Iguana Tell You A Story!

Sorry folks, bad title pun aside, I wanted to sit down and tell you guys the super cool story behind two of our really special red iguanas! Our big male and lovely female red iguanas came to us from a previous owner who was concerned about their breeding.

Big Popiguana

The female had laid a previous clutch that never hatched, so the iguanas came to us to see if we could provide a better environment and hopefully bring her next clutch to term. When the pair first arrived, we could plainly see that the female was near to bursting with eggs. Aside from her abdomen being fairly swollen, you could actually see the small bumps of the eggs pressing against her sides. We got the pair settled into a roomy cage, and set about trying to find an appropriately sized lay box. Due to her size, we actually had to improvise quite a bit, and actually ended up using a trash can packed with a combination of sand and soil that was wetted down and compacted so that she could dig herself a suitable hole in which to lay her eggs. It ended up doing the trick nicely, as she was only with us for 4 days before she laid her eggs! Based on her size and how inflated she looked, we were expecting a huge clutch, but we were still mightily impressed to see that she laid 50 eggs! We removed the lay box from the cage and placed the eggs into an incubator.

Big Momiguana

While the eggs were “cooking”, we worked on getting to know our newest, biggest breeding pair. The adults took a bit of time getting used to their new enclosure, but with a ton of patience, time, and love they’ve settled in nicely. Both iguanas love to chow down on the leafy greens that are so important to their diets, but they also both go bananas for…. well, bananas. One thing that we’ve noticed is that the male is fairly protective of the female. While she is fairly nice and tolerant of some handling, he will flap his dewlap, puff himself up, and on occasion, chase people who walk past his cage. He has been seen cuddling with her, very tenderly laying his dewlap over her shoulders or head. While they haven’t shown signs of producing another clutch, it’s very dear to see them still so close together.

Just about 60 days passed before we saw signs of movement from the iguana eggs. We were pleasantly surprised and more than a little confused to see that our clutch of 50 eggs had yielded 56 iguanas! Did the Reptile Zoo have its own moment of spontaneous generation? Are we just really bad at counting? No! Turns out we simply had a few batches of twins! While the sets of twins are markedly smaller than their single-egg siblings, they are no less healthy, and are very cute! The baby red iguanas are actually born with a fair amount of green on their bodies. Each time they shed, they lose a little bit of that green pigmentation and get redder and redder as they age.

Little bit of green still showing on this guy!

All of the babies ate within 24 hours of hatching, which is unusual for almost any reptile. Usually there is a bit of a fasting period where they live off the remaining nutrients from what was left of their yolk. The babies must take after their parents when it comes to eating habits. Once we had established they were healthy and doing well, we placed them into an enclosure that closely replicates the environment they’d have in the wild. They have tons of room to climb, with branches and foliage spanning the entire length of their roomy cage. They love to be fed, and will clamber all over each other to get at their greens. We’re so excited to have these little nippers here with us, and hope you’ll come visit them soon!

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You're Invited to Meller Manor July 30th at The Reptile Zoo


Some of the world's most interesting animals are coming to a permanent exhibit at The Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley, California. The ambitious "OctoMellerium" Project will bring together the largest captive collection in the world of free-ranging Meller's Chameleons. If you've never seen a Meller's Chameleon they are up to three feet long, live in trees and range in colors from banana yellow, to white, to orange to jungle green.


The exhibit will feature between eight and ten giant Meller’s Chameleons living together and interacting in a large free ranging environment inside The Reptile Zoo at Prehistoric Pets. Click here for photographs of what these gentle giants look like: Meller’s Chameleon Images Brian Allen, President of www.ExhibitAdventures.com, the Originator and Sponsor of the exhibit said in a recent interview that: “Meller’s Chameleons are from Tanzania and Malawi in Central Africa and while not immediately endangered they are threatened by habitat destruction as are most chameleons around the world. One of the objectives of the “Meller Manor/OctoMellerium Project” is to bring together different genetic strains of this Meller’s species and produce a strong breeding population in the United States.”


Laura and Jay Brewer, the daughter and father Owner Team at the Prehistoric Pets Reptile Zoo are excited by the project. Laura recently commented about the project. “The Meller Manor/OctoMellerium Project is just the sort of thing that the press, schools, parents, teachers and the scientific community can all stand behind and support. This will be the largest exhibit of its kind in the world and we are proud to provide a permanent home for it at Prehistoric Pets."


The Meller’s Chameleon’s have arrived in California safely thanks to BackwaterReptiles.com who imported them specifically for this project. A video of their arrival can be below:


The Meller Manor/OctoMellerium Project Opens on Laura Brewer’s Birthday on July 30th, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Presale tickets for the Grand Opening are available by calling (714) 500-0591 and asking for Laura Brewer. Discounted tickets for schools and other groups are available by booking in advance.

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Party Prehistoric Style

We always say we throw "Prehistoric Style" parties, but this year definitely dissapoint! As a thank you to all the great work our team puts in to make Prehistoric what it is we like to give back with a party at Jay's house, where he's the chef! If you know anything about Jay that means you better come hungry because no matter how many friends you bring, there will still be left overs to feed the neighborhood.

 

This year to feed the masses we feasted on Jay's signature tacos with a variety of meats plus homemade rice and beans, but why stop there? Jay also treated the team to BBQ ribs that seemed to disappear as fast as he could get them off the grill. Once we were so full we could barely move the unbelievable entertainment started. Thanks to Jay's connections we enjoyed a private FIRE BREATHING show!!!! I mean who does that?

Luckily no plants, animals, neighbors, or team members were burned in the show, but WOW were those flames big! Then we got the crowd laughing with a comical magical routine pitting some of our biggest and strongest against the magician's lovely assistant. In the end everyone had a chance to relax and just enjoy the company of their amazing co-workers and friends. I'll I've got to say is they better start planning now, because it's going to be hard to top that!

 

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Come & Get It at The OC Fair with The Reptile Zoo

 

Spending your summer nights at the OC Fair? Make sure to stop by The Reptile Zoo hands-on display to meet Bob the 12ft Burmese Python! Then head back to Facebook to claim your complimentary photo download!
To find your complimentary photo download please visit the link below, here you will find an album for each day of the fair. To allow photo tagging and download just "LIKE" The Reptile Zoo fan page then share away!
www.facebook.com/thereptilezoo/photos_albums
If for some reason you are unable to locate your photos please email photobooth@prehistoricinc.com and we would be happy to assist you. Please allow 48 hours for upload.

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Big News for TWINKIE!

When we announced on Twitter and Facebook TWINKIE had big news our fans were quick to guess exactly what was up. TWINKIE has found LOVE and is PREGNANT... well technically gravid, but we couldn't be more excited for her.

We have always been hesitant to allow TWINKIE to breed in case there were any complications in childbirth, but over the past two years we have noticed a steady change in her personality, food cycle, and activity. We cautiously kept watch of these changes hoping she would be able to overcome them without intervention.

Although few would guess it on TWINKIE's normal diet she is offered a medium sized meal every other week, but during this period she has had little to no appetite. Eating a small meal once every couple months. We also noticed she was frequently going into a shedding cycle, which is uncommon for an animal who is not undergowing a large growth spurt. After 2 years of observing this combination, plus her lack of interest in her surroundings when knew it was time to step in. We tried minor changes in late 2012, but with no success. When February came around we knew what just might make all the difference in the world.

 

LOVE! TWINKIE was looking for love! She has always gotten plenty of attention from her adoring fans here at The Reptile Zoo, but as a mature lady she was ready to form a romantic relationship with someone just like her. Although she reached her sexual maturity many years earlier we had never provided an opportunity to breed. As such a unique specimen our staff was fearful the risks outweighed her natural desire to reproduce. But when we saw the negative impacts this decision caused both emotional and physical we carefully considered the best plan of action and began to find a suitable mate in early February.

After their first introduction we knew this was the right decision, because the two immediately started to breed. Just like humans this does not always guarantee offspring, but appropriately on Valentines Day our experts where able to determine that she is in fact GRAVID! Which means in about 3 months TWINKIE will be the proud mother of 40-70 baby Reticulated Pythons.

Want to meet dad, learn about his family, or even find out what special characteristics the new babies could have? I'm sure you have these questions and more, but we will have to wait to answer these in another blog. We'll be keeping you up to date on how TWINKIE is doing, what comes next, and any other questions you send us both here on The Reptile Zoo Blog and on TWINKIE's official fan page www.Facebook.com/WorldsLargestSnake

Until next time. Love is in the Air!

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Hidden Treasures

Today, here at The Reptile Zoo, we found a precious treasure. Hidden and protected beneath a water bowl, we found a Caledonian Giant Gecko egg. These fun creatures are known as Giant Geckos because of their size. They’re the largest species of gecko living today, growing to be approximately 17 inches in length.

 However, they’re eggs are not as such. Caledonian eggs are about the size of a small peanut; they’re white and look a bit wrinkled because of the warm and humid environment. We’re so excited to meet our new friend in approximately 3-5 months.

He or she will crawl and strength out of their shell and enter into their home – The Reptile Zoo. Come check out all of our fun friends! You might get lucky and find a hidden treasure, too!

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Is that an Irish accent I detect?

So, some of you have probably noticed a slight style change in some of our recent blog posts and we never explained why... Me. I’m the explanation for the change, who am I?

Good question, my name is Megan and I have taken over this blog for the past couple of weeks. I am currently living in California in the beautiful Huntington Beach area for the summer months, but before I tell you all about that amazing experience, I better tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 20 year old, public relations and media studies graduate from Ireland. I arrived in California way back in June and had read all about Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo online and I immediately knew that I would love to work there, so I got in touch with Jay and Laura who were nice enough to give me an interview, and even kinder to give me a job for the Summer. As I spoke to Laura and realised that she was looking for a publicist that wouldn’t mind working with some reptiles too, I felt I was perfect for the position plus I had 4 years experience working in Ireland's only Reptile Zoo. Three days after my interview I began working and haven’t looked back since!

It was kind of surreal to be in California and see all these places that I would normally only see on TV, and I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime. Working in The Reptile Zoo took a lot of getting used to and a lot of adjusting for me. It was like a little piece of home though, the familiarity of working with reptiles and talking to visitors about them, if I’m honest it helped ease the feeling of being home sick, just a little bit. I did have one major problem when I started working in the Reptile Zoo though... the currency! I dropped a cricket one day and Sam said “that will cost you a quarter now” my reply was simple “You might have a chance of me paying if only I knew which coin that was." Thankfully after a few days I managed to get the hang of it. Another time when trying to go on my lunch break it got very confusing as I told Garrett that my break was meant to start at “half one”…the look of on his face was priceless as he finally realised that I meant 1.30pm.

Here are a few examples of the slang or word differences:

Bin = Trash                    Can Plaster = Band Aid                   Royal Pythons =Ball Pythons                    Lads = Guys

Then I got the chance to work at the OC Fair, I hadn’t even heard of the fair before and had no idea what to expect but when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The fair is huge, way bigger than I expected. Mandy had told me that you can literally get anything deep fried at the fair…..she really did mean anything. I was shocked to find you can get oreos, snickers, bananas and even CEREAL deep fried ! I love working at the fair because it is so busy, you get to meet so many different people, each with a different story.

I have met lots of wonderful and interesting people here, some strange people too (especially on the buses and when we went to Venice beach..but that’s a whole other story!). One of my favourite things about this Summer is getting to meet the people with the true southern California hospitality, people who were genuinely interested in finding out about Ireland and telling me lots of stories about their lives and experiences! In particular I met a lovely lady named Shirlee, a customer at The Reptile Zoo who is travelling to Ireland in October and we spent a long time giving each other lots of info and tips about our home towns!

All in all I have really enjoyed my time here in California, the people, the places, and mostly the weather. It took me a few weeks to settle in here and get used to the California lifestyle, but I really love it here, it is now like a home away from home and I hope to come back next year to experience everything else it has to offer! I am looking forward to going home and spending some time with my friends and family, but it has pretty much rained in Ireland the entire time I have been here so I’m not looking forward to that!

This is my last week working in The Reptile Zoo and I can honestly say that I am sad to be leaving, but feel like I have made some really good friends here and I have been given the opportunity to experience so much and for that I am truly grateful. I’ll be back in Ireland in two weeks, but who knows you might just see me again next year..fingers crossed!  And as we say in Irish “Go raibh mile maith agaibh” which basically means thank you all very much!

 

 

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Photos, Photos, Get Your Photos at the Orange County Fair!

 

The Orange County Fair is in full swing and The Reptile Zoo is going to be there for every minute of it. If you haven't been by our display in the Kid Zone you are definitely missing out! We've got 20 great exhibits that include some of the most exotic reptiles we've ever displayed... but you'll just have to stop by to find out who those are!

 

 

As always we have the memory making opportunity for hands-on fun with an 8ft Burmese Python. Visitors response to Bob or Sunshine the Burmese Pythons can vary from extreme excitement to shear terror, but if they take the opportunity to get up close and personal it's always a picture worthy moment! Just check out a few of our favorites so far... (which is no easy task seeing as we have over 5,000 photos to choose from!)

 

 

 

 

To make sure everyone has the opportunity for this seemingly once in a lifetime opportunity we've put together several special packages to save you money and maximize the fun! As we always say the price is the same for as many people as we can SQUEEZE into the photo! So bring the whole family, grab your friends and stop by The Reptile Zoo booth in the Kid Zone at this year's Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa.

 

 

If these deals are not enough we are offering a complimentary download of every photo! Just head over to Facebook.com/TheReptileZoo to find your photo, tag it, share it, and download for your own at home prints! While you're there make sure to like our page to keep up to date with all of the latest happenings here at The Reptile Zoo.

 

 

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Mary Poppins Special Offer for The Reptile Zoo Fans!

 

Mary Poppins

Ahmanson Theatre

4 WEEKS ONLY!

August 9 – September 2

For tickets call 213.972.4400

or visit http://www.centertheatregroup.org/MARYPOPPINS

All matinees at 2pm, all evening shows at 7:30pm

 

"A High-Fly spectacle!” --The Los Angeles Times

This spectacular hit has astonished over seven million people worldwide with its pure Broadway magic. With four productions currently running on three continents, Mary Poppins is one of the biggest stage musical successes in recent years to come out of London and New York.

DON’T MISS MARY POPPINS FOR JUST $49!

Family Friendly Price!
$49 (Reg. $72) for select seats Aug 9 - 17*
Family Friendly Time!
Evening shows start at 7:30pm

To purchase call 213.972.4400 and mention code SUGAR

or visit www.centertheatregroup.org/SUGAR.

 

The consummate Disney production features the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stage-craft to make it everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show.

So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives 4 out of 4 stars and calls “a certifiable super hit!”

 

*Conditions: Offers valid for all performances August 9-17 in Rear Orchestra and Rear Mezzanine sections. Saturday and Sunday matinees not included in offer. Subject to availability. Offer does not apply to previously purchased tickets. May not be combined with any other offers.

 

 

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New Indian Ornamental Tarantula..Or is it an illusion?

Here at The Reptile Zoo our beautiful Indian Ornamental Tarantula molted yesterday and left visitors wondering if there were actually 2 tarantulas in the exhibit.

Inidian Ornamental Tarantulas live in monsoon forests, where the climate alternates between very wet and very dry. Poecilotheria species should be regarded with caution, beacuse their bites are considered to be much more significant than those of other tarantulas. Their bites are not lethal, but some poeple may be allergic to their bite which can be a big problem.

 

Tarantulas have an exo-skeletal structure which means unlike humans, their bones are on the outside and amazingly, they must molt their exo-skeleton to allow them to grow. This process can happen as little as once per year but may happend more frequently when they are young. Once their molt is complete, it appears that their is 2 tarrantulas in the enclosure, so we have to be careful not to remove the real one, just the molt.

 

These tarantulas are nocturnal, arboreal, and quite ant-social, they like to keep to themsielves and only really come out for food. In the wild they will eat anything, including rodents and insects and even eat things that are the same size as themselves.

 

They are quite slender and in the wild they will stick to the bark of trees and the pattern helps them to blend in.

 

Here are some pictures of the new molt.

 

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