Volunteeer Adventure at The Reptile Zoo

Hi my name is Ben Brady. I am the volunteer coordinator at Prehistoric Pets. I started out as a volunteer in 2015. My love for animals, reptiles in particular brought me here. My mother bought me my first Garter snake when I was 11. Over the years I've had turtles, lizards, Ball pythons and the last few years Reticulated pythons and Crested Geckos. Working mainly with Dwarf and Super Dwarf. I've had some incredible experiences working with the people and animals here that I don't think I could get anywhere else. The most amazing thing that has happened was when I was asked to help cut my first clutch of Reticulated python eggs. There is nothing like seeing the smile on the face of a customer that has never held a reptile minutes after holding their first Crested gecko or Ball python, and seeing that the fear that the had for all those years could be defeated just by holding one of these animals and seeing how amazing they truly are and that they can be enjoyed. I have even seen people buy an animal after they have realized how easy it was to care for some of them. Everyday there is something new from the animals to the people its an experience I think everyone should have. So when the opportunity to be volunteer coordinator came up I jumped at the chance. I want to share that opportunity with you. This is a non-paid volunteer program designed to help the Reptile Zoo connect with its customers. Your responsibilities can include: - Customer contact - Welcoming guests to the Reptile Zoo - Education - Facilitating animal interaction in the hands on section of the Reptile Zoo - General maintenance and husbandry - Take guest photos with Burmese Python Required: Well Mannered and outgoing reptile enthusiast that is at least age 18, who is willing to donate time to the Reptile Zoo.
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Traveling Zoo and Charity Too!

Hello dearest readers!

We had a heck of a weekend and I can’t wait to tell you about it! We decided the usual hordes of visitors coming to check out our awesome exhibits weren’t enough, and that we would bring the zoo to them! On Saturday, April 2nd, we brought our traveling zoo to the Summer Camp and Activities Fair presented by The OC Register and OC Family magazine.

Jurassic Parties’ awesome presentations are a yearly feature at many of Orange County’s summer camps, and we wanted to spread the love and let even more people know how awesome reptiles are. Laura helped kids get up close and personal with some ball pythons, and I helped Squash show the public just how gentle our giants can be!

We didn’t stop there though! On Sunday Laura and Savannah got up bright and early and headed north to take part in the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids! Buttercup, our albino Burmese python got a lot of love from the kids that were there, and Spike the bearded dragon wore his participation sticker with pride! Our booth drew tons of visitors and we couldn’t have been happier to see them. The biggest and most important part of the Reptile Zoo is to educate the public on our favorite animals, and we couldn’t be happier that we can reach so many people.

We hope that the next time we travel with the zoo you all can come see us!

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Hello Hello dearest readers!

Spring has officially sprung and I for one am so super excited to tell you guys all about our coolest cutest little crocodilian here at The Reptile Zoo! Everyone, meet SNAGGLETOOTH!

Snaggletooth is an adorable little dwarf caiman! Caiman are in the same family as alligators and crocodiles, and are characterized by their oversized upper jaw, prominent dagger-like teeth, and round noses. They tend to be smaller than their crocodilian cousins, and the dwarf caiman are the smallest of them all, reaching a maximum length or around 4-6 feet! Don’t let their diminutive size fool you though, these little guys are tougher than they appear! The scales of a dwarf caiman have a bony base (these special scales are called osteoderms) that give them a fair degree of protection from attackers. They prey primarily on invertebrates, fish, and frogs. Dwarf caiman go by many other names, including the musky caiman, Cuvier's caiman, the wedge head caiman, and the smooth-fronted caiman.

Our little guy Snaggletooth is on the petite side, and only about 3 feet long. He won’t get too much bigger, making him invaluable as an education animal here at the Reptile Zoo. While Snaggletooth is a sweetheart, not all members of his species have his calm and gentle temperament. All species of crocodilians, including caimans, are restricted species and cannot legally be owned as pets. We’re glad to have him here at the zoo where he can educate the public on his cousins in a safe way. Won’t you come and visit him soon?

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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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