Reptiles at Church?

 

Do reptiles at a church service seem like an oxymoron? Not at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California reptiles are just one of the many unique features at this community church. Prehistoric Pets and Jurassic Parties started partnering with Saddleback Church a couple years back and we have been priveleged to be included in many of their events since, including annual Blocktober and Vacation Bible School events.

 

 

Every time we are involved with Saddleback there are sure to be plenty of excited kids ready to learn about reptiles. This year's Easter services were no different with over 200 elementary school kids attending just one of the 7 kid-centric services. 

 

 

Even though the groups are large we always get the crowd involved especially with the grand finale, one of our 12 foot Burmese Pythons or a large lizard like Rusty who just happens to be a full-time resident at Saddleback Church. Just when you thought it couldn't get any cooler right!

Rusty is an Asian Water Monitor just like Frank his brother (who plays Mr. Kipling on Disney Channel's JESSIE). Saddleback has built a great enclosure for him to hang out in with his own pool, basking areas, and custom cloud sky ceiling. This huge enclosure is part of "The Extreme" where middle school students come each week to enjoy the reptiles and service.

 

In addition to all of the kiddies who love visiting Rusty, he also gets a lot of attention from the reptile volunteers including founder Jay Brewer who visit each week and provide hands-on interaction with some of the smaller reptiles also housed at Saddleback.

 

 

Here at Prehistoric Pets and Jurassic Parties we love any opportunity to reach such a large and excited group of kids and are always excited when we get the call from Saddleback Church. If you are in the area it's worth a visit to see Rusty and his buddies at Saddleback!

 

 

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LOCOmotion!

“Hurry Priscilla!  Catch the snake, he’s running away!” en route to catch said snake, I started to think to myself, ‘Hmmm I wonder if the kids know HOW snakes actually move around?’  Taking it upon myself to get to the bottom of this mysterious snake movement question, I tossed the question out there.  “Who here knows HOW snakes move around?” shortly after I asked this I was astounded at the many answers our creative little ones had.  “He Runs!” “He Jumps!” “He Flys!” after several minutes of laughing, I chimed back in and told the kids that you learn something new every day, and thanks to their one of a kind Jurassic Party, they were going to learn that and much more!

 

It seems like a simple question to ask but in order to understand the different species; it helps to know even the smallest details (Like movement) that separate them.  Although we may not live in the areas to physically see the different types of movement possible by our Serpent friends, it’s easy to identify the process just by the way the snakes body is formed when he attempts to move.  The most popular and widely known form of movement is called, Serpentine Method.  This S-shape motion is what most people think of when they think of snakes.   Starting at the neck, a snake contracts its muscles, propelling its body from side to side, creating a chain of curves.  They will push off of any bump or other surface to get moving. They move in a wavy motion and wouldn’t be able to move over slick surfaces like glass at all.  Majority of all pet and common snakes will use this method of movement.

Another method used is called Sidewinding.  While side-winding, only a few points of the snakes’ body contact the hot sand at any one time. In environments with few conflict points, snakes may use a variation of serpentine motion to get around. Contracting their muscles and flinging their bodies, sidewinders create an S-shape that only has TWO points of contact with the ground; when they push off, they move sideways. The snake will lift the middle of its body up and then push it down forcing its head to move forward.  Much of a sidewinding snake's body is off the ground while it moves, Cool huh?!  The most infamous example of this type of locomotion can be found in the aptly named, Sidewinder. 

The tracks left behind show at what points the snake's body came into contact with the ground.

The next example of motion is called the Rectilinear Method, this is a slow, creeping, straight movement. The snake uses some of the wide scales on its belly to grip the ground while pushing forward with the others.  These waves are much smaller and curve up and down rather than side to side. When a snake uses caterpillar (Rectilinear) movement, the tops of each curve are lifted above the ground as the ventral scales on the bottoms push against the ground, creating a ripple effect similar to how a caterpillar looks when it walks.  This method of locomotion is extremely slow, but is also almost noiseless and very hard to detect, making it the mode of choice for many species when stalking prey. 

Lastly, there is the Concertina Method.  The previous methods work well for horizontal surfaces, but snakes climb using the Concertina technique. The snake extends its head and the front of its body along the vertical surface and then finds a place to grip with its ventral scales. To get a good hold, it bunches up the middle of its body into tight curves that grip the surface while it pulls its back end up; then it springs forward again to find a new place to grip with its scales!  Like a Spider Monkey Snake!  ^O^ 

Hopefully this information helped shed some light on one of the many reasons why our reptile friends are so unique and special.  Next time you’re watching a snake show, visiting us at the Zoo or playing with your own pet snake; see if you can identify what type of motion the snakes uses to move around!

Ciao!

^O^…….…Priscilla

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Easter Games with Frank (aka Mr. Kipling)

Ever wonder if reptiles celebrate holidays? Well they sure do at The Reptile Zoo. Actually today is one of our favorite holidays! Everyone loves Easter for their own reasons, but Frank he loves Easter for the eggs! Who is Frank? He's one of the many starts at The Reptile Zoo! He even spends some of his time on the set of Disney Channel's JESSIE as Mr. Kipling!

 

 

Why does Frank love Easter eggs? The same reason you do... they're tasty! Frank loves to snack on eggs which are an extra special treat for him. Which is why he guards them so carefully! You wouldn't want to go Easter egg hunting with him, he doesn't share very well.

 

 

Here at The Reptile Zoo Frank only gets this special treat if "infertal" eggs have been found in a clutch. "Infertal" means these eggs are incapable of producing viable offspring. This is not very common in breeding at Prehistoric Pets, but does happen in a small percentage of the time. Instead of simply tossing these nutrient packed goodies Frank and his friends at The Reptile Zoo get an extra special treat. Waste not, want not!

 

 

Check out this video to see one of Frank's family members enjoying a quick snack of these infertal eggs.

 

 

It never fails after Frank has completed his meal he is looking for just one more snack!

 

 

From everyone at The Reptile Zoo we wish you the best Easter spent with family and friends. Everyone here is enjoying a day off and will back tomorrow to share even more reptile fun with you! Come visit us at The Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley, California and meet Frank (aka Mr. Kipling) !

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Thelma and Louise have moved!

Where did they go you may ask? Well, they have gone straight down the hall and to the back to accompany some other reptiles for awhile.

Come say hi whenever you get a chance!

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Prehistoric Pets + REPTILES Magazine Care Video Series: Part One

Remember when we said we would be partnering with REPTILES Magazine on a exciting new project? Well our first partner video is finally LIVE! Join Prehistoric Pets founder Jay Brewer and REPTILES Magazine editor Russ Case in The Reptile Zoo covering the basics of Reticulated Python (aka retic) care. If you like this video be sure to check back soon for the next installment covering another popular reptile pet!



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Trading Up at Gecko Lofts

 

Here at The Reptile Zoo it's all about upgrade, upgrade, upgrade and the same is true for our animals! After spending 6 months at the "Crestie Condos" in Prehistoric Pets as young couples the crested geckos finally decided they wanted to start a family and really settle down. Luckily their friends the Leachies knew just the spot, "Gecko Lofts" at The Reptile Zoo.

 

 

The crested gecko families knew they couldn't go wrong with the suggestion from the Leachies. Bubbles and Squishy have been at the Gecko Lofts for over year now and enjoying the extra space along with their two cute new additions to the family. So with little hesitation they packed up their bags, gathered their furniture and moved from the Crestie Condos at Prehistoric Pets to the Gecko Lofts at The Reptile Zoo. It didn't take long for everyone to get comfortable and enjoy the sights and sounds of their new digs.

 

 

 

They've even started to blend in to their new environment. Can you count how many crested geckos are enjoying their new cage in the picture below?

 

 

Here's a close up shot of one of the crestie bellies. Check out their specially designed fingers for sticking on just about anything, including glass!

 

 

Next time you're at The Reptile Zoo be sure to check out Gecko Lofts and it's oh so cool residents!

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April Fools Baby! ....Not?

With all the buzz floating around about possible pranks on April Fool’s day, many of us were hesitant to take anything too seriously for fear of being made a joke.  However, not everything was just fun and games; we had quite the surprise awaiting us.  For those of you who weren’t aware, reptiles like Blue Tongue Skinks and Boas give LIVE birth rather than laying eggs.  To make things even more bizarre, you can’t really tell when Skinks and Boas are pregnant, so the babies are always a big surprise.  Talk about an April Fool’s not-so Prank ;P.

 

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, that’s exactly what happened this week!  Staffer Rosa A. was doing her routine cage cleaning when she was greeted by a baby surprise.  Elbow deep in the Blue Tongue Skink cage, Rosa was scrubbing away when a brand new baby Skink popped out of the woodwork (Literally) to say Hello!  Shocked at this neat additions presence, Rosa informed management of our little buddy’s arrival.  Although the babies look grown, this is how they are originally born.  They are birthed at this size and their physical traits and characteristics will stay the same from birth.  Kinda cool huh?!

Think this baby is cute as a reptile button?  Why not own one of your own?!  Skinks are easy to care for, good for amateur herpers and have a simple diet consisting of insects, some fruits, flowers and berries.  No, in case you were wondering, they don’t get their name from Blueberry stained mouths after a tasty Skink meal.  In fact, they are named Blue Tongues because of their bright blue tongues that are used as DEFENSE.  Skinks use their bright tongues in a dramatic fashion to startle, distract, and ward off predators.  This works mainly because in the wild, anything colored bright blue, yellow etc. means POISON, so any approaching predator who sees the Skinks tongue think, “He’s Poisonous, I’m not going to eat that guy!” and hence the Skink lives to see another day.  So no need to fret or fear, they are tricksters but very sweet and harmless.  In fact, Skinks are shy and secretive and seldom stray far from their shelter (Homebody Lizards). 

So whether you want to take one home and make it your new beloved pet or you want to stop by The Reptile Zoo and check out all of our Skink families, we offer and encourage BOTH options!  Check out Prehistoric Pets for any available Skinks for sale or stop by The Reptile Zoo and say Hello to the variety of Skinks we house. =)  Either way, don’t forget to come by the Zoo and show a little love to our new Blue Tongue Skink baby!

Ciao!

^O^…………..Priscilla

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Guest Blogging from Across the Pond

 



Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be staying out at The Reptile Room for a week (be available there the 3rd-7th). For those who don't know, I am the sales manager from Prehistoric Pets in California- and we have loads of super high end animals in stock over there right now- some of which can ONLY be seen in person there, or at our shop in Cali.

I am really hoping that many of you will stop by- The Reptile Room has constructed a new VIP room for the high end animals, and it will be open to the public for the whole time I am there. I'm really hoping to have some great discussions regarding the most cutting edge genetics, ideas for new breeding projects, and whatever else you would like to pick my brain about.


It should be a great environment, a lot closer to many of you than any European shows, and I will be willing to sell anything you are interested in at show pricing. The most important thing to me is really just to make some good conversation with great people, and give you a more personal idea of who you would be dealing with if you ever were to get anything sent out there from us.


Many key breeders in the UK are working with genetics they have gotten from us on direct imports over the years, but never before has the opportunity been given for anyone at any level of the game to get directly involved with some of the front runners of the Retic game, as they now are able to through our partnership with The Reptile Room (I hope that doesn't sound too prideful- but I guess being an American I can't always help it, and you certainly expect it anyhow- haha).

I really hope to see you all there! -Garrett Hartle, Prehistoric Pets

 

 

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LIVE From Fountain Valley, It's SATURDAY!

Talk about CrAzY Saturdays Fans!  I suppose you could say it’s a typical weekend for us, jamming with party families and future Herp owners.  It’s amazing to see the contrast between normal work days and the weekends; the shop goes from cricket quiet to screamin’ loud!  Not that we mind, it’s always so much fun to join in the festivities of all the happy families and also help amateurs become professional reptile handlers and owners.  Wonder what it must be like in the Reptile Zoo while we host our back to back Jurassic Parties?  One word…. HECTIC!  Here’s just a glimpse or two.

WOW that’s a LOT of people!  That definitely makes for a quick, easy and FUN work day for us.  Of course, when we aren’t caring for, cleaning after or checking on all our reptile friends, we are plotting.  Yes…. plotting.  Don’t you remember that tomorrow is the “oh so special” April Fools Day?!  Again, this holiday of pranks is upon us and I’m sure most of you are only counting the seconds until it’s over.  However, we gotta have a little fun here in the shop. ;)  Frank thought he’d get an extra early start and decided to sneak his way into Buddy’s cage while he was out doing a quick photo shoot with some party kids.  Hee Hee, As you can see, he was BUSTED before he could finish the prank!  Silly Frank, Tricks are for kids =P

As for the rest of the animals, they can’t focus too much on the prospect of perfect pranks when they need to have energy for their presentations.  Hey, who knows, maybe THEY are plotting this year’s perfect reptile prank…..o.O.  Hmmmmm, what do you think they will do?  WE MUST BE PREPARED!  With all the “ammo” we could use when working at a reptile shop for April Fool’s, I think maybe we should be more nervous around each other rather than worrying over our reptilious friends.  ;D

**BEWARE of what hides behind your decorations!** ;D

Michelle told Nick to eat on his lunch....this is what happens when you disobey O.O

It’s time to start counting down to one of the years funniest and most anxiety ridden holidays!  Have any cool reptile pranks??  Share them with us!  Have a great weekend guys and see you tomorrow!

Ciao!

^O^………….Priscilla

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