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All About Reptiles | PetsWeekly

Finding A Reptile for your Family #ReptileCare

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We just saw the new blockbuster movie, Jurassic World, and it was wonderful! "Clicker-trained velociraptors?" "Yes, please!"

As we sat in the darkened theater, I could hear the kids whispering, “Mom, can I have a dinosaur?” For parents who found themselves in this position, we hope you’ll eventually say, "Yes." But only after thoroughly researching reptiles as pets. We’re here to help, and so we are working with the good folks at PetMD® and PetSmart® to help you select the best reptile for your particular situation. Fortunately, there are no breeders creating raptors (thank goodness). But, there are many reptiles that may make a great addition to the family. The key is knowing what to expect, what type of care you’ll need to provide, and teaching your children to care for them responsibly. So let’s start with the basics.

Read more: Finding A Reptile for your Family #ReptileCare

Fascinating Facts about Reptiles

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Most reptiles are carnivores, and eat whole prey or insects. Some reptiles (adult green iguanas, for example), are herbivores and eat green plants.

There are about 250 species of turtles, 25 species of crocodilians, 5,500 species of snakes, 3,000 species of lizards, 130 species of amphibians, and 2 species of rhynchocephalians.

Most reptiles are carnivores, and eat whole prey or insects. Some reptiles (adult green iguanas, for example), are herbivores and eat green plants.

It is thought that dinosaurs eventually evolved into birds. Many dinosaurs, if not most, were thought to be warm-blooded, and reptiles are cold-blooded.[/icon_list_item]

There are 8,240 species of reptiles in the world, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, amphibians became the first vertebrates to live on land.

Read more: Fascinating Facts about Reptiles

Applications Being Accepted for AZ Desert Tortoise Adoptions

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Each year, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) offers residents a chance to adopt a desert tortoise. This year, nearly 100 desert tortoises will awaken to prepare for summer and AZGFD wants to make sure they get into good homes.

This is a unique and relatively rare opportunity to bring an amazing pet into your home (or yard). 

There is no charge to adopt these animals, but adopters must have a securely enclosed yard or a separate enclosure that is free from others pets, unfenced pools and other hazards. You must be a permanent resident of Arizona to qualify because these are tortoises that have to stay in our unique environment.

These tortoises are only available for adoption to residents living within the species’ native range (which includes the Phoenix, Bullhead City, Kingman, Prescott, Lake Havasu, Tucson and Yuma areas).  Each will receive health checks before going to their homes. 

This year, there is a wide range of ages and sizes available for adoption. Here's the scoop...

Read more: Applications Being Accepted for AZ Desert Tortoise Adoptions

A Guide To Your First Leopard Gecko

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For those who are new to the world of reptiles, leopard geckos can be the perfect starter pet. They are docile, friendly, naturally hypo-allergenic and very easy to care for. We've compiled the perfect starter guide to introduce you to these unique pets.

Origins

Leopard geckos are native to deserts from the Middle East to India. They live in semi-arid areas in small territories characterized by a single male and several females. The male is very territorial will defend his home from other males. When two males come across each other in the wild (or in captivity), they will rapidly tum their tails and circle each other, trying to intimidate their opponent. Though they do not have teeth, they do have a strong bite and will attack each other until one gives up and retreats. This is important to know when you keep them in captivity - never keep males in the same cage.

Read more: A Guide To Your First Leopard Gecko

Your Guide to Russian Tortoises #ReptileCare

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Not very long ago, we had a turtle named Augustine. Many of you will remember our years with this little guy. We sort of inherited Aug from my dad, who had received him as a gift but didn’t have time to devote to him. Turtles and tortoises are just like any other pet and they require a lot of attention and care. Today, we’re working with Petsmart in getting word out about what makes a good tortoise owner. Aug was a Russian Tortoise (to the best of my knowledge) and normally they live about 50 years. If you’re thinking about getting a Russian Box Tortoise, I have to tell you - I highly recommend it. Augustine was a great pet for many, many years. But if you’re thinking of getting a tortoise, you’ll need to plan on how you can provide for him or her for many years.

Read more: Your Guide to Russian Tortoises #ReptileCare

Reptile Quotes

  • "Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head."
    William Shakespeare
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Lifestyle

Reptile Facts

  • Depending upon the size of the meal, anacondas can go several months between meals.
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