Monthly Archives: September 2017

Taking Care Of Iguana

There are many places online where one can find iguana care information. Here are some of the more common needs that will have to be met. Iguanas need attention and interaction from their owners. Reptiles do not want to be left alone in their cages all day. They do need interaction to stimulate their mind and remember that iguanas are basically still wild animals. They are not bread to be human friendly which makes the need to spend time with the pet necessary as it will take time to tame and train the reptile to accept human interaction.

Iguanas can grow up to six feet in length and they can also live for up to twenty years which makes iguanas life long pets. It is not an animal that can be gotten rid of just because one gets sick of caring for it, so if money is an issue in the household one may want to hold off on purchasing an iguana since they are somewhat costly to take care. Building an adequate habitat, buying supplies and food, plus veterinary care can all add up to an expensive bill. Since the iguana is considered an exotic animal not all vet clinics will care for and treat an illness. In keeping up with all of the iguana care information reading and watching videos on reptile care can give one a leg up on the current care. Iguanas need care from their owners just as much as a cat or dog. It is very important to love and protect your animal to increase its trust and connection with the owner.

One issue that seems to appear with new iguana owners is the lack of knowledge. These owners are naive when it comes to caring for the reptile needs. Education with various sources of iguana care information is the best solution to many iguana related problems. It is also important to seek out help when one needs it as reptiles cannot show when they are injured or sick until it is severe. Unlike other larger animals an iguana may be ill for days before it is noticed by an owner. Due to this it is necessary to contact a veterinarian or other professional as soon as an issue is noticed. Purchasing all of the top of the line items for the habitat is fine to make the appearance pleasant. It is not always necessary though. The need to be a hands on owner is much more important than anything. Spending time with the reptile will produce a happy iguana.

 

Awesome Lizard

If you are trying to get away from pets that leave behind swirls of fur on your carpet and grooming expenses, getting a leopard gecko is a great direction to go in. There are several facts that you must acknowledge.

  1. One of the best gecko facts is that these particular geckos have a voice! Although they are not able to speak, they have a bark that warns you when they are agitated. These geckos can become stressed and agitated for several different reasons. When a leopard gecko has reached his boiling point, it will bark, sending you a warning that they have had enough.
  2.  As far as these gecko facts are concerned, one of the coolest facts about these creatures is that they have eyelids! If you take notice, you will find that other types of geckos do not have eyelids. These particular geckos have the ability to blink and close their eyes while they are sleeping.
  3.  The leopard gecko has a defense mechanism that gives them a chance to survive. If at any time they are captured by a predator by the tail, their tail comes off, which will give them time to evade their predator. The tail will grow back, but it will not be as long as the original tail.
  4.  As you may have figured, these geckos are nocturnal animals. This means that they sleep and rest during the day and come out at night. During the night time, they hunt for food and are the most active. When the sun is about to come up and a new day begins, the leopard gecko will return to his cozy hiding spot where he will rest and sleep again until night falls.
  5. One of the greatest facts about these types of geckos that many people are not aware of is that these geckos are fond of more insects than just crickets. A leopard gecko’s diet consists of crickets, scorpions and even other lizards! If you are feeding a leopard gecko crickets, make sure that you coat the crickets with a calcium powder source. The calcium powder helps them grow and keeps them healthy.
  6.  Contrary to popular belief, a leopard gecko does not have sticky pads. This means that they are not able to stick to the sides of their tank or hang upside down. Instead, the leopard gecko have tiny claws that resemble hands.
  7.  Determining the sex of this type gecko is a lot easier than determining the sex of a human baby. What matters the most in this situation is the temperature. When the temperature in an incubator is set at or near 80°F, there is a great chance that the geckos will turn out to be female. When an incubator is set at 90°F, there is a great chance that these geckos will be mostly males.

Painted Turtles

The painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) is not your average aquatic turtle. This species has the largest range of any north American turtle, and can found in suitable habitats from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast of North America. It is also colorful, outgoing, moderately-sized, and very undemanding. Let’s take a closer look at painted turtles and see whether they are the right pet turtle for you.

Tank Setup

Tank setup for painted turtles generally follows the basic design already described. Like the red-eared slider, with which it is often confused, painted turtles are the quintessential basking-type turtle that inhabits ponds, lakes and lazy rivers, around which they spend a great deal of time soaking up the sun. If you’ve ever seen them in the wild, you will understand just how important these basking sites are. Juveniles and adults will often be piled up on one another in the choicest sunning spots, and long tanning lines of individuals will form on sufficiently thick tree branches. Consequently, you will need a good heat lamp or ceramic heater, and it is also a good idea to use a UV-B emitting bulb as well.

Feeding

Painted turtles will happily accept most turtle food. Like other basking species, they tend to start life as carnivores, eating insects, small fish, tadpoles, etc., and then move towards a more vegetable-based, omnivorous diet. Make sure to dust prepared foods with a high quality supplement. I have always used Rep-Cal for providing crucial vitamin D and calcium, and would not recommend any other. A failure to supplement foods with these vitamins is just asking for trouble, and is particularly damaging to young, growing turtles that are likely to manifest shell deformities as they mature.

Sexing

Young turtles are very difficult to sex, but as they grow males will show several differences. Males will tend to have larger front claws, a longer, thicker tail, and a more concave plastron (underside of shell) compared to the flat plastron of the female. Of course, the female will normally get significantly larger than the male as well.

Lifespan

Like most basking turtles, the painted variety is very long lived. The eastern subspecies is reported to live between 20 to 40 years, and mature in about 10 years. This is likely a very conservative estimate of this species lifespan in the wild. In captivity, a well cared for turtle should easily live for more than 20 years.

Painted Turtles as Pets – The Verdict

These are generally colorful and easy to please aquatic turtles that should thrive in a basic turtle tank setup provided they are given enough room. While all of the subspecies can be maintained in captivity, some of the subspecies adapted to the northern latitudes may have a tendency to go off feed in the winter, even if adequate water temperatures are maintained year-round. For this reason, the southern painted variety may be a more ideal choice as a pet, since it hails from a much warmer clime. In addition, as the smallest of the subspecies, it can be housed in slightly smaller enclosures.

 

Morphology of Snakes

  • Co-dominant: A visible mutation appears when a single gene in an allele is different than normal. Two different genes can bring a ‘super’ form of that gene which looks different than the single gene itself.
  • Dominant: When a single allele is different than the normal allele.
  • Het/Heterozygous: Has a gene inside of the snake that is not visible. Otherwise none as a recessive trait.
  • Homo/Homozygous: A matched pair of mutated genes
  • Recessive: The gene is present in the snake, but not visible, but can be passed down.

Snakes contain genes that are responsible for their colors and patterns. Each gene contains an allele from each parent of the snake. When bred, snakes combine their DNA/alleles into their babies. There are many different forms of ‘mutated’ alleles. These genes are not just present in the snake world, but in every species.

Since mutated alleles are more uncommon than normal alleles the snake with mutated alleles is usually more expensive. Many people spend thousands of dollars on obtaining the next created morph. When I think of the word morph, Ball Pythons come into mind. The market for Ball Pythons is extremely flooded with all sorts of morphs. Example: Albino, Axanthic, Banana, Clown, Pieds, Pastel etc. Of course there are other snake species that are well known for their wide range of morphs, corn snakes, king snakes, red tail boas, burmese pythons, and reticulated pythons.

Morphs may be awesome however some genes are weak and when bred together can produce unhealthy babies and kinked snakes. Always do your research before buying a snake. Example: The spider Ball Python is usually born with a ‘wobble’ due to the weak genes in its DNA, this gives the snake a neurological problem which causes it to bob it’s head all around when moving, sometimes it even affects its eating. Weak or damaged genes can also cause the female snakes to not be able to become gravid/they are infertile.