Right From The Get Go- Lets Talk About Geckos!

Those of you who visit the Reptile Zoo often probably know of the cutest little lizard in existence, Charlie the Crested Gecko!

With his big, off kilter eyes, stubby little tail, and tiny toes that look like leaves, Charlie steals the hearts of hundreds of visitors a year, who will often coo “Can you have these as pets?!” Yes you can! Crested geckos like Charlie are becoming incredibly popular for their ease of care and sweet personalities.

Crested geckos are native to the southern parts of the island of New Caledonia, located between Fiji and Australia. They get their name from the eyelash-like projections over their eyes, which continue down the back, creating a “crest”. They are also referred to as eyelash geckos. These geckos are primarily nocturnal, and prefer to live up high and in trees, but may move lower to the ground to sleep. They are decent climbers, aided by their sticky feet, small claws, and prehensile tails.

Check out that prehensile tail and those sticky feet!

Their feet possess microscopic hairs that will bond (on a molecular level!) to whatever surface they stand on. If you observe one walking, you will actually see them peel their toes up backwards so they can simply take a step! These geckos are able to lose their tails as a defense mechanism, but unfortunately do not grow them back once they have dropped them. While this sounds traumatic, it actually isn’t such a huge deal. The blood vessels running to the tail seal off almost instantly, and will heal over completely in less than a month. It is highly uncommon to see an adult crested gecko in the wild that still has its tail. While most lizards with this ability grow their tails back, crested geckos only get the one tail. If they drop it, it’s gone for good.

Charlie is an example of a crested gecko without a tail.

Another fun thing about this species of gecko is that they are vocal! People usually don’t think of lizards as loud pets, but some geckos can be quite the talkers! Species like tokay geckos are loud and even sound like they’re yelling their name (TO-kay TO-kay is what it sounds like!). Crested geckos aren’t quite so noisy, and make anywhere from a low quiet growling noise to a surprisingly loud harsh bark. They’re known as “the devil in the trees” back in New Caledonia, as their barks can get quite unnerving when a loud chorus starts.

Adorable babies!

Crested geckos have several traits that make them desirable as pets. They do not require a huge amount of space, have fairly simple lighting and heating needs, and can be fed a prepackaged powdered diet and completely thrive on it. Hatchling and juvenile crested geckos do well in a 10 gallon aquarium, and adults can be kept in a 20 gallon tank. Since they are such avid climbers, height and plenty of foliage are more important than length. Reptile Supply companies have actually started to make specific setups just for crested geckos. Combine that ease of care with a gecko that tames very quickly, lives on average 15 years, and is known for its sweet nature, and you have one super awesome Prehistoric Pet!

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Prehistoric Times in 2013

How could it already be a month into 2014?!? The year of the snake just slithered by so fast we barely had a chance to share some of the great experiences that came with it, but we're going to try to make it up to you with an extra long recap blog chocked full of photos & videos. So many we'll be highlighting details from some of our favorite stories over the next couple weeks as well.

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Lighting It Up at Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo

When you're part of the Prehistoric Inc team, you never know what you're going to show up at work. After just a couple hours off I came back to a completely updated and lighted retail area in Prehistoric Pets plus a new display case in The Reptile Zoo!

Sometimes I think it must be little magic elves helping these project get done, which is partially right.

Over the years Prehistoric team has grown to include a huge network of friends who are happy to volunteer their spare time to make our big dreams come true and this time was no different. When it comes to construction Jay loves to work with his friends like Todd, Lance, and Buck who have each been major factors to completing this project.

Construction here has been pushed into overdrive as Jay makes his final preparations for his trip to Africa where he will be getting some great footage in Kruger National Park and visiting a local reptile breeders show. We're just glad the flight is 22 HOURS so he can finally get some rest! Becuase you know he won't rest until the shop is taken care of and all of his cool fossil finds have a beautiful place to be displayed.

Since this project is coming to a close we're already steaming towards the next which will increase accessibility in our retail area as well as provide a new cleaning station for staff to care for all of these great animals. Next time you see us the wall below will have dissapeared to make room for the crowds and new additions in Prehistoric Pets. 

Want to see the construction in action? Be sure to stop by Prehistoric Pets or The Reptile Zoo or even better you can stay at home and miss out on the dust by checking out our updated videos on our YouTube page at www.YouTube.com/PrehistoricPetsTV

 

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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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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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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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Yay for Snake Day!

Attention all European herpers!!  April will be a very special month for you guys, especially the residents of Houten, because our very own Garrett Hartle will be attending the annual Snake Day on April 1st!  At this very special event, Garrett will have some of the best and most beautiful specialty Reticulated Python morphs you can find. Garrett will also be spending an additional week in the UK to help at The Reptile Room and meet even more UK clients!  We work exclusively with The Reptile Room as our official European Distributor; they go to all of the shows and even those we can’t make it to, like this weekend’s Hamm Germany show.  Make sure to stop by the booth and say hello to, shake a hand and even take pictures with our talented member of the Prehistoric Pets team. 

Are you still sitting, staring at your computer screen with a confused look on your face?  Hmm, Well I guess I should explain what “Snake Day” is huh? LOL!  To put it blandly, “Snake Day” is a massive trade expo where herpers from all around the world unite in Houten, near Amsterdam, to buy and sell snakes.  The demand for special snakes has become so intense; Garrett’s order requests have shot up in a dramatic percentile.

Will YOU be at the annual Snake Day expo?  Take pictures with our Prehistoric Pets team during your visit at Snake Day and show your support by sharing them on our Facebook page!  We love to encourage fans from all over the world to share their photos and experiences with our team on our Fan sites.  You can follow us on:

 

Prehistoric Pets Facebook

 

Prehistoric Pets Twitter

 

The Reptile Zoo Blog

 

Prehistoric Pets YouTube

Ciao!

^O^………Priscilla

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Sulfur EEEEEGGGGGGSSSS!

So Last night right before I turned the shop lights off and about to set the alarm, I remembered “ ohh hey, I better check the female het sulfur for eggs!” (I had just put her in the egg laying room earlier in the day) so I was digging and digging and digging and I wasn’t very hopeful because the past couple clutches were mostly slugs  but then I hit GOLD!! 17 FERTILE eggs, the complete opposite of the past clutches. I was ecstatic for the outcome of these monitors who took a 360degree about 5 months ago for the better. Garrett ran and got one of our new custom hatching boxes (the hatch chamber [pretty intense name right?? I know]) I was sooo energized with every egg I took out, acting like a total girl (giddy and kind of sporadically screaming in garrets ear haha) well anyways we put the eggs in the incubator, snapped a couple pictures to send to people and jetted home! (Me still screaming, but this time just to myself) I felt like I had 17 babies!! -Juliette /> First comes love... Then comes marriage...
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Forget Jurassic Park... WE have the Real Deal!

Familiar with Steven Spielberg’s major hit movie “Jurassic Park”?  Well if you’re a fan of ours, I’m SURE you’ve seen the film that sparked the interest in Prehistoric creatures worldwide.  In the iconic film, many dinosaurs and scientific theories were shown and explained but many people were left curious about our ancient ancestors.  Fortunatley, we have a chunk of that history RIGHT HERE in Fountain Valley, CA at Prehistoric Pets/ The Reptile Zoo!  We house several types of unique fossils from all kinds of prehistoric beings and plants.  Today’s blog is focusing on the ever so favored, Velociraptor! 

Measuring at a whopping almost 7 feet in length, this mid sized hunter sported jaws lined with 26–28 widely spaced teeth on each side, each more strongly serrated on the back edge than the front.  Too add to their ferocious build, they also had a large “hands” with three strongly curved claws.  The second claw, for which Velociraptors are most famous, was highly modified and held off of the ground. The relatively large, sickle-shaped enlarged claw, which could be over 2.6 in long around its outer edge, was most likely a predatory device used to tear into prey and possibly deliver a fatal blow!  HOWEVER, the "raptors" portrayed in Jurassic Park were modeled after a larger relative, Deinonychus, so Velociraptors are actually quite smaller in size than depicted! 

This astounding creature dates back to be about 80-85 million years old and have been predominately found in the areas of Mongolia.  Velociraptors are believed to may have been able to run up to roughly 40 mph for short bursts and may have even hunted in packs!  Unlike other well-known fossils that have been discovered, about a dozen Velociraptor fossils have been found, including one ever so famous example that died in a battle to the death with Protoceratops!  Check it out!! >>>

“Grrrrraaaawwwwwrrrr!!!”

Velociraptors had fairly large brains compared to other dinosaur species, which made them one of the most intelligent of the dinosaurs.  The study of dinosaur skulls reveals that the Velociraptor had excellent hearing, a powerful sense of smell, and binocular vision. That sounds like a pretty awesome dinosaur!   Most fossils and skeletons are held in world famous museums and sites BUT you can come to Prehistoric Pets/ The Reptile Zoo and check out Velociraptor EGGS we have on display!!  That’s right, Fossil EGGS that at one period in time, could have housed baby raptor hatchlings!  D’Awwweee!

Velociraptor Eggs

Don’t forget, we have MANY more fossils in stock for display and for sale.  Make sure to pick one up for someone special and give the unique gift of Prehistoric presents!

^O^………….Priscilla

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Now A Word From Your Sponsors...

Prehistoric Pets has worked closely with schools, churches and programs of all sorts to bring fun and first time experiences to the lives of children in our community.  From hosting parties for schools and scouts, to sponsoring teams and kids in special programs, we have had years of experience with giving back to our young ones!  Just recently, Prehistoric Pets/ The Reptile Zoo/ Jurassic Parties decided to sponsor the Boys Varsity soccer team from Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, CA and had them visit the shop and Zoo after their last CIF playoff game this week.

The Environmental Charter School (ECS) is a school unlike our traditional public schools; in fact, it’s a free public charter school that operates independent of a traditional school district.  “The mission of Environmental Charter High School is to inspire students to discover their own sense of purpose, to equip all students with the knowledge and skills to graduate from college and to empower them to become quality stewards of their community and world.” quotes the home site for ECS.  On top of their challenging programs, students are required to use concepts and skills learned in class to problem-solve local civic and environmental matters, and take action to make an impact.   ECS extends learning beyond the classroom walls as they complete community service, participate in service learning projects, join outdoor education field trips, and are encouraged to take internships.  This is just a few of the things that make ECS so wonderful and unique, visit their website for more information!

The boys came in and visited us for the first time just this past weekend; they got to meet Frank, Twinkie, Willy and many more as they cruised thru the Zoo corridors and stopped by the photo booth to hold some cool reptiles!  They were accompanied by their coach and our fellow staffer, Daniel Pask who has been coaching the almost 20 member team for the entire season.  Some of the boys were psyched to check out the animals in the zoo while a few were ducking under their friends for cover from the “scurry snakey-do”! hee hee =P.  Thanks to our sponsorship, the team was able to afford NEW home and away jerseys! Congrats guys!   Visit our homepage for info on how YOU can become part of the Prehistoric Pets team!

Daniel and the Boys Varisty Soccer team for ECHS pose with a Burmese Python and Sulcata tortoise

Congratulations on making it to CIF playoff’s boys and thank you for visiting our store!  We look forward to more involvement in future programs and events for our community. 

Ciao!

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

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