herpetological

 A lot of people don’t realize this but… Not all reptiles hibernate. When snakes in the wild go into hibernation depends on two things: their location and their species. Matter a fact I’ll blow you mind just a bit more. Technically reptiles don’t hibernate at all. You see hibernation is more like a deep sleep. Snakes go into what we call Brumantion. Snakes don’t actually sleep in Brumation, but their bodies acclimate to a lower temperature, their metabolism slows, and they become less active and less inclined to feed. Brumation or hibernation is necessary for breeding. If male snakes don’t cool down at some point during the year, they most likely would not be able to produce fertile sperm. Winter hibernation is going well for the indigo snakes and various turtles behind the scenes, so much so that many animals have actually gained weight from not eating! Many of the indigo snakes have actually gained at least 10 to 20 grams each, even though they haven’t been fed in about two months! That’s like you gaining a pound in your sleep! This is normal this time of year as many of our temperate species go into their inactive winter habits and stop eating until the spring thaw. How are they gaining weight without eating? Beats me! Sometimes reptiles can do some really surprising things! Speaking of weight gain, many of our animals have shown a greater appetite since we turned up the heat in Scaly Slimy Spectacular. Because like I said earlier some reptiles do not brumanate. So To ensure that our tropical species stay at their toasty thermal optimums, we crank up the heat a little extra in many of the habitats to battle the winter chill, which for some leads to the opposite effect that winter has on our temperate species, they get more active instead of hunkering down. A good example is Baruti, our black-throated monitor (Varanus albigularis). He has gotten a bit of a feeding increase the last few weeks to go along with his increased activity levels, and he couldn’t be happier! he also gets a variety of feeding enrichment to keep up with his sprightly attitude. He often lounges in front of the keeper door or close to the glass waiting for meal time to come around. 

To learn more things people dont realize about zoos here ~>  Zoos Queues

Wow! Genetics can be a crazy force of nature. I had to share this found photo with you guys!

“Frog with eyes in its mouth as a result of macromutation. A macromutation is a mutation that has made a significant impact on an organism, caused by a change in a regulatory gene that’s responsible for the expression of an array of structural genes.

It’s been suggested that the cause of the mutation was the result of a parasitic infection by a trematode worm (Ribeiroia ondatrae). Trematode infections have reportedly been linked to an increasing number of amphibian limb mutations, particularly missing, malformed, and extra hind legs.”

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YEEEEES!  Grapes & cherries for me!

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Don’t let her fool you, she had a full meal before these treats arrived. 

at times like these, I tell her she’s my hungry, hungry, hippo