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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A Moment with Frank

Hey guys, Frank here.  I’m going to be taking over the blog today, hope you guys don’t mind.  The life of a Disney TV star isn’t as easy as it’s all cracked up to be.  My life started here at Prehistoric Pets and the staff and loyal customers have become my family.  Stomping my 7ft long body around the store has gotten me quite a reputation too.  Whether the store is slow or busy, I can hear people asking for “that big lizard that walks around the shop” or “Mr.Kipling” which is my newly acquired stage name.  Can’t say I don’t like all the attention ;D! 

When I’m not making appearances around the shop, I’m hanging out with all my fellow reptile friends and family.  I make sure to take a couple rounds through the lower half of the shop to say hello to everyone and have them pass along “hellos” to the upper half I’m not as fortunate to reach. =P  Maybe you have met some of my good friends like Twinkie, Thelma and Louise, Darth Gator and George? 

This is my favorite picture of Twinkie, George and I

Live too far to have met me in person?  Well then I’m sure you watch me on the set of Disney’s new hit show “Jesse” or the Webisodes on Prehistoric Pets YouTube channel.  My Prehistoric Pets family makes sure I am made available for all to enjoy what a sweet and social monitor I am.  Speaking of Prehistoric Pets, they are reason you and your loved ones are able to enjoy my company.  The staff took time and effort to hands on train, tame and love me making me one of the most social water monitors around!  Yeah….I’m bragging… what about it? =P Just kidding!   

What’s your favorite time of the day? Morning, noon or night time? Mine’s LUNCH time lol!  Boy do I love it when someone feeds me my favorite Chicken, or when a certain someone walks by with a tasty rat treat for me! Hee hee heeee!  Well…. That and my aerobics time.  When someone scoops me up and slides me into the pond out front, Oooh I feel cool!  I use my strong tail to propel me around the pond and sometimes my friends the red eared sliders will take refuge on my back and hang ten, or twenty as I cruise about. 

All Aboard the Frank train!  Toot Toot!

For those of you who are fans of the show “Jesse” maybe you’ve seen me picked up and carted off my Jules Sylvester, host of specials on The Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel.  He takes me down to the studio and set where I shoot my spots in the show.  I can be out of the shop anywhere from a day to a week depending on what the studio needs me for.  But nothing beats the fun I have at the shop with all my family and friends!  Every time I leave I miss my pond, my rock and most of all the staff.  All in all I live a pretty good life down here in Fountain Valley, CA and I’m grateful.  Don’t be shy, stop by The Reptile Zoo and say Hi, or you can come Like my Fanpage on Facebook and talk to me every day!

Jules Sylvester and Sivash M stop by for a quick photo with me beforew Jules and I head out to the studio.

My new friends and I on the set of the Disney hit show, "Jesse"

Toodles!

^O^……….Frank ;D

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Happy St. Patty's Day!

HAPPY ST.PATTYS DAY EVERYONE!!  Hope you all are rockin’ some kind of green today, of course about 75% of the reptile here are ready for St. Patrick’s Day all year long. =P  Some zoo guests thought their lack of green attire would eventually result in a “karma” bite, or as we know them, snake pinch ;P.  Fortunately (for some) there was NO snake or even lizard bites, but PLENTY of “accidental” poopies!  The animals must have had too many Shamrock shakes in celebration because BOY did they POO! =P

How did you celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day?  Did you pick a special outfit to coordinate your green or were you like me and threw on a simple green accessory?  Either way, it seems like the rain couldn’t ruin this year’s St. Patty’s day, No way Jose!  In fact, it seems as though the rain brought us MORE visitors since everyone and their mother pretty much hate staying in on a cold rainy Saturday.  So why not spend the whole day in a heated building petting cool animals and seeing one of a kind reptiles?! 

Throughout the day I asked several visitors to take pictures with their animals, our animals or just of their crazy cool St. Patrick’s Day outfits.  I think the reptiles really enjoyed celebrating with all of us, they seemed just as excited and amped as the kids that held them.  Check out some of the silly pix I managed to capture around the shop and have a fun, fantastic and SAFE St. Patrick’s Day!

Tara and her Shamrock Tree Frog ;P

These guys had the right idea ;D

Share your St. Patrick's day photos with us on our Facebook!  We'd love to see what kind of cool and funny outifts you guys came up with. =D

Ciao!

^O^......Priscilla

 

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Breed my pretties, BREED!

So I posed a question to all of you Herpers this morning, asking what kinds of questions YOU had about reptiles and such.  After scanning thru the many responses I noticed a lot of you asked several questions in regards to breeding.  So I decided to base today’s blog around lizard breeding since snake breeding has SO many points and aspects to cover, it’s much easier to leave that to individual training.  Luckily, lizards are in such popular demand that this blog entry should help lots of you guys learn to breed and start your own lizard community at home. =)

 

First of all, you should know that if the lizards are comfortable enough in their surroundings to breed, it shows that the artificial environment provided is adequate. But in order for this to happen, you have to take care of as many variables as possible.  So step one, the artificial environment needs to be large enough, have separate hides for each lizard and offer the same humidity as the natural habitat of your lizard, so make sure you study up on the natural environment of your pet and simplify the caging to  something they are accustomed to.  Secondly, in the wild, male lizards naturally stake out their home territory and defend it from other males. When the home territory is as small as a 30-gallon terrarium, having just one male per cage becomes even more vital.  However, most lizards do well when kept in trios of one male and two females.  Pssh, of course it works smoothly with multiple females than males! =P 

Day and Night cycles should equate with the breeding cycle in the lizard's area of origin.  If your pet is wild, they require at least one year of adjustment to a change in light cycles and the confines of captivity.  So what happens if you have a pair of lizards, you've done everything right – but so far there's STILL no breeding?  There are a few things you can do, first try separating the lizards. Many breeders prefer to keep the sexes separate until breeding is desired. Then the lizards are placed together for a week or so or until breeding takes place then separated again.  This helps keep the stress levels to a minimum and encourage the desire to breed.  Another helpful trick is to add a second male to the cage in hopes the males will create breeding displays between themselves, which tends to arouse breeding interest in the female.  Us gals are always impressed by showy displays of affection and desire =P.  You may need to also provide a period of dormancy/hibernation for lizards that hibernate, if you're unsure of what your lizards require in dormancy length, begin with three weeks to avoid putting too much stress on them.  At the end of the dormancy cycle, restore lighting and temperature levels and offer food and after the lizards have regained their activity levels, put the lizards together. 

Once your lizards have bred, for the egg-laying species, provide an egg deposition site.  For live-bearing lizard, provide a secluded area where the female can give birth to her young without fear of attack by another lizard.  Females may become very aggressive toward other lizards in the cage during and after child birth. Make sure you have a suitable supply of tiny insects (i.e. flightless fruit flies, cricket hatchlings) accessible when the young are born or surface from their eggs.

Now you all should be expert lizard breeders =P!  When you adapt all these requirements in your pet’s enclosure, you should have great luck and success with the finalized breeding.  For any more questions, feel free to call us here at the shop, we will be happy to help you!

Ciao

^O^……………Priscilla

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Attention Tooth Fairy!

We've all had the pleasure of doing business with the infamous Tooth Fairy, trading molars and incisors for dimes and nicks.  I myself always wondered what I had to do, or which teeth I had to loose to get that paper money =P.  Here at Prehistoric Pets we have, along side many varied fossils, Prehistoric fossil teeth!  IMAGINE what millions of years old teeth must go for in Tooth Fairy World O.O!!  To make their structure even more thought provoking, the PARTICULAR teeth we have in store have a special history related to our very own Reptile kingdom. 

First we have the Mosasaur tooth.  Mosasaurs are considered to be the closest relatives of snakes, due to analyses that have taken into account similarities in jaw and skull anatomies.  Based on structures such as the double row of "flanged" teeth, the double-hinged jaw, adapted limbs and probable techniques of propulsion, many researchers believe that snakes and Mosasaurs may have had a common ancestor.  Mosasaurs had a double-hinged jaw and flexible skull (much like that of a snake), which enabled them to gulp down their prey almost whole, a snakelike habit which helped identify the unchewed stomach substances fossilized within Mosasaurs skeleton. Imagine what they must have found!! It is assumed that they may have lurked and pounced rapidly and powerfully on passing prey, rather than hunting for it. Hmmm.. sounds a lot like tarantulas and giant squid huh?! Material from Jordan has shown that the body and membrane between the fingers and toes, was covered with small overlapping diamond-shaped scales resembling those of snakes. In Harrana specimens, two types of scales were detected on a single sample, keeled scales covering the upper areas of the body as well as smooth scales covering the lower regions. As ambush predators, waiting and quickly catching prey using stealth tactics, it is suggested Mosasaurs benefited greatly from the non-reflective keeled scales.  It's so amazing how nature has evolved to adapt and protect it's enviornment!

Mosasaurs were also varanoids, or superfamilies, closely related to terrestrial monitor lizards. This superfamily includes the largest aquatic lizards known, the largest-known terrestrial lizard, and the largest living lizard.  Mosasaurs breathed air, were dominant swimmers, and were well-adapted to living in the warm, shallow epicontinental seas predominant during the Late Cretaceous Period. Mosasaurs were so well adapted to this environment that they gave birth to live young, rather than return to the shore to lay eggs. Pretty sweet! ^O^

Lastly, we have a Otodus Obliquss Shark tooth.  Otodus Obliquuss is an extinct mackerel shark that lived 38 million years ago.  The teeth of this shark are large with a triangular crown, smooth cutting edges, and visible cusps on the roots.  They prey on large bony fish, other sharks and were among the top predators of its time.

To trump these typical prehistoric shark teeth however, comes the Megalodon. The Megalodon, or "Big Tooth", is an extinct species that was regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history.  The teeth of this prehistoric shark were over half a foot long, jagged, and heart-shaped (by comparison, the biggest teeth of a Great White are only about three inches long).  In 2008, a research team from Australia and the U.S. used computer simulations to gage Megalodon's biting power.  Are you ready for this?? The results are quite terrifying: whereas a modern Great White gnaws with about 1.8 tons of force, Megalodon chowed down on its prey with a force of between 10.8 and 18.2 tons--enough to crush the skull of a prehistoric whale as easily as a grape!!  Scientists propose that Megalodon was "arguably the most formidable carnivore ever to have existed."  To think we believed we had it bad with the Great Whites, we could have had the worries of Megalodon under our boats and feet!  Its great size, high-speed swimming ability, and powerful jaws joined with intimidating killing techniques, made it a super-predator with the skill to consume a broad range of wildlife.  The predator mainly focused its attack on the tough bony of the prey, which great white sharks generally avoid. Dr. Bretton Kent elaborated that Megalodon attempted to crush the bones and damage delicate organs like the heart and lungs protected within the rib cage of the prey. Such an attack would have restrained the prey, which would have died quickly due to injuries to these vital organs.  This paleontological evidence suggests that Megalodon would attempt to immobilize a large whale by tearing apart or biting off its propulsive features before killing and feeding on it.

Many fossils have been recovered for both species all over the world.  Although most have been near impossible to salvage, enough has been discovered to study and try to calculate the anatomy, lifestyle and possible habitat and reason for extinction of the creatures.  Fossils tell us a story about life before time and help us regain the connection that was lost so many millions of years ago.  They serve many purposes outside of science as well, for those most common, they are used for jewelry, decoration and collectables.  Here at Prehistoric Pets, we use them all!  Stop by on your day out and check out all the ultra special fossils we have on display and for sale!

Ciao!

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

 

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REPTILES Magazine at The Reptile Zoo

 

A couple months ago we got the call from REPTILES magazine offering us the opportunity to partner on a upcoming project, of course we responded with YES! REPTILES magazine and ReptileChannel.com are industry leaders as a high quality resource for all info reptile related. We were excited to learn Reptiles was looking to launch a video care series for first time reptile owners and wanted Jay, founder of Prehistoric Inc. to share his knowledge on the some of the most common starter pets. This seemed like the perfect fit; here at Prehistoric one of our main goals of our organization is to improve reptile awareness and proper care through responsible reptile ownership.

 

 

With some discussion on what animals to start the series Jay and REPTILES/ReptilesChannel.com editor Russ Case decided on the Bearded Dragon, Sulcatta Tortoise, Blue Tongue Skink, Frilled Dragon, as well as Jay’s specialties the Reticulated Python and Asian Water Monitor. The plan was to provide the basic details for each of these animals covering questions like: Where in the wild does the species originally come from? How big does it get? How long does it typically live in captivity? What kind of substrate is good to use? and What does it eat? Along with these facts we also used the opportunity of film to show samples of the animals in a yearling and adult size, as well as suggested products.

 

 

After all the planning we were finally ready to film. Last Monday editor Russ Case, web editor John Virata and the filming crew Shawn and Paul arrived at The Reptile Zoo ready to for a day filled with reptiles, cameras, and loads of great information on reptile care. Guests to The Reptile Zoo had the opportunity to act as the live audience watching the interaction and personalities of Jay and Russ develop through the informal interview format of the videos. Set behind Gator Island, the newest addition to The Reptile Zoo, the surroundings proved an easy distraction during filming with Prehistoric’s signature Sulfur Water Monitor breeding project in action and Frank the Asian Water Monitor currently featured on Disney Channel’s JESSIE walking in and out of the shots.

 

 

Just when the crew thought filming was done for the day, Reticulated Python breeding specialist, Tim O’Reilly invited the REPTILES team to watch the unveiling of the newest clutch of eggs. The offer was too good to refuse so the team moved the set into the incubator room where every snake produced by Prehistoric Pets is incubated and assisted in hatching and almost every one of these hatchings is filmed for viewers around the world to enjoy on our popular YouTube channel, PrehistoricPetsTV.

 


Video Link

 

 

At the end of the day Jay had to head out to start on his next project, but the REPTILES crew stuck around just a bit longer to capture some b-roll footage of the animals on a white backdrop to insert into the completed videos.

 

 

It was a great day at The Reptile Zoo with the REPTILES crew and we are anxious to see the final product which is set to launch on ReptileChannel.com and our YouTube channel in the coming months.

 

 

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Iggy Mania!

Hey there reptile lovers!  Today's edition of the Reptile Zoo blog is featuring our Prehistoric Pet of the Week, the Iguana, which is luckily for SALE! =D  Maybe you've spotted one along the beach being escorted around via leash or one hanging off the shoulder of a passer-by.  It's hard NOT to spot 7 feet of bright lizard stomping down the walk!  Ever want to own one of these majestic creatures?  Well now Prehistoric Pets makes it EASY as pie!   MmmmMMmm Piieee... ^o^... Oops!  Sorry, I went to la la land for a second hee hee ;P.

This beautiful female Cuban Iguana has the temperament of a shy lizard Queen, do what she asks and she'll be good to you, after she's warmed up to you of course =P.  She's the boss of her cage and demands to be held proper and often, making her one of the sweetest Cuban Iguana's I’ve come into contact with. Cuban Iguanas are the largest of the West Indian rock iguanas and one of the most endangered groups of lizards. This herbivorous species has red eyes, a thick tail, and spiked jowls.  Aint she a beauty...

More commonly recognized is the Green Iguana.  It grows to 4.9 ft in length from head to tail, although a few specimens have grown more than 6.6 ft with bodyweights upward of 20 pounds!  Green Iguanas are arboreal, and are often found near water. Agile climbers, they can fall up to 50 feet and land unhurt (iguanas use their hind leg claws to clasp leaves and branches to break a fall)o.O! During cold, wet icky weather, green iguanas prefer to stay on the ground for better warmth. Pretty smart huh?

Juvi Green Iguana

When swimming, an iguana remains underwater, letting its four legs hang limply against its side. They thrust through the water with powerful tail strokes and possess a row of spines along their backs and tails which helps to protect them from predators.  Their whip-like tails can be used to give painful strikes and like many other lizards, when grabbed by the tail, the iguana can allow it to break, so it can escape and eventually restore a new one!  Green Iguanas have excellent vision, allowing them to sense shapes and motions at long distances. As Green Iguanas have only a few Rod cells, they have poor vision in low-light.  At the same time, they have cells called “double cone cells” that give them sharp color vision and let them to see ultraviolet wavelengths. That's what I call a SUPEReptile =P

Green Iguana

So no matter what the size, gender or color choice, Prehistoric Pets has the answer and reptile for YOU!  Check out our homepage by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking the Prehistoric Pets tab for quick and easy search options.  There you can inquire and keep updated on any available or soon to be available reptiles. 

^O^.......Priscilla

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Love from the Desert

Hey there Herpers!

We want to introduce you to yet again ANOTHER couple new additions to our Reptile Zoo family!  They’re some of the smallest lizards we have in besides the geckos, so this should be a nice change from the typical arm length lizards or 20 ft snake! =)  The newest and most uncommon member of our new family is the “Xenagama Taylon” a.k.a. the Shield-tailed Agama, also part of the lizard family.

This little lizard, predominantly found in Somalia and Ethiopia, survive mainly within waterless flat land, sometimes on hilly landscapes, sandy but also hard grounds where they dig deep corridors. It survives at 45 to 50 degrees Celsius maximum temperature, but average ranges between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius in a very dry environment, which goes to show it’s a very peculiar creature with special attentive needs.  Now when I say ‘some of the smallest lizards’… I mean SMALL.  They reach around and UP TO only 10cm in length, which makes their tails ESSENTIAL in the protection of their burrows due to their vulnerable size.   

Our new Agama!  What should it's name be?!

Thinking of taking a leap and researching one for a pet? Well, the Agama’s should be kept in small groups of one male with several females, although females have been known to be very territorial as well. Each individual needs to be able to get under a heating/basking lamp. They do need thick and hard substrate so they can actually do what they prefer and LOVE to do: DIG!!  These little Agama’s have been compared to Bearded Dragons as far as their personability goes, and have many habits and characteristics that make it oh so special! 

Get an idea of just HOW SMALL these critters are and stop in The Reptile Zoo when you visit us at Prehistoic Pets and decide if YOU will be an Agama owner too! ;D

Happy Herping!

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

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JFW...its what we do

 

Many people forget about one of the cutest little critters that we bring to our parties.  They are a big hit in the handling area of our Zoo...several young guests have even named them.

So, for this Jurassic Fact of the Week, what small lizard is covered in spots???

 

LEOPARD GECKOS!   YAYYYYYY!

 

I love them...don't you??  They are so sweet and gentle, and aren't their tails just awesome?  Leopard Geckos have a naturally FAT tail...it not only stores fat, but serves as a huge defense.  When a predator is near, that tail looks mighty tasty, so they usually bite there first.  The Leopard Gecko will POP it off, and run away to safety!  But thats not all.....they then grow a NEW one!  How cool is that?  I want to grow a tail......

Leopard Geckos always get an "Awwwwwwww" when they come out to be handled.  They are adorable, very tame, and usually have awesome colors.  They make wonderful pets too!  These guys are from the desert areas of Pakistan, so they DO need more heat than most geckos, but other than that, its VERY easy.  They eat crickets and worms with plenty of calcium on top, and their little tiny claws are so small that there is no worry of boo-boos!  We have plenty at our shop right now, so come check them out....Christmas is right around the corner!!!

Now isn't that a face you want to take home to Mom???

 

 

L8r Herpers!

<3.................................Thalia

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Zoo News

 

October may be over, but the excitement is just beginning!

Our newely finished alligator exhibit is up and running, with our 5-foot gator as well as an Alligator Snapping Turtle enjoying the abundant water.  We are still working on getting an even larger gator (fingers crossed) to inhabit the super cool enclosure, but until then, take part in our contest to name the one we have!  Come in to the zoo anytime and find the "naming table" by the photobooth/animal handling area.  There are bright green slips of paper, enter your alligator name idea, YOUR name, address, and email for a chance to win a 1-year pass to the Zoo!  Drop them in the blue bucket and at the end of December we will sort through them all, put the best ones on our Facebook page and let our fans decide!!  (So check back for that portion of the contest and get your friends to vote!)

 

Make sure to not only check out the gator and snapping turtles...but also the Softshell Turtles, Red-eared Sliders, and the Pacu (a South American freshwater fish related to the Piranha).  They used to be in the pond up front, but in this exhibit you really see how HUGE they are!

 

The Caiman Lizard enclosure turned out so awesome!  If you haven't seen the finished product come check it out!  They are so happy swimming around with the turtles and fish.  This particular enclosure again provides a GREAT view of one of the sneakier fish in the front pond...the Red-tail Catfish! (come and see if you can find him!)

 

Our new wing next door is being worked on everyday...I hear talk of a new presentation area, new zoo exhibits, and even a new incubation room with a window for guests!  How cool does that sound?!?!?!  I can't wait to see what happens....

Our Water Monitor Breeding Group is honeymooning in the gator exhibit for right now, and it seems to be working its magic...we will most likely have a few clutches on the way VERY soon!!

ALSO, this is a big month for us because of Black Friday!!  Yayyyyyy!  There are going to be some SWEET deals happening, and I will keep you informed...possibly another party as well??  We'll see.....

 

As for the Zoo itself, we are still the same AWESOME place to come hang out, look around, bring the kids, and PARTY!  Plus, we are getting new additions to the zoo or retail area almost every week, so there is always something new to see! 

 

See you soon herpers!!

<3............................Thalia

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