Attack of the Giant Chameleon at The Reptile Zoo

 

This big guy is one of the largest species of chameleon and has recently joined us in The Reptile Zoo. His diet mainly consists of roaches with their legs removed and lives above the photobooth. He is a fully grown adult, and is waiting for you to visit him!

 

 

As commonly known, chameleons can change their colors based on their mood. When he isn’t feeling too great or is scared he can change himself to dull colors such as light and dark browns, and when happy he changes to brighter colors such as green, blue and yellow.

 

He loves climbing up vines and branches (or really anything he can find to climb on) and if you offer him food he’ll actually eat it straight out of your hand using his long sticky tongue to get it from you. 

 

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Monsters at The Reptile Zoo!

 Our Beaded Lizards & Gila Monster, newly added exhibit in our REPTILE ZOO!  Are the only two venomous lizard species in the world.  Capable of inflicting a very painful bite!  I can personally vouch for that fact.  They both have  Bull dog like bites, they grab on & it is nearly impossible to get them to release the extreme presure their jaws  exert.

 The Beaded lizard & Gila Monster are combined into the lizard family known by the scientific name Helodermatid.  The scientific name of the Beaded lizard is Heloderma horridum sp. The Gila Monster is known as Heloderma suspectum sp.  The sp. means that each species has at least 2 or more subspecies.

    These lizards are very unusual because of their skin texture.  Both have beadlike looking scales, called osteoderms (bony skin).  These bony scales make these lizards nearly indestructible.  Along with their formidable bite, they are not an animal to trifle with, with out years of experience, as is true with all venomous reptiles.  Luckily both lizards are completely PROTECTED in every state and country they are native to.

    They both have good daytime vision and very keen hearing.  These lizards can also sense an oncoming intruder by detecting minute vibrations in the ground.  These keen senses are a must for survival, considering these animals are slow travelers and incapable of any fast sprints.  Slow & awkward they have another defense, and that is they spend about 90% of their life underground.  Coming out in the spring to forage for food and breed.

    They feed almost exclusively on the contents of other animals nests and underground borrows, such as bird eggs & offspring, rodents, snake & lizard eggs, etc.  Even though they are so clumsy and slow, both are excellent climbers.

    The heloderms range I’ll break down seperately.  Beaded lizards range from southern Sonora Mexico south along the west coast of mainland Mexico into eastern Guatamala in Central America.  On the other hand Gia Monsters are native mostly to southern Arizona, s.w. New Mexico, extreme s.e. California, southern Nevada, and s.w. Utah in the U.S. southward into southern Sonora, Mexico.  So far they are absent from Baja, Mexico and the small islands of the Sea of Cortez.

     Reproduction in Gila Monsters takes place in the spring, with egg clutches numbering 2 to 12, after a gestation period of 25 days.  In captivity Beaded Lizards lay 2 to 22 egg clutches, averages of 6 to 10 eggs are more common.

     My foremost project here at the REPTILE ZOO is reproducing the Beaded Lizards.  So come on in and see how we’re progressing with our breeding colony of 5 specimens! 

      Craig Tauchman    May 6,2012

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos for a Cause

Does your reptile love the camera? Do you love the camera?

Jurassic Parties, The Reptile Zoo and Prehistoric Pets would like to invite you to use your photography skills to support the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) A conservation, education and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting reptiles & amphibians for our future.

 

USARK represents and aims to protect the rights of the reptile community in legal hearings from Washington D.C. across the United States.For those not familiar with reptiles photos sometimes speak louder than words creating an instant connection with the viewer. USARK is seeking photos for various materials and presentations to continue accurately representation of their temperament and the thousands who love and care for them

 

 

The three categories of pictures requested are:

1) Positive, safe interactions between humans and reptiles;

 

2) Show us your set ups! Reptiles in great, well designed, SAFE, clean, and appropriate enclosures;

 

 

 

3) Reptiles in their natural environments.

Please send your photos to erika@silverdogs.com with a permission letter. (We have included a basic sample letter below) If you have any specific restrictions on your permission please include them in this letter and they will be honored by USARK. No photos provided by members will be used in any merchandise or offered for sale.

Copyright Holder

Name:

Address:

Phone:

Email:

 

I, _____________________________ give the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)

permission for the unlimited use of the attached photograph(s) on its website, brochures, pamphlets and educational materials.

 

 

For more information visit www.USARK.org

The US Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) is a science and education based advocacy for the responsible private ownership of, and trade in reptiles. We endorse caging standards, sound husbandry, escape prevention protocols, and an integrated approach to vital conservation issues. Our goal is to facilitate cooperation between government agencies, the scientific community, and the private sector in order to produce policy proposals that will effectively address important husbandry and conservation issues. The health of these animals, public safety, and maintaining ecological integrity are our primary concerns.

This post has been shared from the Official USARK Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USARK-United-States-Association-of-Reptile-Keepers/93475517723)

 

 

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The Reptile Zoo Down Under... Water

 

With the expansion of The Reptile Zoo we have had the unique opportunity to add two new semi-aquatic exhibits and plenty of beautiful new animals to our list of exhibits. One of a kind semi-aquatic displays have been integral since Prehistoric Pets' creation, way before The Reptile Zoo was even considered. We started with our 2,000 gallon pond which is most known for it's always hungry residents, red-eared slider turtles. 

This original display has served as a great resource for the community as all of the turtles who call the Prehistoric Pets pond home have been rescued or dropped off to provide a better home. To help care for these animals while also providing an entertaining hands-on experience visitors are given the opportunity, with a small fee, to feed these rambunctious turtles and fish their favorite snack, superworms. Every once in a while these visitors get a little more than they bargained for with a splash of Shamu proportions created by the feeding frenzy, which only adds to the entertainment for everyone.

When we decided to make the plunge and renovate to make way for The Reptile Zoo we knew we wanted to encorporate a splash of fun. This of course came in the form of "Gator Island" the 3,000 gallon all glass enclosure.  It took a couple years for this dream to become a reality, but once it was finally complete we liked it so much we built a smaller version, The Caiman Swimming Hole.

Not only do these new enclosures provide the perfect display environment for our exotic reptiles like Asian Water Monitors, the Motley Crew our Caiman Lizards group, and Darthgator the American Alligator, but also some of their aquatic friends. 

    

Gator Island is home to the largest of our aquatic specimens including Pacu, dark colored carnivorous fish who can reach over 50 lbs and are closely related to pirrahna which is pretty obvious whenever its feeding time!

Even larger than their Pacu neighbors Gator Island is home to both Tiger Shovelnose Catfish and Redtail Catfish who can both reach almost 6 feet in length. Appropriately the Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is identified by it's tiger like markings and flattened nose while the Redtail Catfish has a distinctly red tailfin and white stomach.

The prize from most secretive resident of Gator Island has to go to our Common and Alligator Snapping Turtles who only seem to make an appearance when there is food involved. Each currently weighs about 15lbs but have the potential to grow up to 200+ lbs with some records claiming even 400lbs!

In the Caiman Swimming Hole the animals are smaller, but that definetly doesn't describe their personalities which more than compensate. They were practically jumping out of the water to make sure they got in the photo!

We have 2 baby Hypo Alligator Snapping Turtles call The Caiman Swimming Hole home. Just like their older relatives at Gator Island these guys have some huge potential which will make them beautiful to look at with their unique Hypo, missing most black pigment, coloration.

Our fish residents in The Caiman Swiming Hole are both Tiger Oscar Fish, one with normal coloration and the other is bright albino each will grow to be about 18 inches.

Last but not least we are lucky enough to have a Fly River Turtle, also known as a Pig Nose Turtle which describes his unique snout like nose who looks more like a sea turtle with his cute grey flippers which help him glide through the water.

Next time you are at The Reptile Zoo make sure you don't miss all of our underwater friends, who knows they might even swim up to say hello!

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Skinks for Sale!

We've recently celebrated the births of 14 Blue Tongue Skinks. They're cute, they're scaly, and they're so gosh darn little! But what exactly IS a Blue Tongue Skink? 

Their most obvious characteristic is their name which comes from their tongue; it is indeed blue. Whoever first discovered this species decided to keep it simple with its name!

In recent years, this lizard has become a common pet among reptile enthusiasts. They stay relatively small, only growing up to about 2 feet in length usually. We're fans of this species too as they are quirky enough to fit in with our other critters, but unique enough to stand out as a favorite among staff and guests alike.

In the wild, they spend their days eating diets of insects, snails, wild berries, and sometimes even wildflowers. Night is spent seeking shelter in hollowed out logs and other debris where they aren't very likely to be discovered an eaten as a midnight snack.

Supposedly, these creatures are shy, but ours are far from it! In fact, we have a team of them that love being in the spotlight at our Jurassic Parties. Several more soak up the attention in The Reptile Zoo.

As you can see, the Blue Tongue Skink isn't exactly built for speed. Its legs are stubby, and definitely not meant for running or climbing. Still, when it comes time to eat or make a run for it, they can perform the task with surprising agility. Since they call Australia home, it's not a stretch to assume they call on this agility quite often with so many deadly predators lurking about.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about them is that they give birth to live young. Baby Blue Tongue Skinks will develop in embryos inside of their mother and when they are fully developed after about 100 days, they emerge in litters of up to 15! For the first few days of their life, the babies will live off of their embryo which they absorb into their stomachs before birth, then they start off on smaller insects. Much like human babies, they ease their way into devouring adult foods!

Our little ones are ready to take on the world; some of them are for sale in Prehistoric Pets. They grow up so quickly!

If you need a new lizard for your collection, come check them out!

Here's a video to help you do some preliminary research...or just learn more about these little guys.

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South African Photo Safari

FINALLY Founder Jay Brewer and the Prehistoric Inc. team have returned from their travels to South Africa! While they were there they kept busy visiting much of South Africa including Kruger National Park, Prehistoric Pets distributor Arno Naude, as well as the 2012 SOS² Reptile Expo where they got to see the exciting and growing reptile community of South Africa. We decided to keep today's blog text light and photo heavy, because photos of animals this majestic can do the talking all on their own! Check back in the coming weeks for video and even more photos from their trip !

 

 

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Baby Fever!

“D’AAWWE! Look at the ity bity baby waby lizards!!”  Yes, this is a VERY common response to the new For Sale stock of BABY Argentine Black and White Tegus and Savannah Monitors we now have in stock.  Here at Prehistoric Pets, we consistently get request for Savannahs and Tegus of all sorts.  Luckily for us, we managed to get in quite the impressive stock.  Which is best for you?  BOTH! Dur.  All joking aside, here are some simple and general facts about these friendly creatures and your possible future pet!

 

Starting on the smaller side of things (only by a bit) we have in stock baby Savannah Monitors.

These adorable lizards maximum size is rarely more than 3 feet in length, with the females being considerably smaller.  Although the Savannah is native to Africa, they make fairly easy reptiles to own here in the States despite the ever-changing weather and environmental issues.  When threatened, the Savannah protects itself through camouflage; they also prefer to flee or play dead when in danger, but if cornered, defends itself with tail lashes and if need be, a powerful, vise-like bite.  OUCH!  Think that’s the end of it? Far from! When threatened by a predator, the monitor occasionally rolls onto its back and clutches a hind leg in its mouth, creating a ring with its body and making itself harder for the animal to swallow whole while playing dead.  The Oscar for “Best at Playing Dead” goes tooo…..the SAVANNAH MONITOR!! YAY! 

To top it all off, the Savannah’s have pretty simple diets which include gut loaded insects like crickets, roaches, and earthworms along with appropriately sized rodents; Pinky mice, fuzzies, adult mice, and various sized rats. Consistent handling will make Savannah’s tamer but like all monitors, if they are not handled often savannah monitors can become aggressive.  As always, these and many other reptiles will make a great addition to any family!

 

Jumping up in size by a fraction is the ever so adored Argentine Black and White Tegu!  FINALLY in by popular demand, we’ve got a fresh batch of crazy cool Tegu babies for you to bring home. 

Maybe you’ve seen our infamous Tegu’s Little Red, Big Red and Rambo here at The Reptile Zoo?  Similar to the Savannah, Tegu adult males are much larger than the females and can reach 3 feet in length at maturity and continue to grow to lengths of 4-4.5 feet. The females are much smaller reaching up to 3 feet in total length, from nose to tail.  Now what makes the Tegu such an appealing lizard to consider owning?  Well, most novice and even professional reptile owners appreciate docile or at least somewhat obedient temperaments in their pets.  Luckily, the Argentine Tegus make good pets as they have a tendency to become attached to their owners and are generally docile as adults.  Tegus have even been said to actively seek human attention the way a cat or dog would.

PEEK A BOO TEGU!

 A well cared for animal will live for about 20 years in the wild, and possibly LONGER in captivity! *However, as with most reptiles, if not handled regularly they will show more aggressive signs since they are less comfortable with the handler.* 

Heard enough to know you’re ready to make the leap into your first totally cool, totally awesome, totally REPTILIOUS purchase adventure?!  Then you know where to go; right here at Prehistoric Pets!  Alongside our new baby Savannah Monitors and Black and White Tegus, we have a huge selection of snakes, lizards, amphibians and MORE so don’t forget to stop on by or visit our website at PrehistoricPets.com!

Ciao!

^O^..........Priscilla

 

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Ewe Rock! at the Youth Expo 2012

 

This weekend thousands of families braved the storm and enjoyed the annual Youth Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds. We love this event because first of all its FREE fun for the whole family... how many places can you still find that? We also love it's focus on education this year adding a college fair for hundreds of anxious highschoolers planning their next steps.

 

 

Of course guests went crazy for our interactive reptile booth where we displayed just a glimpes into all of the exotic animals on display at The Reptile Zoo. With Ball Pythons, Ratsnakes, and Bearded Dragons there were plenty of reasons why our booth was filled to the brim the whole weekend, but the crowd favorite had to be the huge African Spur Thigh Tortoises.

 

 

 

If the live animals weren't enough guests got a kick out of our big Dino friend. Taking a second to pose for photos while he showed his toothy grin.

 

 

 

Some of our visitors were so enchanted by the reptiles they could barely stand to leave, but we let them know that not only are they cool to look at reptiles actually make great low maintenance pets, which definitely perked them up.

 

 

Visitors even recieved a special offer for admission to the continually expanding zoo. They were excited and shocked to learn about our most recent additions like Darthvader the American Alligator, TWINKIE the World's Largest Snake, 5 California Native Rattlesnakes and don't forget Thelma & Louise the Two-Headed Snake.

 

 

Did you miss out? The Prehistoric Adventures team can bring the traveling Reptile Zoo to a town near you creating a one of a kind display for all types of events. These Prehistoric Pets can even come right to your house or school for a Jurassic Party presentation. Check out the details online at www.JurassicParties.com and www.PrehistoricAdventures.com

 

 

 

 

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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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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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