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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:05 pm 
Lovebird
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I used to keep lizards. As a kid I caught them from the wild. I thought I was doing a good job taking care of them since I would research on reptiles, but catching them in the wild to begin with is never a good thing to do...

I was young at the time and didn't quite grasp the concept of the cruelty that I was doing. I know better now of course, but I kinda wish that I learned sooner not to do that. :? Or that I had more common sense at the time. Even if they were small, they shouldn't have been taken from their home and put into a small terrarium (big for captive reptiles, but not what a wild animal would ever be happy in).

After I grew more of a brain, I had a couple of green anoles, also known as the "North American chameleon". These ones were raised in captivity.
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The first of the two I got was a male named Leo. He was honestly the most endearing thing, and I fell in love with him at the pet store. :D He was just so desperate for attention, and he was a sweet and energetic boy.
The second one, Lizzy, was much more calm but she was also kind. They got along well but I never saw them breed.
Unfortunately they had passed away a long time ago.
Although when I went to Florida back in June, I saw quite a few of them as well as some similar species. It was quite interesting, seeing them all over the place. :)

I've had much more experience with turtles and tortoises. I have a couple desert tortoises, which are native here and protected. However the older one was was raised in captivity and is unreleasable. I think I shared her story on Deebee's introduction thread, but I'll paste here:
I wrote:
The older one, Murtle, kinda came to us in a funny way before I was born. My parents found her walking along the road with a moldy shell and a number painted on it. They took her home and called the Arizona Fish and Game department, followed by the Arizona Desert Museum (who deals with unreleasable tortoises). The desert museum sent someone down to look at her, and explained that her behavior showed she was tame. They gave my parents a guide to care for her, and my parents made the entire yard tortoise-safe. While she has her own pen, it's more for hibernation than anything, but she basically owns the whole yard (and is well aware of it too :lol: ).
The second tortoise is one of her babies. Someone gave us a male tortoise and because Murtle doesn't get along well with others, we didn't expect them to reproduce. The thing is with desert tortoises is that they can stay fertilized years after insemination, so for quite a few years, we've been getting baby tortoises, and having to rehome them. We've rehomed the male so once she's no longer fertile, then maybe we won't have any more for a while. The baby tortoise is currently in a terrarium (the yard is safe for adult tortoises; not so much for babies), and we were thinking of keeping it, depending on what sex it'll turn out to be (it's too young to tell right now).

Here's a close-up of Murtle: Personally one of my favorites of her because her eyes are so pretty!
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I don't have any pictures of the baby or past babies that I can post though unfortunately. The photobucket app on my iPad has been acting up lately and I haven't been able to upload pictures. I'll be sure to show some as soon as I can.
Also have a female red-eared slider but she's too shy to get pictures she always swims to the bottom of the pond upon seeing someone. She's rather small right now though, but I hope she might warm up after a while when she's gotten bigger and associates me with food. :) (that is if I can get her to notice food without swimming away)

Other than that, I've had a lot of experience with amphibians. Had some fire-belly toads among some other frog species. They're honestly quite fun to have, and they're really cute too, in my opinion!
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Firebelies are particularly a social species, and when kept with others of their own kind, will make the funniest sounding chirps. My pionus Dudley had actually learned to mimic the sound. :lol:

I have a childhood friend who has been a reptile enthusiast since I've known him. As kids we both loved reptiles and bugs, and he still keeps them. He is to lizards as I am to birds I guess. I kept his leopard gecko once while he was on vacation, and I honestly enjoyed the experience. She was quite an interesting character. He had rescued her from a bad situation and so she loves him, but hates me because I cleaned her terrarium while I was watching her. Will climb right in his hand, but tried to bite mine. :lol: Geckos aren't that hard at biting from what I remember though.

And then I have two more friends that are dating and live together, own a couple snakes, as well as a couple of desert tortoises, one being one of Murtle's babies. A corn snake and a ball python, and while I was on a double date with them and my boyfriend, they insisted I stop by and check them out (Neither I nor my boyfriend can drive, and they were taking me home). So they let me hold the snakes, and the ball python decided that my hair was nice to hide in. The snake I wasn't afraid of, but I am very ticklish on the back of my neck so unintentionally I tensed up, and started laughing. Luckily the snake herself stayed calm. Needless to say it was an experience. :lol: I'd love to do that again.

Lately I've been thinking about getting a lizard as a pet again. Unfortunately I missed the reptile show this year, but I've been doing research. Seriously considering either a veiled chameleon, bearded dragon or crested gecko. Veiled chameleons are possibly my favorite species and I've been doing research on them. As far as chameleons go they're the easiest to take care of. However Bearded Dragons are more used to the climate here being from Australia and all, so I wouldn't have to worry about keeping the humidity level in the habitat at a good level.
At the same time, with a crested gecko I wouldn't have to worry about my parents being grossed out about their diet, because they're one of species that don't eat any kind of bugs or meat. Or at least, not as often as most reptiles (Some care guides I'm reading say they don't need insects, other say it'd be good to feed insects about once a week; I'll need to do more research to know for sure though).

Deebee, your reptiles are absolutely gorgeous. :D I love their colors.
What's your routine with them? Do you let them have time out of their enclosure? And if so, do they have outside time one at a time, or are there certain species you let out at certain times? I know you said they don't go near each other, and that's honestly understandable. On top of all of them being carnivorous (or at least omnivorous) and some being big enough to eat the others, there's also the risk of infections. Some species may carry diseases that others aren't immune to and such (they're not quite as domesticated as birds and nowhere near domesticated as dogs or cats).
How do you manage having time for all of them, along with all of your birds?



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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:15 am 
Parrotlet
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Quote:
I was young at the time and didn't quite grasp the concept of the cruelty that I was doing. I know better now of course, but I kinda wish that I learned sooner not to do that. :? Or that I had more common sense at the time. Even if they were small, they shouldn't have been taken from their home and put into a small terrarium (big for captive reptiles, but not what a wild animal would ever be happy in).


A lot of places actually sell wild caught animals and they're adults that know full well what they are doing, I wouldn't feel bad about that at all! The main issue with wild caught animals is obviously the effect it will have on the wild populations. The second issue is that a lot of the time they don't thrive in captivity. Not necessarily because we do a bad job but because they will often come with diseases, parasites etc. and be susceptible to stress. People still sell them though, mostly species that aren't readily available or don't breed easily in captivity. I personally wouldn't buy any myself for the reasons I just stated

Quote:
Although when I went to Florida back in June, I saw quite a few of them as well as some similar species. It was quite interesting, seeing them all over the place


The last time I crossed the pond and went to FL was in 2010 :yikes: I didn't know much about reptiles at the time but I knew what the green and brown anoles were after tons of them would get stuck in the pool and I'd have to get them out. I'm going at the end of next year and I cannot wait to see all of the wildlife there now I have a further understanding of them :D

Quote:
Geckos aren't that hard at biting from what I remember though.


Ask anybody who has had a bite from a tokay gecko and they'll tell you how much it hurts :o They do NOT let go! My leo bit me once when he had a hissy fit (hehe... hissy!) and to be honest the teeth didn't hurt but the pressure applied did. They're surprisingly strong

Quote:
Some care guides I'm reading say they don't need insects, other say it'd be good to feed insects about once a week; I'll need to do more research to know for sure though


Most of the powder mix food you can get for cresties contains bug proteins in them for a 'balanced' diet, but I would personally offer them the occasional bug. I guess it's the same sort of thing as feeling a bird pellets 24/7 with nothing else on the side. I don't feed pellets but I'm trying to think of an example haha! Plus, it's enrichment

If beardies appeal to you but you want something that is a little bit more interactive, have a look into ridge tailed monitors. Ackies as they are lovingly known. I am really into the large lizards, especially monitor lizards! I doubt that in the near future I will be able to house one of the giants so I've been doing research forever into ackies. I assumed that they wouldn't have the same sort of personality being smaller (same could be applied to birds... boy was I wrong!). I visited my friends reptile shop to pick up a baby magpie he needed me to hand raise and they had their adult male ackie out. I fell in love with him! His name was Jeff and he was the sweetest thing. They grow to about the same size as a large male beardie but they have long necks and tails, with narrow little faces. They're so hands on and intelligent. I adore my beardies, but they're very lazy and they don't seem to care much for hanging out. Jeff was on my hand but then swiftly ran to my shoulder and right up my head, his tongue was bobbing in and out the whole time and he was so curious of everything going on around him. He is the store mascot, so not for sale, but I'm hoping to get a well established trio in the future once the rest of my animals enclosures have been upgrades. Just another species for you to look into if you're thinking desert species :D

Quote:
Deebee, your reptiles are absolutely gorgeous. :D I love their colors.


Thank you!

Quote:
What's your routine with them? Do you let them have time out of their enclosure? And if so, do they have outside time one at a time, or are there certain species you let out at certain times?


I do 12 hour shifts so I only have to do 3 days at work a week. That and I have a small 1.5 hour cleaning job first thing on a morning for a little bit of cash in hand every week. Once I've come back from work I change the water in the enclosures that have water (beardies don't). I quickly look around to see if they need spot cleaning. If somebody has pooped or shed it's taken out immediately. I have a snake who tips their water bowl a lot so I usually just take out his newspaper and put a fresh sheet in. I tried other substrate but due to the risk of mould with the damp in there I decided to just use paper that I can change daily. Takes like a minute if that. Beardies get a fresh plate of greens/veggies/fruits etc. with a few bugs thrown in. The skink gets a mixture of his food which I pre-make and I pop a little bit in daily with whatever else is going at the time like blueberries and such. Once a week I'll give the enclosures a more thorough clean and once every few months the substrate is completely removed and replaced. Bowls are washed and cleaned thoroughly weekly too but with the skink and beardies I usually stick them in the dishwasher daily cause of the food they're eating. Every day I quickly check to make sure all the electrics are working and my thermostats are at the right temperatures. That's literally it. Snakes normally eat once every 7-10 days depending on their species, age, habits, size etc. I have a rack for my smaller species so it's a lot easier to manage than the larger enclosures, though I am going to be upgrading a lot into bigger things

Regarding getting them out of their enclosures. I get the lizards out a few times a week so they can have more space to run around. Each of the beardies is in a 4 x 2 x 1.5 enclosure so they do have some space but I like them to come out and see if they want to have a run around. The skink I just get out and sit with. He loves going under my hood. With the snakes it depends entirely on the individual. Captain doesn't normally come out much, which is why I'm going to get him a new enclosure where he can move about if he wants to. He literally stays in the same place all day every day and only moves to have a bath or eat. If I get him out to see if he wants to have a move around he won't move. He's VERY defensive so I don't handle him using my hands. I hook him in and out of his enclosure to clean him out. I get my black rat and carpet python out every now and then for exercise as they're both large snakes and the other snakes are handled as and when. I think it's good for them to get a bit of a work out. Closer to feeding days with the snakes I tend to not bother handling them because they become very receptive to heat and movement. This is NOT fun with the big guys haha. They're not like birds, they don't want your attention or to be pet. I think we interpret curiosity and food association as wanting company but as solitary animals I really don't think they care too much :roll:

I get all of mine out individually. The beardies in particular can be extremely aggressive. I don't even let them see one another as the males tend to get really agitated. With the snakes I just don't see the need. I've had the carpet python out in the same space as my old big boa but they didn't come into contact with one another

Quote:
How do you manage having time for all of them, along with all of your birds?


Again, with the job hours I find it quite easy. The birds get cleaned on a morning and food and water bowls quickly cleaned and refilled. Fresh food is given throughout the day. I don't have many hands on birds at all so it's a matter of fed, watered and cleaned with the aviary birds. They don't want much to do with me which is fine and suits me well :D I usually have an Alexandrine on my shoulder while doing work with the others haha

Hope that helps!


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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:07 am 
Lovebird
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You know I was waiting until I'd get her and surprise you guys with posting pictures to this new thread, but I might as well say now since I've been researching in order to prepare in advanced: I found someone on Craigslist who is selling their crested gecko, and I gave into "multiple animal syndrome" once again.

I asked if he still had her and he said yes. I emailed him again for any possible meeting times and await a response (took him a few days to answer my first email so it might take a while).
While there are no pictures directly from him, he says that the gecko is 8 months old, and she's a dalmation morph (morphs are basically the reptile equivalent of feather mutations from my understanding).
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So I've been doing some extensive research in anticipation so I'll know everything there is to know when it comes to caring for the species. Usually when I research, somehow I end up going from basic care, to a lot of stuff that might be irrelevant until somewhere down the road when I decide to do something a little more. I went from reading about basic care, to about planted vivariums (aka vertical terrariums), to whether or not cresteds can be housed with other reptiles or animals. Answer: males are territorial but females usually get along (depending on individual personalities), one male can be housed with two females, and a crested with another reptile species is a no-no (I mean I wasn't going to anyways; I was curious).

However, they CAN apparently be housed with isopods and millipeds. Apparently a common species to keep with them is the giant african millipede, as they help keep the vivarium clean on the bottom. Plus they're too big for the gecko to eat.
[image]4.bp.blogspot.com/_o7X_5aLBqzY/S2zC1ysWP5I/AAAAAAAAAB8/YKufaiBWQfs/s320/100_1167.jpg[/image]
Isopods serve the same purpose and since they're small, they serve as a good snack and calcium source too. :) They also multiply rapidly from what I've heard.

Curious if Deebee has ever done something like this; housing invertebrates with reptiles for beneficial purposes other than food. Most of your reptiles are big enough to eat something like a giant millipede. :lol: (plus your lizards all come from desert environments desert and also I don't typically see soil-like bedding in large snake enclosures).

But reading up on that lead me to a blog dedicated entirely to putting compatible species together. Within that blog I found this post: http://bsteel-amixedspeciesexperience.b ... ouple.html
A scorpion is the LAST animal I'd want to try and house together with a reptile. Or in general. :?
Still was an interesting read, but I didn't find any other sources supporting the claim of the scorpion and banded gecko having a mutual relationship.
On that same blog there was a post about keeping cresteds with hermit crabs. However further research lead me to conclude that it wasn't a good idea.

Why was I looking that stuff up? I have no clue. :lol: I don't plan on trying to add some other kind of animal with the crested gecko. I don't even have her yet!

But at that point I was getting too off-track so I went back to reading about caring for them. One article I read was talking about both crested and gargoyle geckos, because apparently they have really similar care requirements with a few minor differences. Out of curiosity I had to look them up. They look almost like baby alligators.
Image
Some of them have some beautiful markings though.
Image

But among the pictures in google images, one caught my eye, and lead to this specific thread in a different forum (warning: some of the images are a little disturbing): http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/sho ... res-inside

But a quick overview for those who don't want to look: a female gargoyle gecko that has never been around males her entire life somehow produced a fertile egg. The owner had been candling the egg and somewhere midway the baby inside stopped developing, and on hatching day the woman opened it up to see what was inside. It was a live baby that was even responsive to touch. It was almost completely developed, but the chest didn't close and the heart and liver were outside of the body. She froze the embryo to see if sometime in the future, dna tests for reptiles would be able to tell the parents of a baby to see if this really was parthenogenesis.

Among the comments of the thread, two people reported similar occurances. One with a tortoise, and one with a leachianus gecko.
tortoise owner wrote:
I have an 8 year old female Hermann's tortoise that I've owned since she was a hatchling. She's never been with a male, but has laid several clutches of eggs that have shown vasculature, indicating some organ development, but no embryo. About the time I would expect to see an embryo, the eggs stop developing, and I open them after about a month. Stinky, but extremely interesting. Never say never!

leachianus owner wrote:
I have neen witness to the same occurrence with leachianus. Same organ situation, but not any noticable extra fluid under the skin. One of them that I manually opened was deformed, had organ issues and appeared to have neurological problems (twitching and jerking). It survived 3 days.


Parthenogenesis in reptiles isn't unheard of, but these three cases are all from species that reproduce sexually. So what caused this to happen, I wonder? Are these all failed attempts at a "reptile Jesus" (no offense to any religious people out there)? Or was something overlooked each time and these reptiles somehow managed to sneak off with a male at some point?

If it really is parthenogenesis, then I just have to say: reptiles are truly fascinating creatures.


So yeah, that's all I ended up learning when studying up for my upcoming gecko. If you couldn't tell by now, I get side-tracked pretty easy. :P Luckily I did get some reading up on stuff that would be actually important for my gecko.
I'll be sure to post pictures of her in this thread once she comes. :D



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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:22 am 
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Ooooh, congratulations! Personally, my favorite lizards are leopard geckos and pretty much any monitor lizard. Like I've said a million times before, I like snakes. :D Cresties are really pretty animals. I'm glad you're getting one. I've been around them and they're a bit too jumpy and flighty for me. I tend to like the guys that just sit there.

Do you know what you are going to call her?



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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:39 am 
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Congratulations on your new scaly kid! I DEMAND photos as soon as you get her :bigsmile100:

You can plant any vivarium but if you were to plant a terrestrial/aboreal vivarium that is wooden (we use mostly wood in the UK but the US seems to be big on glass - though we do use glass for cresties and similar animals requiring high humidity and good ventilation) you'd need to find a way to seal the bottom. Pond liner would perhaps be a good way of doing that. Wood would warp otherwise! I'm looking into changing my vivariums and then adapting the new ones for a more natural set up. I'm hoping that for my desert dwelling lizards that I can use air plants and make the vivariums look like they've got a bit of greenery in them. They're so dull right now! The lizards won't care but it will make me happy. Bio-active set ups are really good, especially for cleaning! You will have to do virtually nothing. They clean up all the poop! Woodlice, millipedes and springtails I believe are the most popular clean up crew. Do you know much about the bio-active set ups yet or could you do with some advice? I think they look amazing and they're just so easy and nice to maintain PLUS they look lovely

I too discovered gargoyle geckos when I was looking into keeping a crestie (I still don't own one haha) and I think they are SO cool looking. They come in so many different colours and patterns but they all look really prehistoric. Awesome animals. Leachies are cool too

I've heard of a few cases of female reptiles laying viable eggs. I find it absolutely insane. A lot of animals can retain sperm so I'm thinking that's usually the case in most situations but there are also animals like that garg that haven't been anywhere near a male... weird isn't it!? There was one case near me at a local safari park, their green anaconda gave birth and it was all over the news haha http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-he ... r-28886642

I can't wait to see this crestie :woohoo1:


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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:28 am 
Lovebird
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Leopards are a favorite of mine too. :D I've never kept them but a friend of mine has one, and she's definitely got some personality. She knows who she belongs to as well. He rescued her from a bad situation and she is forever grateful, as she'll just climb right into his hand.
But when I was watching her while he was away on vacation, I cleaned the decorations and changed the bedding. Apparently getting all the poop off makes me her worst enemy. :lol: I mean she didn't want anything to do with me to begin with (which is okay because I don't handle them unless required or if they're comfortable with it), but it wasn't until after I cleaned that she tried to bite.
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This is a much older picture he took of her. The ones I took are pret poor in quality...

Third grade teacher had one too, who was so laid back. She had a reward system where if we knew something or were on good behavior, we could choose either a prize (aka cheap toy), to hold the gecko or something else I can't remember. Being the animal lover that I've been since early childhood (have I told you guys the story of when I picked up a scorpion with my bare hands when I was 3-4 years old?), my choice was to hold the gecko.

That was my first ever real interaction with a tame captive reptile. She had let me pet him before but holding him was a whole different story. Very calm and tolerant of handling (although I was sure to be gentle; that came naturally when I handled animals, even as a child). Much more calm than my friend's gecko.
Granted, he might've been older at the time than friend's gecko is. I remember the teacher said she had him for quite a few years.


Gargoyle geckos are apparently the calmer counterpart to cresties, yet at the same time they tend to be territorial and can't even be kept with their own kind. Yet at the same time, I read that their personalities vary quite a bit and it would depend a lot on the individual too.
He said that this crestie is used to being handled though so once she gets to know me, chances are I won't have too much trouble other than her wanting to explore and hide. I'll have her vivarium in a safe room though and handling would always be with the door closed so the dogs can't get her.
I'll just have to block the bottom of the door as well since I'm pretty sure she's small enough to fit under it.

At the same time, my birds are going to be moved to the same room so I can let them out easily without having to let the dogs outside (FINALLY they'll get a room instead of being in the main part of the house). Of course, I'm not gonna let them near each other for the obvious reasons. Not sure if birds could catch diseases from reptiles in captivity, but crestie skin is also kinda soft from what I've read. Injury is definitely possible if either Lucy or Alex got startled and bit for self defense.
My only hope is that the birds don't keep her up in the day (cresties are nocturnal) or her activity in the night will cause them to have frights. They'll probably get used to each other's noises though. If not, there's another room I can move the crestie too at least (parents don't want the birds anywhere else in house because of the mess).

I'm also in that room often since it's actually my room and I do homework while I'm in there.

I've no idea what to call her. I'll ask if he has a name for her, and whether or not I like that name or not.

@Deebee:
Hah! Gotta love technology. :lol:

I did set up a bio-terrarium once for the anoles, with grass and soil (was trying to get them to breed), but I feel that I didn't do very well for that. Any advice would be lovely, because I feel it'd be nice. Beneficial for the gecko and also low on maintenance. :D

You know, I actually read that there are over 70 known species of lizards and geckos capable of of parthenogenesis, but they don't reproduce that way because they need the biological diversity gained in sexual reproduction. I wonder if the lack of that diversity is what causes these babies to be deformed? In the cases in that thread at least. I guess the anaconda wouldn't require the genetic diversity as much.



I'll be picking her up this evening. I'll send pictures tonight or tomorrow once she's all settled in. :D



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 Post subject: Re: Reptiles!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Congrats! And Post the pics ASAP (pretty plz)

EDIT: wow that was fast!! (I just spotted them somewhere else I think...)



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