lizards have legs.
lizards, including the European legless lizard, California's legless lizard,
and the Eastern glass snake (so called because of its defensive tail dropping
tendencies) and slender legless lizards, are all lizards who have no legs,
living lifestyles that make them unnecessary. They do have external ear
openings and moveable eyelids like other lizards. Snakes have neither
external ear openings nor moveable eyelids.
don't have bones.
snakes have bones: skull and jawbones, backbones, and lots and lots of
ribs. Large pythons, boas and anacondas may have 300-400 pairs of ribs.
snakes are venomous.
of the 110 species of snakes in the United States, only 20 are venomous.
Venomous insects, fish, and poisonous plants pose more of a threat to
humans than do venomous snakes. In fact, more people die each year of
bee stings than snake bites. If you encounter a snake in the wild that
you are not sure about, leave it alone and it will leave you alone. Back
away slowly; don't try to run it off by throwing things at it.
can hypnotize you with their stare.
not only can't hypnotize you, most can't even see you very well. Lacking
moveable eyelids, snakes can't blink; thus they even sleep with their
eyes "open." Most snakes have very poor eye sight, and can only
track the presence and movement of animals by their heat and when they
pythons don't have to eat.
animals have to eat to live. Ball pythons, especially the wild caught
ones, may be reluctant eaters and fast for long periods of time because
they don't recognize the mice we offer them as being food. Just being
alive, however, burns of calories, and if they don't eat to replenish
those calories, they will die. Ball pythons may be tricked in different
ways into eating; if not, they will have to be force fed special foods.
lizards eat flies and other insects.
species of lizards are vegetarians, consuming only leaves, flowers and
fruits. Some species of lizards eat primarily plant matter with a few
insects, other invertebrates, or small animals now and then. Others eat
primarily invertebrates or only animals, including other lizards, snakes,
amphibians, fish, birds and mammals. You cannot make a carnivorous reptile
into a vegetarian and you should not feed animals to vegetarian lizards.
Doing either will result in serious health problems and an early death.
can sting you with their tongues.
a snake flicks its tongue, it is smelling the air. If it flicks its tongue
at you, it is learning whether you are something edible (no snakes eat
people or food that people generally eat) or a possible danger to it,
such as a snake predator. Snakes recognize their owner's by their smell,
and recognize other people with whom they frequently interact. When a
snake's tongue touches you, it has a light, feathery touch that may tickle
venomous snakes have teeth; that's why other snakes can't bite.
snakes have teeth, rows of recurved teeth (pointing backwards, rather
like rows of sharp crochet hooks) that enable them to grip their prey.
Venomous snakes have these teeth, plus special teeth, called fangs, that
are used to deliver the venom. Some have fangs near the front of their
mouth, others have fangs towards the rear of their mouths. Lizards have
teeth, too, even vegetarian lizards like green iguanas.
snakes have stingers in their tails.
snakes have stingers in their tails. Some have hard skin on their tail
tip that may be due to a variety of reasons, such as unshed skin or new
scales emerging as the snake is growing. Some burrowing snakes may have
a hardened tip on their tail that they use to push against the ground
to give them some leverage as they burrow new tunnels.
snakes are vegetarians.
No snake is a vegetarian, nor do any snakes eat vegetation.
All snakes are carnivores with diets, depending on species, ranging from
arthropods, other invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or
mammals. Some snake species are cannibalistic and will eat other snakes,
including members of their own species.
snakes have to eat live prey.
the wild, snakes do not eat carrion. In captivity, however, most snakes
who will eat rodents can be converted to feeding easily and willingly
on prekilled rodents. This is more humane for the rodent and safer for
the snake as many can be injured while catching and killing their prey.
Many people believe that snakes "need" to kill their prey. Most
do not, and those who do will still "kill" their already dead
prey. Some people say that it is not natural to feed a snake (or rodent-eating
lizard) killed prey. Captivity isn't natural, however. Many snakes are
injured every year, some even dying of their wounds, from being fed live
prey; since we are responsible for their well-being, one of the things
we must do is make sure they will not be harmed during feeding.
get warts from touching frogs and toads.
get warts from catching certain human viruses, not from amphibians. The
slimy skin of the frog keeps it moist when it is out of the water. The
bumpy skin of toads and some frogs helps camouflage them in their habitat.
The secretions from the parotoid glands of toads
and frogs can cause skin irritations and may be poisonous to some species
of animals, like the cane toad (aka, marine toad, Bufo marinus) is to
toads are poisonous and can kill people.
toads have lumps on the back of their heads, parotoid
glands, that produce a chemical substance. In some toads, this makes them
taste terrible to the animal that is trying to eat them. A few species
on every continent, however, do produce highly toxic substances that can
be harmful to humans. They secrete the substance in self-defense, such
as when they feel like they are about to be somebody's dinner. The poison
from the poison arrow frogs in South America is is obtained only after
they hold the frogs over a fire. In captivity, long term captives don't
bother producing the substance after repeated gentle handling by keepers
(who usually wear surgical gloves when the frogs must be handled).
can spread special slime on a young turtle and get a Ninja turtle.
no Ninja turtles, but many young humans are convinced that the turtle
they catch in the yard, win at a fair, or buy at a pet store can in time
be made into a Ninja. The Ninja Turtle craze has had a devastating impact
on the world's water turtle population as millions of kids demanded their
very own Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo, and parents who
knew nothing about proper turtle care indulged them. Note: no turtle has
ever survived on a pizza diet or in the sewer!
and tortoises just need a leaf of lettuce a day.
lettuce leaf, even lots of lettuce leafs, will starve a turtle or tortoise.
Depending on the species, turtles and tortoises eat a wide variety of
vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, even hays and grasses. Some water turtles
eat invertebrates, fish, and crustaceans; some sea turtles enjoy a meal
of jelly fish, seaweed, mollusks, eel grass, and other sea plants and
invertebrates. Some tortoises and box turtles enjoy such tasty morsels
as snails, slugs and worms.
okay to carve your name or other information into a turtle or tortoise
can decide for themselves to get tattooed or pierced; turtles and tortoises
don't have that choice. Their shells are made of living tissue - bone,
skin, blood and nerves - and when you cut into them, it hurts. Cut into
the shell and create an opening into the body cavity, and the turtle or
tortoise may well die of infection. Since their shells are living tissue,
they also should never be painted.
okay to poke a hole in a tortoise's shell and chain it so it won't escape
from your yard or keep digging holes.
is not okay to do this...tortoises will keep straining and digging, some
literally turning their feet into bloody stumps as they keep digging away
at the concrete patio or hard earth, trying to do what comes naturally:
burrow for protection from the sun and to nap. Chaining them can cause
shell fractures, which, left untreated, can cause injury and death. Chaining
and preventing them from digging may also cause such stress that they
may sicken and die.
are easy to care for. They make great pets for young children.
reptiles available for sale in the United States are wild-caught; most
are imported from other countries. Experts estimate that 50% of the animals
shipped to the U.S. die before or shortly after arriving here, and that
90% of those who survive and are sold die within their first year in captivity.
This high death rate is primarily due to the fact that most people who
sell and buy them do not know what their needs are nor how to care for
them properly, and most fail to seek out what information does exist on
proper care. Reptiles are easy to care for only if you know what you are
doing and what the animal needs.
say parotid, I say parotoid...
Just in case things weren't
confusing enough with our slickery amphibian friends, we have a new term
to deal with: parotoid glands.
to the Cortland
Herpetology Connection at the State University of New York, the parotoid
glands are "large skin glands that appear as swellings on each side
of the back of the head of toads (family Bufonidae) and some salamanders."
other hand, the parotid glands are in humans, being the largest
of the salivary glands, located just in front or below the ear. The parotids'
ducts opens in the mouth just opposite the second molar in the upper jaw
(OnLine Medical Dictionary).
Journal of the American Medical Association, May 12, 1900