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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Something Fishy in the pond.

If you have visited our store here in Fountain Valley before, then chances are you are quite familiar with our infamous ponds in the retail and zoo portions of the shop.  Whether you were feeding the Red Eared slider turtles or watching Frank go for a swim, no doubt you noticed the vast array of beautiful fish we house in the ponds.  Ever feel like asking, “What kind of fish are in the ponds?” or “How do they cohabitate with so many different species?”   Luckily, were MiNd ReAdeRs (O.o) and have the answers for you in today’s edition of The Reptile Zoo’s blog!

First, let’s introduce you to our newest arrival, the Plecostomus fish, a.k.a. “Pleco” or “sucker fish”.  These cool fish are extremely popular pets due to their ability to clean tanks by eating algae and dead fish! YUCK! >.<!  The Plecos are friendly-natured fish and require larger aquariums due to their maximum growth averaging around 2 feet.  However, BEWARE, as they age and grow Plecos become more aggressive and it is best to keep them in separate tanks.

Next, there’s the oh so popular Red Tail Catfish that’s most recognizable in the ponds thanks to their obvious Red tipped tails.  Red Tailed Catfish diet in the wild consists of fish, large crustaceans and, unexpectedly, fruit.  Bloodworms, earthworms and good quality pellets or tablets designed for carnivorous catfish are a good main diet when they are young.  The Red Tailed Catfish is the largest of the catfish available in the hobby, with the ability to grow up to 5 feet!  Look at his colors!

A little less popular is the docile Leopard Shovelnose Catfish.  This aquatic beauty is a cross between a Red Tail Catfish and a Tiger Shovelnose Catfish.  These buggers have the ability to grow at or around the same size as their parent species would attain.  Their main appetite consists of absolutely anything (such little piggy’s!).  Along with their large appetites, come large messes.  Large tanks, a really good filter system and fortnightly water changes are highly recommended when housing such a fish. 

Most commonly seen in our ponds are the Pacu, cousin to the Piranha.  Full-grown pacu are much larger than piranha, reaching up to 60 pounds in weight, in the wild.  Pacu and Piranha have similar teeth, the difference is jaw alignment; piranha have pointed, razor-sharp teeth in a obvious underbite, whereas Pacu have squarer, straighter teeth in a less severe underbite.  Look at these big guys!

Last but not least, this little guy is the Channel Catfish.  The “Channel Cat” is the official fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Tennessee.  They thrive in small and large rivers, reservoirs, natural lakes and ponds.  Interestingly, Channel catfish have very keen senses of smell and taste which allows them to find food in dark, stained or muddy water with ease. 

All of these fish are able to cohabitate due to their conflicting dietary needs.  Although some are carnivorous, they do not feed on their own species because their size makes it impossible to do so even if they tried.  Have you gotten your chance to check out all these cool fish we display in our ponds?  How about a chance to feed them some yummy Super worms alongside the turtles?  If not, plan a trip to The Reptile Zoo/ Prehistoric Pets on your next day out, we will be waiting!

^O^ …………..Priscilla

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The A team!

So we have made even more changes here at the Reptile Zoo to help everything run smoother than ever before!  We have divided our staff into leads and teams, sorta, anyways we are always on a mission to make this place the best place ever and we all hope the leads and the teams will be beneficial!  Congrats to Juliette, Greg, Tim Nishio, and Craig!  Each one of them has a special skill set that puts them ahead of the other staff here!  Their guidance, experience, and strong leadership qualities put them at the top of the heap here and we are proud of their accomplishments!  Good job guys!  Way to go!

Here are a few pics of Juliette and Greg.  Juliette is doing something I bet you guys never even thought needed to be done, she is using the magnetic fishing pole to find all the tongs that kids accidently drop into the pond in the front while they are feeding the red-eared sliders!!!!  If you haven't ever been here to feed the turtles then you don't know that it's ever so exciting when they swim up to eat their worms that sometimes you can't help but drop your tongs in the water!!!!!  And someone's gotta get them out of the pond!  Just another example of how Juliette continues to work super hard to make this the best place ever!

Congrats Congrats!

Much love!


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