Bullfrog Comparisons

At first glance it may seem like the only difference between an American Bullfrog and an African Bullfrog is their country of origin, but when you look close that all changes.

The American Bullfrog is characterized by its spotted green and brown coloration, large eardrums, long "fingers" and usually erect posture. These frogs are very common and can be found throughout the United States and Canada and when undisturbed in ponds love to make a large croaking noise to attract a female companion.

 
The American Bullfrog can grow on average to be about 7 to 10 inches in length. Studies show the bullfrog preys on any animal it can overpower and stuff down its throat. This characteristic is common to the American and African Bullfrog who are both agressive eaters digesting prey including rodents, small turtles, snakes, frogs (including bullfrogs), birds, and bats, as well as the many invertebrates, such as insects, which are the usual diet of frogs.


(video courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/KoreanFrogMania)

 

As you can see although both animals may love to eat the African Bullfrog, also commonly called Pixie Frog, looks more like the American Bullfrog's fat cousin. By weight the American Bullfrog usually grows to about 1 lb while the African Bullfrog can weigh a whopping 4+ lbs! The coloration of these animals are also quite different. Pixie Frogs love to live in the marshes where they burrow down covering their bright yellow belly while American Bullfrogs enjoy hop near the rivers edge.

Next time you are in The Reptile Zoo be sure to visit both our American and African Bullfrogs to see if you can tell the difference yourself!

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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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Cinco de Mayo Everyday at The Reptile Zoo!

 

 

¡Gracias a nuestros muchos seguidores en todo México! Ciudad de México y Guadalajara están en las 10 ciudades para los amantes de Prehistoric Pets! Estamos dedicando este blog para ti! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

 

 

Here at The Reptile Zoo we love our reptilian friends from Mexico and South America. Many parts of Mexico have a great climate for reptiles with almost 200 native varieties within the country including the common Iguana and Boa.

 

 

We are excited about the timely arrival of our newest addition to The Reptile Zoo a beautiful Gila Monster. We have been keeping a colony of Beaded Lizards at The Reptile Zoo for a little over a year now and we are excited to add their close relative and only other recognized venomous lizard to the ever updating exhibits.

 

 

Both the Gila Monster and Beaded lizard are part of the genus Heloderma which translates to studded skin from the Acient Greek. The unique skin, a key characterstic of these animals, is underlaid with beady scales made from  bony osteoderms. 

 

 

The Heloderma genus includes only these two species with six sub-species all carrying the venemous charactersitics. Unlike snakes their venom glands are located in the lower jaw and can only render the venom by chewing on the predator. Studies conducted using this venom have been found to treat affects of diabetes, Alzheimers, HIV and possibly breast and lung cancer. 

 

 

At The Reptile Zoo we are lucky enough to keep a colony of Beaded Lizards, which means when the breeding season comes we may have BABY Beaded Lizards! Beaded Lizards become mature around 7 years old and females normally lay their eggs between October and December. The size of these clutches can vary  from 2-8 eggs with the babies hatching in the summer of the following year. 

 

 

Thanks for celebrating Cinco de Mayo with us! Hopefully you learned something while still enjoying yourself. If you're ever in the area be sure to stop by The Reptile Zoo to check out our collection of Mexico native reptiles and of course our Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters!

 

 

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Ordering One Molt To-Go

 

Imagine opening a cage and finding this beauty looking at you! At first I wasn't quite sure what I was looking at. I knew what I was supposed to be looking at... an Emperor Scorpion, one of the largest species from Africa, but was the scorpion eating a frog? Was it eating another scorpion? Was it breeding? No it couldn't be. 

 

 

All of these thoughts seemed plausible until I considered the most obvious answer... the scorpion was molting! What's molting? Molting is basically the arachnid version of shedding. Each time a scorpion gets larger it grows out of it's skin and produces a new larger version underneath.

 

 

It then slowly walks, crawls, wiggles and inches it's way out of the outer skin. This process can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the humidity and animal. HINT: If you have your own creepy crawly scorpion at home you can help this process by adding a little moisture to the surrounding bedding to help increase this humidity.

 

 

As it is coming out the scorpion will usually be discolored, sometimes even white. This is because the outer skeleton has not hardened, immedietly after molting the new skin is soft and susceptible to damage. HINT: If your scorpion is molting be sure not to handle or feed it during this time as it can cause injury. 

 

 

Once fully hardened, taking up to a day, the new exo-skeleton will become shiny and regain it's normal coloration. Once you see this change the molting process is complete and it will look like your scorpion has cloned itself! Don't worry the scorpion is not radioactive (we'll talk more about that later) or part of some crazy science experiment. 

 

 

The scorpion has just left behind it's molt which looks like a transparent clone of itself. The scorpion no longer needs this molt, it does not eat it, so it can now become your trophy or better yet great gag gift to suprise your friends with!

HINT: Both the old molt and new skin glow bright turquoise under a black light which is sure to raise the spooky factor for your arachiphobia friends!

 

 

As you can see the Emperor Scorpion can be a pretty exciting pet... just check out Priscilla's blog about everything you need called  I AM EMPEROR , but if you're not up to that you can enjoy an up-close and personal look at the scorpion along with some of his reptile friends at your next Jurassic Party!

 

 

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Hey Look I'm Shedding!

 

Ever wonder why snakes shed their skin or how? When snakes shed their skin it is a sign they are growing and in the right environment. The number of times a snake sheds it skin depends on many factors including it's age and speed of growth, but is commonly every 1-2 months. Sometimes snakes, like our sneaky Ramon, can shed out of their skin in 1 piece by crawling across branches and other surfaces while larger snakes, like TWINKIE, shed in many smaller pieces. The easiest sign to tell your snake will soon be shedding is a blue discoloration on their eyes which is referred to as "going into blue" During this time it looks as if their eyes have changed colors because a cap of skin has developed over their eye which will be removed with the shed from the rest of their body. 

 

 

 

Ramon happens to be favorite at The Reptile Zoo for his unque red tail and bright green body. He is an aboreal species of ratsnakes native to the Asian islands of Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam and surrounding. Because of these tropical homelands Ramon likes higher humidity than your typical US cornsnake and also tends to be slightly more aggressive.

 

 

 

After all this learning our guests at The Reptile Zoo were more than ready for some hands-on fun with our Albino Cornsnakes, which happen to be a great pet for families looking to get their first reptile, and is sure to provide the same shedding experience at your home everytime he grows a little bigger.

 

 

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