Sunday, March 1, 2009

Living With Reptiles

Living with Matt (a.k.a. Lizards of Oz) has opened my world to an area I never thought I would be exposed to and that is, of course, reptiles. Don't get me wrong. I like the little critters. I've even tried my hand at raising my own reptiles and amphibians over the years, some of which included Poison Dart Frogs, Waxy Monkey Frog, and a very cool Panther Camelon named Teecko.

F.Y.I. - Poison Dart Frogs are not dangerous at all if raised in captivity and only fed a certain diet. These awesome frogs are taken from the floors of the rain forests located in Central and South America, brought into the United States, and sold at reptile shows or pet stores. When living in the wild, their diverse diets produces poison that excretes from their skin. Natives would use the poisonous excretion to coat the tips of their arrows; hence the name Poison Dart Frog.

Matt's collection of reptiles is far more extensive then mine ever became and he's in the process of building his Ball Python collection. His reptiles live comfortably in our basement and, living with them can be interesting to say the least. You have to take the good with the bad and here are some reasons why:


The odor. If the cleaning isn't done regularly, even one day can make a difference, the odor of snake and mice poop emanate throughout the basement. Yeah...Gross, right?

Sometimes a fatality occurs and that odor will also fill the room. Luckily, our cadaver dog sniffs out these mishaps before the decaying carcass starts to stink.

Mice are cute when you're looking at them in a cage but, if you try to "play" with them, they will bite you. That's what happened to Holly. She decided to poke her little finger through the rack and the mouse nibbled on her finger. OUCH!!


The girls and I get to learn first hand about unusual reptiles.

We have the opportunity to see them up close and examine their textures and patterns.

We get to monitor their incubation.

We get to witness sights that most people don't get to witness.

Below are a few pictures to give you an idea of what I mean.

Pretty cool stuff, huh? Not all snakes lay eggs. Some types of Boa Constrictors give live birth. I bet that's a sight to see! The process of snakes hatching, happens naturally. They have a small tooth called an egg tooth, that allows them to poke through the egg and eventually, tearing an opening wide enough for them to slither out.

This clutch was hatched last year. Any questions?


Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm, nice lesson about the cold blooded species, but I still don't like them. I do remember Teekco, he was pretty neat and the poison dart frogs were pretty to look at.

Anonymous said...

How many reptiles do you guys keep on average? Both snakes and lizards?

Driftwood and Pumpkin said...

WOW! That is very cool and educational. When I was teaching 5th grade and Brian and I were dating, he brought his boa to my class and the kids got to see and touch it.

I am still not sure that I would want them in my basement, though!

Living Life said...

Better in your house than mine. It's nice to see that you found some positives in having reptiles in your home! I remember Teeko peeing on Carley's hand. That was funny.