Herpetology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and gymnophiona) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, amphisbaenids, turtles, terrapins, tortoises, crocodilians, and the tuataras).
theexoticvet: Feeding Caimen lizards (Dracaena)
There have been tons of Caiman Lizard posts on Tumblr and they are becoming much more popular in the pet trade as well. These photos demonstrate the very unusual dentition of the lizards; they have molariform teeth. These teeth evolved to crush a very specialized prey: snails and other hard shelled aquatic creatures.
Anyone purchasing one of these guys needs to be able to provide them with live or fresh frozen snails and other shelled prey items. This can prove very expensive and sometimes hard to do. There are care sheets and reptile folk out there who will say you can convert them to cat food, rat pups, and other prey. Please, do not buy an animal unless you are willing to feed it what it eats in the wild or a very close substitution. Lizards fed dog/cat food and other improper diets often have hepatic lipidosis and other nutritional issues that cause shortened lifespans and health problems. If these guys were meant to be more generalized feeders their teeth would reflect that. Their entire GI systems have evolved to extract nutrients from snails and crustaceans.
In reptile exhibits at zoos these animals are fed snails, crayfish, crabs, and vitamin supplements. I promise that if there was a way to save money and feed something else zoos (especially the herp departments) would do it.
These are really amazing lizards and they can do pretty well in captivity but you must feed them what they are meant to eat. If you are willing and able to do that then more power to you, enjoy them.
(Top photo from Exoticpetvetblog.worpress.com, bottom by Udo M. Savalli)
An old friend is trying to raise some money on gofundme for a needed eye surgery, his 8th surgery in 5 years attempting to regain sight in his right eye.
In 2007 while at a party a fight broke out. A bottle was thrown and it missed the intended target and hit Derek in the right side of his face, shattering on impact. The glass shards caused lacerations to his orbital globe in 3 places, leaving him blind in that eye.
He has been through 7 surgeries so far; lens, retina (twice), cataract, laser(twice) and cornea transplant. The next scheduled surgery is for his oculomotor nerve.
Throughout this entire ordeal his sense of humor and easy spirit have not faltered. Despite losing his job more than once due to the missed medical time, the high cost of the medical bills he has paid and the mental anguish of losing part of his site and the repeated stress to his body.
If any of my followers can financially swing it, he could really use the donations.
Tippi Degré is the daughter of French filmmakers and wildlife photographers, Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, who have captured her on film with some of Africa’s most beautiful and dangerous animals.
She now studies cinema at La Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris.
Red-back Salamander (Plethodon cinereus), erythristic color morph
- family Plethodontidae (“lungless salamanders”), Franklin Co., MA, USA
(photo: Andrew Kraemer)
The Western Painted Turtle can survive the whole winter without breathing, and now researchers know why.
When researchers recently sequenced the turtle’s genome, they found that its ability to withstand complete oxygen deprivation (anoxia) and partial freezing is associated with networks of genes common to vertebrates. Transcriptomic analysis revealed 19 genes in the brain and 23 in the heart in which expression is significant increased in low-oxygen conditions, including one that was expressed almost 128 times as much as normal. “This is a back-door route for turtles to evolve,” coauthor Patrick Minx of The Genome Institute at Washington University in St Louis said in a press release. “Rather than evolve new genes, they adapted existing genes for new uses.”
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