Reptile Super Show 2k16!!!!!!

If you didn’t go to this year’s Reptile Super Show at the Pomona Fairplex, you missed out!!!! This was one of the best ones yet, with so much crazy fun stuff going on! Thousands of people from all over southern California came to see the vast amazing assortment of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, salamanders, spiders, and all sorts of other fascinating exotics that our community so loves! It was also a great success in that the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) raised just over 40,000 dollars!!! That set a new record for the west coast shows. All that money will go towards protecting the animals and to hobbyists who love them.

Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo set up a booth to showcase some of our awesome animals. Aside from stunning multi-thousand dollar reticulated pythons, we also brought boas, tegus, our Rhinocerous Iguana, Beckham, and a lovely breeding pair of sulcata tortoises. Laura, Frank, Enrico, and Jay all worked their butts off selling retics, while I promoted The Reptile Zoo and even managed to sell an animal or two myself! Whoops!

While there was plenty of fun to be had at the show, the real fun kicked in for us afterwards! Prehistoric Pets has a history of throwing fantastic post-show parties, and this year was no exception. Tons of people showed up to see the zoo after hours and check out the expanded breeding facility!

Highlights of the evening included handling of many large reticulated pythons, an alligator feeding demonstration from Jay, and of course, what is a party without PIZZA?! All in all the weekend was a blast and we were so happy to share it with you all!!

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2015 has been a huge year for us at Prehistoric Inc! We’ve had thousands of visitors, taken tons of pictures, and celebrated some big milestones! Join us in an end-of-the-year celebratory countdown!

First off we are celebrating the new reticulated python morphs we created this year! I asked Tim, retic extraordinaire, and he determined we had created AT LEAST 30 new morphs! One of the big standouts from this year was the creation of a lavender albino anthrax genetic stripe. This particular snake is special because it is a triple recessive. We had to hit amazing odds to get not one, not two, but THREE recessive genes expressed in one AMAZINGLY gorgeous package!

Speaking of celebrating, we PARTIED this year! We hosted and traveled to 673 Jurassic Parties all over Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties! Our record youngest birthday kid was only a year old, and our record oldest was celebrating her 68th birthday! Jurassic Parties go great with every occasion for kids of every age!

We also had a great year on our social media! We got record numbers of followers, as well as tons of likes! Check out our most loved photos of the year below!

We’ll miss all the fun we had in 2015, but can’t wait to see what the new year will bring! Here’s hoping we keep #livingthedream in 2016!!!

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Giving Thanks... FOR FOOOOOOD

Thanksgiving is coming and I don’t know about you guys, but here at Prehistoric Pets we’re pumped about FOOD!!! With the busy season over we’ve had time to really buckle down and improve our selection of feeders. Prehistoric Pets now offers all kinds of delicious and nutritious food for you and your scaly friends! First off, we’ve added a selection of frozen mice, rats, and guinea pigs for people who prefer to feed frozen/thawed, and secondly, we’ve expanded our selection of insect feeders for our lizard, frog, and spider friends! In this blog, we will go over the relative merits of each particular feeder, and how you can know what to feed your pet!

Frozen vs. Pre-killed vs. Live Rodents!

There are pros and cons to each style of feeding, and ultimately it comes down to either personal preference, or in some cases, pet preference. The best thing to do is find out what works for you! When feeding snakes, chose a feeder that is as big around as your snake is at its widest point. When feeding lizards, pick a rodent that is about as big around as the narrowest point of its neck. Remember to size your rodents up as your pet grows!


We haven’t just improved our selection of rodents; we’ve expanded our bugs as well!! Prehistoric Pets now offers three different sizes of Dubia Roaches, as well as a great new feeder, Goliath Worms! Each feeder has its merits, and we’ve included a handy little chart here to give you a breakdown of the nutritional content of each particular bug!

Crickets are a staple feeder; they’re easily accessible and pretty cheap. However, they are smelly and do like to jump and escape, and can even bite your pet if left in the cage. Dubia roaches, while pricier, have double the protein of crickets and none of the nasty side effects. Careful if you use loose bedding though, because they do like to dig. Superworms are great if you have larger lizards, as they tend to impact smaller ones because of their tough chitin exoskeleton. Goliath worms don’t have that same exoskeleton, making them easier to digest. They are also mostly water, which makes them excellent for rehydrating more tropical species like chameleons. Wax worms are beneficial for smaller lizards like geckos, or for an animal you are trying to fatten up as they have the highest fat content. Last and kind of least comes mealworms. They are better for smaller animals that can’t eat superworms, but lack a lot of protein and calcium due to their tough exoskeleton and small body size.

While that just about wraps it up for your pet's food. Now go enjoy some turkey!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Reptile Zoo Reaches Out

Inspiring the next generation of animal lovers has always been a big part of the Reptile Zoo’s mission, and even more so inspiring the next generation of reptile keepers! Jurassic Parties and the Reptile Zoo have run giveaways for class pets in the past, so when Giovanni, president of the Creature Club at Enochs High School reached out to us, we were happy to help.

“The club is based on education; my hopes for this club are for us to be able to expand our collection of animals and go out to reptile shows, middle schools, elementary schools, and have our own events in order to educate people on animals that are often misunderstood such as snakes and lizards. I was wondering if The Reptile Zoo could sponsor us that way we could continue on our goals. Fundraising has changed at my school (Enochs High School) so it is really hard to do our fundraisers now so I was hoping to get sponsors for my club. Reptiles have always truly amazed me and I'm hoping that my club can really help bring a new light to these magnificent creatures. Thanks so much for wanting to help us out!”

The Reptile Zoo was able to donate not only a baby ball python to the club, but a full setup so that it could also live in comfort and style as goes on to live as an educational animal. We wish luck to Giovanni and the rest of the Creature Club, and are happy to support their educational message!!

Thrills and Chills In Our Final Halloween Countdown!!!

Hope you’re all ready for our final frightful installment of the scariest animals here at the zoo!!! We’ve documented the scariest lizards and snakes, but now the time has come to see our final reptile contenders. First up, the shell from hell, Louie!

Louie is our giant alligator snapping turtle. Weighing in at around 175lbs at a whopping 180 years old, this turtle is one of our biggest animals! He packs a punch as well. An alligator snapping turtle Louie’s size is capable of snapping a broom handle with one powerful bite! Combine it with his beady eyes, spiky skin, and prehistoric appearance, and you can see why Louie made our list.

Next in our lineup, the eight legged wonders of the zoo, our Tarantulas! These T’s are awesome little critters, but we have to be careful around them! The old world species are speedy and equipped with serious fangs and venom, but the new world spiders have a secret weapon of their own! They can kick their hair off their abdomen, forming a cloud of super irritating material designed to stop predators in their tracks. Our Mexican Fireleg tarantula is equipped with such hairs.

I know I don’t want to get on the bad side of that guy. Or this one! Check out our awesome Singapore Blue tarantula!

Last but not least though, the one you’ve all been waiting for, the scariest animals in the zoo are…..

The Visitors!!! Just look at how our animals react to the crazy ( and amazing and awesome) people that visit us!

We wish you all a happy and safe Halloween this year! Hopefully you won’t run into anything from this countdown while out trick or treating!!

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What Rough Beast This Hour Slouches Toward Fountain Valley To Be Born?

We’re back again with our countdown of creepy crawlers! This week, we’re taking a census of the scariest lizards that roam The Reptile Zoo! Our smallest contender so far makes up for his lack of size with another trick. The Reticulated Gila Monster is a fairly unassuming lizard, but possesses very potent venom. With its midnight black body and yellow warning stripes, the Gila Monster uses its patterned body to ward off potential predators.
While they are shy and retiring, these lizards are the reason you don’t want to overturn any rocks or stick your hand down any holes in the desert! Next up in our line-up is actually a cute lizard, our big Rhino Iguana, Mr. Spot. While he charms visitors with his cartoon- dragon eyes, he has a dark side that can’t be ignored.

He possesses one of the most powerful bites of any of the lizards here at The Reptile Zoo, and backs up that power with all 25lbs of his strong, thickly muscled body. While he’s sweet to those he likes, Mr. Spot earned a place in our countdown due to one of his scariest habits. If he doesn’t like the look of a certain person, he will attack and bite the glass of his enclosure, chasing the visitor from end to end until they are out of eyeshot. He has body slammed his glass so many times he actually started to knock the aluminum track holding his glass out of alignment. Thankfully that has been repaired, but for a while it was a big concern, as the last thing we need is a big, angry lizard chasing people around the zoo. Last of our scariest lizards is our Crocodile Monitor, Salk. He is the epitome of supreme killing machine. If his relative, the Komodo Dragon, was a T. Rex, Salk would be a raptor. Incredibly smart, insanely fast, and highly malicious, Salk has earned the distinction of being the only non-venomous animal at the zoo with not one, but TWO locks on his cage.

Crocodile monitors are not to be taken lightly. They have teeth that stay razor sharp that are the length of a penny, a 7 foot whip tail, and recirculating lungs like a bird so that they don’t have to stop and catch their breath when chasing you. Roll all that nightmare fuel into a lean green biting machine, and you’ve got our top scariest lizard. Join us next week for shells from hell, creepy crawlies, and the top voted scariest zoo animal of them all!!!
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Spooky Scary Slithery Scaley COUNTDOWN

Its officially October, and you know what that means! Halloween is just around the corner! So for the whole month of October, we will be counting down the scariest, spookiest, downright most terrifying animals at the zoo!! We’ll begin the countdown with our scariest snakes!

Each of our scariest snakes are scary in different ways! Be it by name, by venom, by size, or by bite, all of these competitors make visitors (and some of our handlers!) quiver in fear!

First off is our scariest named snake, the Black Blood Python. Conjuring up imagery of witchcraft, dark nights, and spooky bubbling potions, the black blood python isn’t a snake to take lightly either! They are thick bodied and powerful strikers, and while they only grow about six feet long, they can weigh up to 20 pounds!

The thing that strikes fear into the employees hearts though when it comes to the black blood is unusual. These snakes have a habit of retaining their waste for a long period of time, sometimes over 6 months. The resulting explosion when they finally do pass waste is enough to bring any prehistoric employee to their knees.

Our most scary venomous snake is also one of our most beautiful. The Mojave Green rattlesnake is the color of any self-respecting witch’s brew, but also packs the most powerful venomous punch of any of our rattlesnakes.

Its venom is a potent potion containing both neurotoxic and hemotoxic enzymes. The neurotoxins affect breathing and nerve function, while the hemotoxic venom causes severe bleeding. While he’s not our biggest, he’s certainly our baddest!

While we know them as our gentle giants, our big female reticulated pythons certainly scare some of our visitors! We’ve had people come to the zoo that couldn’t stand to look at them, let alone walk past them, due to some intense snake-phobia. Their size certainly does wow!

The power behind their strikes is nothing to ignore, and their teeth are triangle shaped and blade like on the backs, making a bite more like a slash from a scalpel rather than a few punctures. That being said, it takes more than that to scare Jay!

Last but not least, the snake here with the scariest teeth! While the rattlesnakes have their hollow fangs, most people at least know to steer clear! The emerald tree boa however is sneaky. While relatively unassuming, this snake packs the biggest teeth of any non-venomous snake.

Designed to snatch birds out of midair, their front fangs are generally around an inch long and capable of delivering some serious damage! Steer clear of this scaly green spook and you should be just fine.

Join us next week as we count down the scariest lizards here at the zoo!!!

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Take a Peek Into Prehistoric with Periscope!!

Here at the Reptile Zoo and Prehistoric Pets, we do have a fondness for animals that haven’t changed much since the age of the dinosaurs. The same doesn’t hold true for technology though! We’ve been working lately on updating all of our tech! We have swanky new computers and registers, we’ve upped our printer and camera game, but most of all we’re trying to get on board with all the latest apps and social media! Savannah, our intrepid social media savant, has taken our Instagram and Facebook pages to new heights, but we’re experimenting with and are very excited about our latest social media platform, Periscope!

For those of you unfamiliar with Periscope, it is an app developed by Twitter that allows us to live stream video content right here at the zoo! We’ve already used it to live stream videos of Jay cutting a brand new clutch of baby reticulated pythons, but as we gain a following on the app, we hope to branch out into filming our awesome animal’s behavior to share our zoo all over the world!

You can comment in real time to chat to us while we stream as well! The best part is, if you enjoyed a particular stream, it will be available to re-watch on our profile at any time. If you like a video or stream too, you can tap the screen on your phone or tablet to give us hearts, boosting our profile and increasing our audience.

If you prefer to kick it old-school and can’t figure out this new-fangled technology, we have an option for you as well! Prehistoric has been doing all kinds of meet ups lately. Just before the North American Reptile Breeder’s Conference (NARBC), we hosted all kinds of folks here for an informal, pre-convention get together, including star guests like Bryan Barczyk from SnakeBytes TV!

We aim to have at least one meetup a month. If you’re interested, follow us on facebook at The Reptile Zoo or Prehistoric Pets to find out when our next event will be. You never know what kind of crazy fun we’ll have next!

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Spreading the Love, Jurassic Parties Style!

Hi ladies and gents! Those of you familiar with the Reptile Zoo and Jurassic Parties know that we are not here to frighten, but to teach! The goal of Jurassic Parties is to further the public’s understanding and respect for reptiles through interactive education that is both fun and meaningful for all guests. We have guests on a daily basis who’ve never seen a snake in person and are horrified by them, who with some exposure and education, gain a new appreciation for reptiles. Recent studies have shown that while primates (especially humans!) instinctively recognize snakelike shapes, the fear of snakes is a learned response. What better way to nip that learned fear in the bud than to give kids positive experiences with our legless friends? Our tried and true Jurassic Parties and one-of-a-kind hands-on learning zone at The Reptile Zoo have given thousands of kids a chance to interact with some of Mother Nature’s less loved species, and now we want to spread the love even further; by going into classrooms.

Animals in the classroom have been shown to be enormously beneficial to a learning environment. Studies have shown that having a class pet decreases tension, increases the children’s sense of responsibility, and gives kids without pets at home a new appreciation for animals. A class pet can be used to teach valuable lessons, not only about science and biology but about empathy, duty, and respect. Snakes in particular make good pets for classrooms as they are quiet, allergy free, and easy to care for. They are inexpensive to feed, simple to handle, and kids find them particularly fascinating. By exposing kids early to snakes, they grow up into adults who respect, rather than fear them.

In an effort to further spread our goals of understanding and respect for reptiles, Jurassic Parties has decided to open up a contest of sorts to the classrooms of California! The prize? One classroom ready California Kingsnake or Cornsnake with full habitat setup!

Make sure you meet all eligibility requirements and then submit your application following the directions below:

Eligibility Requirements:

1) Applicants must provide proof that an animal is allowed in the classroom.

2) Applicants must be 18 years or older who are teachers at a public, accredited, or private school in compliance with the laws of its state of residence and who teach in any grades Kindergarten through 8.

3) Applicants must live and work in California, and be willing and able to come pick up the snake and habitat from The Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley. (It is against the law to transport California Kingsnakes across state lines).

4) Applicants must be comfortable with snakes themselves and be willing to be the primary caretaker of the animal and assume financial and personal responsibility for its health and well being, including feeding, cleaning, habitat maintenance, and veterinary care.


The Application Packet should consist of:

1) A written statement and any other documentation proving that the teacher meets the eligibility requirements.

2) A letter from the teacher explaining why their classroom would benefit from a pet, how the pet would be integrated into classroom life, and what possible lessons could be learned from the pet.

3) A 3-5 sentence written piece from each of the students on why they would like a snake as a class pet. Art or other creative pieces are encouraged but not required.

The Application Packet must be submitted to Jurassic Parties by April 30st. Please address all applications as follows

The Reptile Zoo

attn: Lauren Henry

18822 Brookhurst Street

Fountain Valley, CA, 92708

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More Morphs More Fun!!!

Here at the Reptile Zoo we have a special place in our hearts for showcasing some of our particularly exceptional snake morphs. But what really IS a morph?

Morphs are simply different color variations among the same species of animal. While we select for specific morphs in captivity, Mother Nature makes morphs of her own! Take for example the peppered moth, which comes in a light and a dark morph.

The two most common morphs that Mother Nature produces might be familiar to you. Albinism, or amelanism, is caused by a genetic mutation that causes the cells of the body to be unable to produce the pigment Melanin, which is dark brown in color. This explains why animals with typically brown fur turn white when albino. There is another mutation, called Melanism, which is caused by the overproduction of melanin, which causes a heavily pigmented, much darker animal. A good example of natural melanism is the black panther. Black panthers are actually jaguars with Melanism, not their own separate species. Their fur overproduces pigment, causing them to appear almost entirely black. This mutation worked to their advantage for hunting at night, as the dark colors help them blend in. Here we have examples of Albinism and Melanism in ball pythons with a normal for comparison:

These two mutations are popular genes to reproduce in snakes, as they are the building blocks for many of the designer genes we see today. It’s hard to believe that a rare mutation found in just one or two snakes 20 years ago led to the hundreds of morphs available today. At this point even though no melanistic reticulated pythons have ever been found, there have been morphs created to make incredibly dark snakes. Just check out the awesome variety below!

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