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All About Reptiles | PetsWeekly

The Variety of Tortoises

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There are dozens of varieties of tortoises and turtles. If this is a pet you've been thinking about acquiring, it's important to bring the right one in for your families personality.

Today we're going to take a look at five of the more common types that might make great options for your family. Each breed (and especially each individual) has different personalities and traits, and each require different types of care. Before adopting a turtle or a tortoise, be sure you're very clear on their specific needs and what type of care each requires (including diet, supplements, type of habitat, humidity levels and basking time).

(Spoiler alert: You will probably be surprised at the level of care required for a happy, healthy turtle!)

Read more: The Variety of Tortoises

Legally Adopting Desert Tortoises

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While desert tortoise numbers appear to be declining in the wild, the number of tortoises being held in captivity is increasing at an alarming rate. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, through its Tortoise Adoption Program, has been working for 30 years to educate the public about desert tortoises. Two of the elements of the program that are considered essential to avoiding overpopulation of captive desert tortoises are:

Remember:
~Never remove a tortoise from the wild – it’s illegal

~Never allow captive tortoises to breed

Read more: Legally Adopting Desert Tortoises

Helping desert tortoises during monsoon season

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desert-tortoiseMonsoon season brings one of the southwest desert’s most iconic creatures out of their burrows and out-and-about across the state. Desert tortoises are now in their most active season, and Arizona’s increased human population creates more risks for these slow-moving symbols of the Sonoran desert.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department asks the public to follow these important guidelines if they encounter a desert tortoise:

Do not remove a tortoise from its habitat.

Taking a wild tortoise home is illegal in Arizona. Additionally, most tortoises stay in the same small area their entire lives, so if you move a tortoise to a new location it will not know where to find food and shelter and will likely die.

Do not release a captive tortoise into the wild.

Captive desert tortoises cannot be released into the wild as they can pass diseases to wild populations and displace wild tortoises. It is also illegal to release captive animals into the wild.

Read more: Helping desert tortoises during monsoon season

The Legend of St. Patrick

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There are many legends surrounding the life of St. Patrick. Of course, the one that we're most interested in is his reputed "mass exodus" of snakes from Ireland. Here's the short version:

It is believed that in 441 A.D., St. Patrick fasted and prayed for 40 days at the summit of Croagh Patrick ("the Reek") in County Mayo. During this time, as blackbirds assaulted him, St. Patrick continued to pray and ring a bell as a proclamation of his faith. It was while he was atop the mountain that St. Patrick drove all the snakes in Ireland to the sea, effectively saving Ireland from some kind of snake revolution.

In answer to his prayers, an angel appeared to tell him that the Irish people would retain their Christian faith for all time.

Historians generally agree that this myth serves as a metaphor for the good works of St. Patrick.

Since snakes are a common pagan symbol — and seeing as how they are not found in Ireland — the tale really symbolizes St. Patrick driving paganism out of Ireland.

We're proud to talk about paganism, though. So if you need a little extra luck - and really, who couldn't use a little extra luck? Here are a few things you can do today:

Read more: The Legend of St. Patrick

Tortoise Chases Dog

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Okay, how much fun is this video? Augustine, our turtle, would be so proud!

 

Reptile Quotes

  • "Years ago, it was pretty hard to get people to empathize even a little bit with scaly, cold-blooded critters; now, thanks a lot to good PR from television, it is easier to get the message of reptile conservation and tolerance
    Romulus Whitaker
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Reptile Facts

  • Reptiles were the first vertebrates to evolve with 12 cranial nerves. “Lower” vertebrates have 10 pairs of these important nerves, which govern activities of the senses, such as sight, hearing and taste.
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