negative aspects caused by shipping, so a beginning reptile owner would find this animal a disappointing challenge.  They don't react well to everyday household noises like children, other animals, vacuum cleaners, loud radios, and so on.  It's not a guarantee that they'll be happy when housed with other chameleons either because they aren't even sociable with their own kind.

Anole Lizard on Pink
Photo  by motleypixel 
Other reptiles which do not make good pets, especially for a beginner, are Tokay geckos, caymans, and alligators.  They are quick, aggressive, and very strong animals.  Make sure you know what you're getting before you invest your hard-earned money into the cute little pet shop reptile!



2018-07-09

Finding the Perfect REPTILE Cage

~ Reticulated Python ~
Photo Flickr - Mohammed Alnaser
Some people prefer having reptiles as pets rather than the more conventional dogs or cats. If you’re someone who loves having exotic animals, such as reptiles, for your pets, choosing the right cage for them is a priority. Even more so if you expect the reptile to grow to a certain size. Reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and alligators need to be placed in large reptile cages for a proper and safe enclosure.

Choosing your reptile pet enclosure

If you must keep reptiles as your pets at home, proper knowledge of their needs is highly important. Reptiles feed differently than most domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, or rodents. Also, reptiles need to have the right cages to keep them at a certain distance. Not everyone is thrilled about the idea of associating with a reptile, so to be safe, you need to keep them in sturdy cages.

Large reptile cages for security and privacy

The size of the cage matters a lot, especially if you expect your reptile to grow even bigger in the months or years to come. Certain types of snakes can grow anywhere from 5 feet to 7 feet long, and even longer. Young iguanas typically start small, but once they grow to a bigger size you might want to consider getting a bigger pen for them.

Typically, a selection of reptile cages is found in pet stores, so choosing the ones you need don’t have to be difficult. The sizes may vary as well so you need to make sure that the cage you are buying is big enough or deep enough for your pet. You would not want your reptile pet to live in a constricted space or in a cage that feels threatening or uncomfortable.

Building cages on your own

Some pet owners have difficulty in finding the right cages due to size problems or issues on quality. Fortunately, you can find a range of cage making plans online, wherein you will only need to follow the right instructions and procure the right materials for your cage. This means that you can build your cage using the right materials, and you can monitor on its quality and durability as well.


If you are not handy with tools or if you are still a novice in handling reptile pets, you might want to think twice about assembling cages on your own. Also, you can seek advice from professional cage makers or get some helpful tips from pet store owners.

Cage accessories

Buying cage accessories is also important, such as carpets or substrates. As reptiles are cold-blooded animals, they need sufficient heating as well. Thus, heating lamps in cages are also indispensable.

Since most reptiles can easily grow to bigger sizes, large reptile cages can easily accommodate them. Going for bigger cages can prove to be a better investment in the long term especially if you are a reptile pet owner.

Our author likes exotic animals and pets. He owns some reptiles which he keeps in reptile cages in his home. He uses special reptile lighting to keep his snakes nice and warm. To find out more about reptile pet products, please go to petstore.com.


2018-06-14

BALL PYTHON Care For Pet Lovers

Python regius - ball python
Python regius - ball python (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ball python care is one of the important things you should know about them. You must provide them with their basic needs in life to make them happy, healthy and comfortable even in captivity. Most ball pythons live most of their lives in the wild so when caught in captivity they seem so hard to adjust to their new environment. 

This is where you should start giving care to them in order for them to easily adjust in their new home with us. You must provide a comfortable home for them to stay in. A comfortable home for them is an enclosure with basic needs and accessories in it such as hide boxes, ceramic sturdy water bowls, full-spectrum lights, thermometers, and a substrate and heat pads.

In ball python care, you must also know how to feed and handle your pythons. Caring for your ball pythons is feeding them with pre-killed preys. Young pythons must be fed with pinkie mice and adult ball pythons must be fed of large rats. Never force feed your snakes and let them eat on their own. Remember also not to give them live preys for it is dangerous for them. You must also know how to handle your ball pythons in order for them to be tame and be a use of human contact. Keep in mind also that you should not handle your pythons after feeding because they are a bit sensitive after eating so let it stay in its cage for few days then after, you can handle them again.


Ball python care is important also on sick ball pythons. A sick python needs all the love and care in order for them to survive in this stressful situation in their life. Caring for sick ball pythons is placing them in a quarantine tank with hiding boxes and water bowl. Maintain also the right amount of temperature and humidity in the tank. In ball python care, you must always check your snake from signs of illnesses such as mouth rot, IBD, blister disease and respiratory disease so you can treat it at once and it won't get worst. These are some tips on keeping ball python healthy that you should know and follow.

Now that you know all these ball python care, apply it to your pet ball python to make them really healthy. Caring for them makes them happy and comfortable even in captivity. Giving them the proper care will make them live a longer life.



2018-05-24

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.



2018-05-20

Reptiles Have Special Needs

English: Negev Zoo snake
Negev Zoo snake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People have all kinds of different pets.  Some people only feel safe with what is considered "normal" pets.  This usually consists of cats, dogs, hamsters, or birds.  Country folks may have farmyard animals for pets.  Horses, cows, goats, bunnies, and so on are typical.

Then you have the people who pride themselves on being "outside the norm".  These people may be the sort who likes to consider themselves and their pets unique.  Or maybe they just love animals of all kinds and welcome any and all types of pets.  Reptiles have been kept as pets for many years, but as the number of pet stores has grown so has the number of reptiles kept as pets.  Sometimes this is bad news for the reptiles.  If a dangerous reptile is chosen, it could be bad news for the owner as well.

Sometimes the type of pet a person has depends on the area in which they live.  Availability may make the choice for them.  The environment is also a consideration.  In south Louisiana, a child may be raised thinking an alligator is normal to keep for a pet!  It would be impractical for a child who lives in the midst of the city to own a pet cow.

What types of reptiles are popular as exotic pets?  Snakes, lizards, and turtles make the choices wide.  There are some, however, of each type that makes some better choices than others.  Unfortunately, these types of pets are also the most often abused and neglected simply because of failure to learn about their proper needs prior to ownership.  Once the new wears off, they become forgotten.  Because reptiles are often quiet and contained, it is easy to forget they are around.

Corn snakes are often chosen because they are known to be easier to care for.  They are excellent escape artists, though, so great care must be taken to keep the latches tightly closed on their enclosures.  It may seem funny in the movies to see a snake escape and scare the family or guests, but it can cause great harm to your pet in reality.



Boas are a well-known reptile pet, but people often underestimate their lifespan and their great size when grown.  A snake kept in an area it has outgrown will not be a happy, well-adjusted pet.  It may cause the snake harm and you as well, should he choose to fight back because of his discomfort.

Those cute little reptiles grow up and will need different requirements for food and housing as they grow.  A responsible pet owner will be prepared for the changes and willing to accommodate.  Can you recreate the natural environment and maintain it?  Think of it as being a person from the country who moves to the city, unwillingly, and never learns to adjust because they just don't seem to fit into the new surroundings.  Except this person has the ability to move back to the country, while the snake is unable to make this choice on his own.  The right housing makes a happier pet.



2018-05-06

Reptiles Have Special Needs

English: Reptilia (reptiles), based on: File:B...Reptilia (reptiles),  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People have all kinds of different pets.  Some people only feel safe with what is considered "normal" pets.  This usually consists of cats, dogs, hamsters, or birds.  Country folks may have farmyard animals for pets.  Horses, cows, goats, bunnies, and so on are typical.

Then you have the people who pride themselves on being "outside the norm".  These people may be the sort who likes to consider themselves and their pets unique.  Or maybe they just love animals of all kinds and welcome any and all types of pets.  Reptiles have been kept as pets for many years, but as the number of pet stores has grown so has the number of reptiles kept as pets.  Sometimes this is bad news for the reptiles.  If a dangerous reptile is chosen, it could be bad news for the owner as well.

Sometimes the type of pet a person has depends on the area in which they live.  Availability may make the choice for them.  The environment is also a consideration.  In south Louisiana, a child may be raised thinking an alligator is normal to keep for a pet!  It would be impractical for a child who lives in the midst of the city to own a pet cow.

What types of reptiles are popular as exotic pets?  Snakes, lizards, and turtles make the choices wide.  There are some, however, of each type that makes some better choices than others.  Unfortunately, these types of pets are also the most often abused and neglected simply because of failure to learn about their proper needs prior to ownership.  Once the new wears off, they become forgotten.  Because reptiles are often quiet and contained, it is easy to forget they are around.

Corn snakes are often chosen because they are known to be easier to care for.  They are excellent escape artists, though, so great care must be taken to keep the latches tightly closed on their enclosures.  It may seem funny in the movies to see a snake escape and scare the family or guests, but it can cause great harm to your pet in reality.

Boas are a well-known reptile pet, but people often underestimate their lifespan and their great size when grown.  A snake kept in an area it has outgrown will not be a happy, well-adjusted pet.  It may cause the snake harm and you as well, should he choose to fight back because of his discomfort.

Those cute little reptiles grow up and will need different requirements for food and housing as they grow.  A responsible pet owner will be prepared for the changes and willing to accommodate.  Can you recreate the natural environment and maintain it?  Think of it as being a person from the country who moves to the city, unwillingly, and never learns to adjust because they just don't seem to fit into the new surroundings.  Except this person has the ability to move back to the country, while the snake is unable to make this choice on his own.  The right housing makes a happier pet.



2018-04-29

Reptile History

Reptiles, illustration by Adolphe Millot from ...
Reptiles, illustration by Adolphe Millot from Nouveau Larousse Illustré [1897-1904] 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Many people overlook that dinosaurs were reptiles, as are tortoises and turtles.  Frogs are often lumped into the same category while they are, in fact, amphibians.

Reptiles evolved from amphibians because of their necessity to learn to adjust to life on land.  This brought about the need for legs and lungs to breathe air.  Yet snakes are legless, able to crawl along with their magnificent bodies.  The scaly reptile skin was necessary to protect the bodies from the rough surface of the ground, much different from the smooth water the amphibians were used to.

Science has described over 7,000 species of reptiles, even going so far as to claim birds as a part of the reptile group because of the inherited characteristics such as their skeletons, internal organs, and DNA.  There is a distinction besides feathers, though.  Birds are endotherms, meaning they must have food for energy to keep warm.  Other reptiles are ectotherms which need an outside heat source to help them retain proper body temperature.

Crocodiles are in the second oldest group of reptiles, perhaps resembling the dinosaur relatives more than any other reptile group.  Although, the turtle is the winner of the oldest proven reptile group, even older than the dinosaurs!

There are two groups of turtles, one group fares best on land and the other in the water.  The one that fares best on land is the terrestrial tortoise.

Success in keeping a reptile for a pet depends much on your climate.  You can forget sticking your pet snake, turtle, or lizard outside in a cage or pen or aquarium if you live in a cold climate.  Keeping the pet at a controlled temperature is essential to its survival.  Digestion depends on the right temperature and so does the animal's ability to move around successfully.

It may seem cute to see that little turtle basking in the sun on a log in a pond.  But the reptile needs the heat to stay alive. Too much heat is also as bad as too little.

Maybe the turtle's ability to live for so many centuries when other animals perished is because of its outstanding lifespan.  A turtle can live to 100 years old if the conditions are right!



Old temples have been discovered in Africa with snakes carved into the walls, giving pythons a sacred quality over the many years of its existence.  But the boas have been known to live over forty years at a time in zoos!  Anacondas have been feared in South America for a long time.  Any snake that can grow to over 35 feet deserves a wide berth!

An interesting reptile that's been around a long time is a native of Madagascar.  The chameleon exists in 120 different known types.  Oustalet's chameleon is about the size of a small cat.  It would give a domestic feline a definite scare to walk upon one of those!  On the other end of the size spectrum, the Dwarf Brookesia, also a native of Madagascar, is small enough to stand on the tip of a finger.



2018-04-24

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.



2018-04-12

REPTILE History

Collage of four U.S. state reptiles showing a ...
Collage of four U.S. state reptiles showing a turtle (box turtle), snake (garter snake),
lizard (collared lizard), and crocodilians (American alligator)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many people overlook that dinosaurs were reptiles, as are tortoises and turtles.  Frogs are often lumped into the same category while they are, in fact, amphibians.

Reptiles evolved from amphibians because of their necessity to learn to adjust to life on land.  This brought about the need for legs and lungs to breathe air.  Yet snakes are legless, able to crawl along with their magnificent bodies.  The scaly reptile skin was necessary to protect the bodies from the rough surface of the ground, much different from the smooth water the amphibians were used to.

Science has described over 7,000 species of reptiles, even going so far as to claim birds as a part of the reptile group because of the inherited characteristics such as their skeletons, internal organs, and DNA.  There is a distinction besides feathers, though.  Birds are endotherms, meaning they must have food for energy to keep warm.  Other reptiles are ectotherms which need an outside heat source to help them retain proper body temperature.

Crocodiles are in the second oldest group of reptiles, perhaps resembling the dinosaur relatives more than any other reptile group.  Although, the turtle is the winner of the oldest proven reptile group, even older than the dinosaurs!

There are two groups of turtles, one group fares best on land and the other in the water.  The one that fares best on land is the terrestrial tortoise.

Success in keeping a reptile for a pet depends much on your climate.  You can forget sticking your pet snake, turtle, or lizard outside in a cage or pen or aquarium if you live in a cold climate.  Keeping the pet at a controlled temperature is essential to its survival.  Digestion depends on the right temperature and so does the animal's ability to move around successfully.

It may seem cute to see that little turtle basking in the sun on a log in a pond.  But the reptile needs the heat to stay alive. Too much heat is also as bad as too little.

Maybe the turtle's ability to live for so many centuries when other animals perished is because of its outstanding lifespan.  A turtle can live to 100 years old if the conditions are right!




Old temples have been discovered in Africa with snakes carved into the walls, giving pythons a sacred quality over the many years of its existence.  But the boas have been known to live over forty years at a time in zoos!  Anacondas have been feared in South America for a long time.  Any snake that can grow to over 35 feet deserves a wide berth!

An interesting reptile that's been around a long time is a native of Madagascar.  The chameleon exists in 120 different known types.  Oustalet's chameleon is about the size of a small cat.  It would give a domestic feline a definite scare to walk upon one of those!  On the other end of the size spectrum, the Dwarf Brookesia, also a native of Madagascar, is small enough to stand on the tip of a finger.



2018-04-05

SALAMANDER Vivarium Tank Instructions

English: Salamander Ελληνικά: Σαλαμάνδρα
Salamander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although most people build vivariums for fauna; they are at root just miniature ecosystems comprised of compatible flora and substrate. While it makes sense to then put an animal of the appropriate kind inside, this isn't at all necessary, and the vivarium tank itself can be an eye-catching representative of natural design.

When it comes to the animals you can put inside a vivarium - should you choose to go that route - there are tiger salamanders, there are paddle tail newts, snakes of all kinds, tarantulas, there are frogs of any family, and relatively small reptiles and amphibians - depending on the size of tank you can support in your residence.

To begin with, choose a good-sized tank. It should be enough so that you can lay out the design you have in mind with the available dimensions without cramping, or leaving too much space (any space, really). Next, you'll need a top with a net for external air to infiltrate the tank, along with a sunlamp - this is mostly for the plants and for your viewing pleasure, as many of the kinds of amphibians you would place inside a vivarium aren't too keen on a too much bright light.

Your next step in securing an environment is to allow drainage; this shouldn't be too thick - maybe two inches at most - but not less than an inch. There is a range of materials that you can employ to serve as the drainage platform (clay, gravel, etc); just ask the expert at your local supply store.

Since you will supply the vivarium tank with soil, you have to place something to keep this soil from escaping through the drainage panel. Additionally; you want to keep your vivarium looking both natural and functional, so most of an appropriate density - such as sphagnum - is good to use as a soil preservation layer. After this is secured; you add the substrate of your choosing. There are several minerals and nutrients you can mix in with the substrate (or just buy substrate with the stuff already embedded, like coco-fiber) to enhance plant growth for the native species you will introduce into the vivarium tank to make it look like a real ecosystem.

Finally, you're at the stage where presentation is now your main concern. Using your flair for the artistic, arrange the rocks, caves, plants, water bowl, etc around the tank. If you will later be placing fire salamanders, paddle tail newts, fire-belly newts, or something similar in your tank, make sure to construct shaded and dark areas to facilitate privacy - as these amphibians love to hide. Some would argue that they need to hide, in order to be happiest in their habitat.



All that's left for your vivarium is the daily routine of upkeep, which won't be too strenuous at all. With animals and plants inside, the environment needs to be wet for best results, so mist it daily. If your tank isn't near a window in direct sunlight, then the hood-lamp or artificial sun lamp will need to be kept on for 6-8 hours each day, and cleaned lightly once a week. A full cleaning of waste build-up needs to be carried out about ten times a year.

    By Tim R Johnson
    Tim runs and operates a pet shop that specializes in salamander vivariums for reptile and amphibian enthusiasts. With help from a few dedicated clerks and suppliers, he maintains a high quality of life for the animals in his vivarium tanks until they are either purchased or returned to the wild. For more tips on vivarium building and maintenance, check out his main store in the link above for instructions.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2018-03-15

Safety With REPTILES

Beautiful Little Snake (In The Shade)
Photo by Tobyotter
Reptiles are animals to be respected.  Many people think it's funny to irritate a reptile to get a reaction.  These same people probably have the pet peeve of others irritating them to get a reaction. It's the idea of dishing it out and not being able to take it.  Please put yourself in the reptile's place. While they may not exhibit emotions other than what seems like anger, they are living beings that deserve to be treated in a kind way.

It is illegal in many places to hold a reptile captive, even if you consider yourself to be taking good proper care of the animal.  You may need a license or permit to be able to take care of it, even if you are trying to "save" it because of obvious injury or illness.  It is best to contact a wildlife rehabilitator any time you see a wild animal in distress.  If you can't find a wildlife rehabilitator, perhaps you could call a game warden or a nearby zoo or vet for further aid.

Collection and transport of reptiles can cause damage or trauma.  This may make the reptile more apt to strike out in defense upon any close contact.  Would you be a bit annoyed if someone removed you against your will to put you in an unfamiliar place?

It is best for the animal if it is allowed to stay in the environment to which it is accustomed when possible.

If you do happen to be unable to resist the urge to capture a wild reptile and later decide it wasn't such a good idea after all, please contact someone who would be qualified to take over its care.  Wildlife animal refuges and zoos are equipped for the care of reptiles and may be happy to assist to keep the animal alive and well.

If you know of a reptile that is being abused or neglected because of improper care or treatment, you could try contacting a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  Your local veterinarian's office, game warden, zoo, or animal shelter should be able to direct you to the right phone number or address of the nearest office for complaints.  Should you be uncomfortable with providing your name, make it known from the start.  It is understandable to want to keep yourself protected from an irritable owner caught by authorities for cruelty.  But please, don't let this stop you from helping the poor unwilling creature.  There are ways to protect yourself and reach out to help.



The exotic pet trade is big business that uses clever marketing techniques to snare people's interest in reptiles.  Some people want the exotic pet as a hobby, a novelty item, or a status symbol.  It may present the element of class or style they mistakenly wish to portray.  The animal is the one that suffers when the interest has grown dim, and the excitement has worn off.

Safety with reptiles is not just about safety for the humans who are interested in handling the reptiles.  It's also about the safety of the reptiles themselves.



2018-02-25

Safety With REPTILES

Chameleon -  Photo: Pixabay
Reptiles are animals to be respected.  Many people think it's funny to irritate a reptile to get a reaction.  These same people probably have the pet peeve of others irritating them to get a reaction.  It's the idea of dishing it out and not being able to take it.  Please put yourself in the reptile's place.  While they may not exhibit emotions other than what seems like anger, they are living beings that deserve to be treated in a kind way.

It is illegal in many places to hold a reptile captive, even if you consider yourself to be taking good proper care of the animal.  You may need a license or permit to be able to take care of it, even if you are trying to "save" it because of obvious injury or illness.  It is best to contact a wildlife rehabilitator any time you see a wild animal in distress.  If you can't find a wildlife rehabilitator, perhaps you could call a game warden or a nearby zoo or vet for further aid.

Collection and transport of reptiles can cause damage or trauma.  This may make the reptile more apt to strike out in defense upon any close contact.  Would you be a bit annoyed if someone removed you against your will to put you in an unfamiliar place?
It is best for the animal if it is allowed to stay in the environment to which it is accustomed when possible.

If you do happen to be unable to resist the urge to capture a wild reptile and later decide it wasn't such a good idea after all, please contact someone who would be qualified to take over its care.  Wildlife animal refuges and zoos are equipped for the care of reptiles and may be happy to assist to keep the animal alive and well.



If you know of a reptile that is being abused or neglected because of improper care or treatment, you could try contacting a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  Your local veterinarian's office, game warden, zoo, or animal shelter should be able to direct you to the right phone number or address of the nearest office for complaints.  Should you be uncomfortable with providing your name, make it known from the start.  It is understandable to want to keep yourself protected from an irritable owner caught by authorities for cruelty.  But please, don't let this stop you from helping the poor unwilling creature.  There are ways to protect yourself and reach out to help.

The exotic pet trade is big business that uses clever marketing techniques to snare people's interest in reptiles.  Some people want the exotic pet as a hobby, a novelty item, or a status symbol.  It may present the element of class or style they mistakenly wish to portray.  The animal is the one that suffers when the interest has grown dim, and the excitement has worn off.

Safety with reptiles is not just about safety for the humans who are interested in handling the reptiles.  It's also about the safety of the reptiles themselves.



2018-01-29

Red-eared SLIDER - Trachemys scripta elegans

Red-eared Slider - Trachemys scripta elegans - Photo: Wikipedia




2018-01-26

Freshwater TURTLES

Og, the Freshwater Cow
Photo  by delta407 
Hi! Good Morning! I am Deirochelys reticularia, nickname - Chicken turtle, because of my long, striped, neck. I am a freshwater turtle and belong to a reputed family Emydidae. I inhabit the calm and quiet weedy freshwater ponds, swamps or marshes.

Look at the fine grooves and yellow network on the surface of my brown carapace (4 to 10 inches long). Whenever I get bored, I come out and enjoy moving on the land. I relish both non-vegetarian and vegetarian foods. Remember, never ever try to irritate me, else I will bite!

Let me introduce other family members:
Mr. Clemmys marmorata, (Pacific/Western Pond turtle)
Miss Emys orbicularis (European pond turtle/Swamp turtle)
Mr. Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding's turtle).
Mrs. Graptemys geographica (Common Map turtle)
Baby Graptemys pseudogeographica (False Map turtle)
Master Clemmys guttata (Spotted turtle)
Miss Pseudemys concinna (River Cooter)
Ma'm Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared Slider) look at the significant red stripe behind the eyes.
Mr.Chrysemys picta picta (Eastern Painted Turtle)
Mrs. Pseudemys rubriventris (Eastern Red-bellied Turtle)
Mr. Calemys insculpta (Wood Turtle)
They are basically carnivorous but sometimes nibble on plants and seeds for a change of palate. They all inhabit shallow lakes, weedy marshes, ponds etc.

Let's go over there; Kinosternidae family is having a great picnic on tadpoles, snails, worms, and crayfish-

There are -Mr. Kinosternon subrubrum (Mud turtle and Eastern Mud Turtle) and Mrs. Kinosternon flavescents (Yellow Mud turtle) with yellow throat, smooth brown carapace and a big double hinged dull colored plastron.

Meet young and energetic Musk turtle, Common Musk Turtle and Loggerhead Musk Turtle. Though close kins, they are different species under the genus Sternotherus. They have a short tail, grey, brown or dull colored oval-shaped shell, a single hinged plastron and white stripes on the two sides of the head.

But don't dare to disturb them, else they may emit a strong foul smell from the glands which can knock you out (...just between you and me, we call them "stinkpot" because of the odor...yuck)! They don't grow beyond 6 inches and have characteristic fleshy barbels on the chin.


There, basking on the sandbars, are the ace swimmers - Miss Apalone ferox and Apalone spinifera (Spiny- and Florida soft-shell turtles) of the Family Trionychidae. They are big (5-24 inches), carnivoresand have leathery shells.

Wow! There is Mr.Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle) of Chelydridae family; largest of our kind (8-20 inches) with strong snapping jaws. How majestic!

Aren't we fascinating? Then why do you gobble us? Why eh...?