Tips to Protect You and Your Dog in Snake Season

snake-on-a-trailCobraCaroline recently spoke with Laura Cross at Vetstreet.com about how folks can help keep themselves and their dogs safe during a snake encounter.  Read the fantastic article here:

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/practical-tips-to-help-protect-you-and-your-dog-during-snake-season

Creature Feature: False Map Turtle

False Map Turtle

Graptemys pseudogeographica

Reptiles Alive Name: Atlas

Hisssstory: Atlas was an unwanted pet that someone released into a Fairfax VA pond.  A park naturalist was able to capture the turtle and then transferred it to Reptiles Alive.

RA Diet: Atlas eats a diet of crickets, superworms, earthworms, and special zoo turtle pellet food.

Natural Diet: In the wild, false map turtles will eat a variety of aquatic insects, mollusks, and fish.

Range: False map turtles range all along the Mississippi river and its tributaries in the mid-western United States.

Habitat: False map turtles prefer rivers and streams with a current and plenty of vegetation to hide in and fallen logs to bask on.

Size: Male map turtles grow to around 6 inches in length.  Females grow larger, up to 12 inches long.

Lifespan: False map turtles can live 35 years or more.

Reproduction: False map turtle mate twice a year in spring and then again in fall.  Males wiggle their front feet to get the female’s attention.  Clutches of 8-22 eggs are laid in burrows dug by the females in sandy soil.  Like many reptiles, the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines if the baby turtles will be male or female.

Conservation Issues: Although false map turtles are not currently listed as threatened, their populations are subject to the same threats as other aquatic species including water pollution and habitat destruction,

Cool Facts: False map turtles belong to the same genus Graptemys as all other map turtles, so their is nothing false about calling them a map turtle.  Map turtles are also known sawback turtles because of the pointy protrusions along the back of their shell.  

Creature Feature: Kenyan Sand Boa

Kenyan Sand Boa

Eryx colubrinus loveridgei

Reptiles Alive Name: “Tremors”

Hissstory: A friend of Caroline’s donated Tremors to Reptiles Alive in March of 1997.

RA Diet: Defrosted frozen mice.kenyan_sand_boa

Natural Diet: Sand boas eat small mammals and lizards.  When food is scarce, sand boas may live over a year without any food at all.

Range: Kenyan sand boas are found in Northeast Africa.

Habitat: Sand boas are found in hot, dry deserts.

Size: Sand boas are some of the smallest boa species on Earth.  They typically grow only 1-2 feet long.

Reproduction: Sand boas give live birth to 7-10 young after a gestation period of about four months.

Lifespan: Sand boas can live over 15 years.  Tremors was born in 1997 – and he is still in great shape!

Cool Facts: The eyes and nostrils of the sand boa are on the top of the head so they can breath and search the surface for prey while the rest of their body lies hidden beneath the sand.

Creature Feature: Giant Madagascar Hognose Snake

Giant Madagascar Hognose Snake

Leioheterodon madagascariensis

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Reptiles Alive Name: “Mr. Leo Heterodon”

Hissstory: Mr. Leo was a pet in Chincoteague, VA until his owner did not want him anymore.  He was sent to a reptile rescue group in western Virginia where, in 2002, we adopted him.

RA Diet: Mr. Leo loves to dine on frozen and then defrosted medium to large sized rats.  Delicioussssssssssss!

Natural Diet: Madagascar hognose  snakes in the wild will eat small mammals, amphibians, and possibly small birds.

Range: Madagascar

Habitat: Madagascar hognose snakes are found in mountain forests at low altitudes, coastal areas, and grasslands often near water and human habitation.  They spend most of their time hiding in shallow burrows or rocky crevices.

Size: Madagascar hognose snakes can grow over 5 feet long and are very heavy-bodied.

Life Span: Madagascar hognose snakes can live over 20 years.

Reproduction: The females snakes lay 6-12 eggs.  The young hatch in 60-80 days and are about 12 inches long.

Conservation: Habitat loss is a major threat to most animals found in Madagascar.

Cool Facts: Giant Madagascar hognose snakes are opistoglyphous, which means they have fangs in the back of their mouth.  Their mild venom is not dangerous to humans, but it helps them catch their prey.  When Madagascar hognose snakes are threatened, they hiss loudly and can flatten their neck – like a cobra!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Dulles Town Center Reptiles Alive Show

    February 22 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am
  2. Reptiles Alive Show at Doodlehopper 4 Kids

    February 25 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

TESTIMONIALS

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:25:35+00:00

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented...

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:28:52+00:00

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented felt like we were at a fun event! The parents even remarked that they learned something. My son has a lifetime memory because of your program."

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did...

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

5.0
2017-01-02T09:08:56+00:00

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did a great job presenting to the kids!"

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a...

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:11:36+00:00

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a wonderful experience for everyone!"

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:19+00:00

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved...

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:52+00:00

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved it! Even those who seemed a little reluctant were reaching out to pe the animals at the end. Caroline's energy and enthusiasm was contagious and we couldn't have asked for more!"

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and...

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

5.0
2017-01-02T09:13:30+00:00

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and the hands on experience for the children was well received. I would highly recommend this program--both for our age group (3-4 yr olds) and for elementary school children."
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