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Looking for Lesser Creatures

Most people have little sympathy for frogs, toads, lizards, or even snails. Therefore they do not pay much attention to these creatures and are, in fact, even likely to turn away from them in disgust. Such an attitude is foolish, for these "lesser" members of the animal kingdom are really ideal to observe and photograph.

Crested Newt
The male has a crest in the spring, the female never does. Dark gray. Belly yellowish-red with black spots. Grainy skin. Up to 7 inches long.

Striped or Pond Newt
The male has a crest in the spring. Brownish to yellowish, underside yellowish with black spots. Smooth skin. Up to 4 inches long.

Striped Newt
Back like the pond newt, but without a crest, only a dorsal stripe. Up to 4 inches long.

Mountain Newt
Back slate gray to blue, underside bright orange.

Newt and salamander larvae (as opposed to the tadpoles of toads and frogs).
Fire Salamander: Yellow and black patches. Up to 10 inches long. Deposits its larvae in brooks and springs. Found in leafy woods and under stones in moist valleys.

Alpine Salamander Black
Slimmer than the fire salamander. Up to 6 inches long. Found in the Alps in damp mountain forests, but not lower than 3000 feet above sea level.

Wall Lizard
Brown or gray with dark designs and a dark horizontal band along the sides. Belly reddish, spotted with black. Sides have horizontal rows of blue dots. Very slender. Tail about twice as long as the body. Throat band not serrated as with all other lizards. About 7 inches long.

Tree Frog: Color changes grass green to grayish-brown. Toes have adhesive pads. Up to 2 inches long.

Brown or Wood Snail
Eyes at the ends of the feelers, as with all land snails (pulmonates). Without shell (limacinidae). Grainy mantle with airhole on the right side of the mantle.

You can also hunt for the constellations and the stars that comprise them. For this you need binoculars or a telescope. Refer to the astronomical charts on pages 62-66 to see where and when the constellations are visible.

The illustrations of the constellations given here show what you can find with the telescope.

The Indians, as we know from all the tales about them, drew their messages on strips of birchbark. There is no need for us to be that authentic, and it's far better today to leave the birchbark on the birch trees. Strips of brown wrapping paper will serve as well. And if you carefully singe the edges with a candle, the paper will look positively ancient. After all, the important thing is the message, not what it is written on.

Birchbark Strips
The illustrations on the next page show what Indian birchbark strips looked like. The pictures drawn on them tell stories about the life of an Indian. Since you have not had any practice in reading these picture stories, there is a short text added to each picture.

When you observe these lesser creatures, you will find more beauty of nature. Everything in nature has its own beauty and are unique, it reflect the beautiful creations of Creator.


Everything You Need To Know About Leopard Gecko Feed

When it comes to pets, any animal that requires live feed is quite obviously more complex than your usual dog-food-in-bowl routine. Thankfully, taking care of this creature is so rewarding, many consider them worth the effort.

Hailing from the arid regions of Central Asia, Leopard Geckos are insectivores. While us humans benefit from fruit and veggies in our diet, these creatures do not. There is a huge range of insects these critters consume, but they can be narrowed down to the most common two-- mealworms and crickets

Crickets make great live feed. They move around during feeding time and stimulate your leopard gecko. This makes them feel they are in the hunting environment. Crickets are also readily available and are highly nutritious. They are also much easier to digest than mealworms since their outer covering is softer.

There are some issues that lizard keepers have with these critters. For one, crickets make quite a bit of noise. Live crickets will also need housing and food. Remember to only put the right amount into the vivarium. Only 3-4 crickets for each gecko. When uneaten, crickets are known to gnaw at the geckos-- not fun.

Mealworms are much easier to feed your gecko with. Place them in a pan and put them into your vivarium. Make sure the pan is stable and does not tip over, as mealworms like hiding in the substrate. They aren't as stimulating as your crickets though. The way to fix this is to put some cricket feed into their pan. They squirm around in response to the dust and in effect, make for a very stimulating meal.

Many leopard gecko handlers use mealworms as an occasional treat rather than a part of their everyday meals. Other gecko enthusiasts beg to differ and are advocates of mealworms as a staple food.

As with all great endeavors, it is all a matter of trial and error. Let's hope you find the right mix to help your gecko become strong, healthy and fruitful!


How to Use Heat Lamps For Iguanas

Iguanas are exotic pets that are usually found in tropical climates. If you decide to get one, then you will have to do a lot of research in order to find out how to take care of it properly. Among the things it needs is a good source of heat and light in its habitat. Be sure to provide this so that your pet can live in comfort.

Why do they need a heat source?

The natural environment for Iguanas is a sunny region and their bodies have adapted to this. They are also cold blooded reptiles who have trouble regulating their own internal temperature. Therefore they need an external heat source to help them achieve a balance. Their circulatory system may function well enough even without such a source but their digestive system will be quite messed up if they cannot get this. They will not have the capacity to absorb the nutrient from their food so they will eventually succumb to malnutrition even if they seem to eat right. This, in turn, can lead to other health issues down the road.

Why do they need light?

When out in the wild, iguanas are known to spend a lot of hours under the sun. Most of their days are spent enjoying the sunshine and the heat as we have already discussed how much they need this. There is another reason and that is their UVA/UVB requirement. Humans need sunlight to stimulate the body to produce Vitamin D. The same is true with iguanas. This is also a vital nutrient for them and they should get enough of it to stay healthy. Sunlight allows them to process calcium properly as well so that their bones can stay strong. A deficiency would lead to bone loss, a tendency to get injured, and other problems.

How to Give Them Adequate Heat and Light

Our efforts will depend on our location. California is generally sunny so it will not take much to care for iguanas in the state. However, Alaska is frigid and iguanas may not survive here unless they are provided with a lot of care. For sunny regions, the best thing to do is to expose the pet to direct sunlight. The terrarium may be something like a wire cage so that sun can get in directly. Place this near a window for optimum effect. Do not use a glass or clear plastic terrarium as the material will only block the light components that they need, rendering the whole thing useless.

People in colder parts of the country should ensure that buy artificial light which would serve as both a light source and a heat source of these creatures. Heat lamps will protect them from freezing to death. Get a model that is powerful enough to keep them warm yet not too much as to burn or dehydrate them over time. Part of the terrarium must be open so that they can come out when they want to bask in the light. Other parts should be shaded so that they can go under when they already had enough.


Top 10 Unique Pets

If you are looking for a pet that is creepy and crawly and will be certain freak out at least a few of your friends, you might want to check out one of these unique pets.

Unique Pet #1: Rats

Many people have phobias about rats or associate them with dirt and disease, but rats can actually be great pets. They are very sociable creatures that can be really enjoyable to watch and to interact with.

Unique Pet #2: Tarantulas

While the thought of keeping a spider as a pet may churn some people's stomachs, tarantulas are very low maintenance pets. You rarely have to clean their cages and they do not need a great deal of food. In addition, most tarantulas are not poisonous or aggressive. Keep in mind, however, that it is possible to be allergic to a tarantula's sting. In this case, you may have a more severe reaction if you are stung by one of these hairy pets.

Unique Pet #3: Frogs

When you search for a pet frog, you will find that they are available in a much wider array of colors and sizes than what you typically find in your backyard. In addition, some frogs have very interesting calls to match their beautiful exterior. While some frogs are relatively low maintenance, some do require a great deal of upkeep.

Unique Pet #4: Hissing Cockroaches

A cockroach? For a pet? Hissing cockroaches are nothing like the cockroaches you see scurrying across your counter. These cockroaches are quite large and interesting looking. In addition, they are very calm and slow, which makes them easy to handle. Another interesting feature is that they emit a hissing noise when disturbed, hence the name "hissing cockroaches."

Unique Pet #5: Scorpions

There are many different types of scorpions available as pets, but the one that make the best pet is the emperor scorpion. These black scorpions reach up to around 6 inches in length and have very large and intimidating claws and a stinger. Still, they are very calm pets that can live a very long life.

Unique Pet #6: Giant Millipedes

Despite the name, giant millipedes don't really have 1,000 legs - but they do have up to 400 legs and measure up to 10 inches long when fully grown. Despite their freaky looks, giant millipedes are easy to care for and make great pets.

Unique Pets #7: Lizards

There are a wide variety of lizards available on the pet market, each with its own unique needs. Lizards are very fascinating creatures and most are very calm and can be handled with ease. Keep in mind, however, that lizards do require a great deal of specialized care in order to recreate their native environments. This means they can be time consuming to care for and it can be a bit expensive to get a terrarium set up for your new pet lizard.

Unique Pets #8: Stick Insects

Stick insects protect themselves by camouflaging themselves to blend in with their environment. They measure only about four inches in length and are very fascinating creatures to have as pets. In addition, they are quite easy to care for.

Unique Pets #9: Snakes

Many people are afraid of snakes, despite the fact that most are actually more afraid of humans than humans are afraid of them. The reality is that snakes can be quite tame and can make great pets, though it is best to start with a milk snake or a king snake when learning how to be a pet snake owner.

Unique Pets #10: Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are fun to watch as they move from one shell to the next. You can also throw in other items, such as miniature football helmets, and they will carry those around as their shells as well. Hermit crabs are relatively easy to care for and inexpensive to purchase.


How Do You Buy Ants?

Purchasing the perfect kind of ant farm is an essential step in the establishment of an ant farm and there are different types of ant farms to suit the various species of ants. For example, some ants build large anthills, while the anthills of other species of ants are almost non-existent.

There are also ant farms to suit. Some ant farms are like very slim fish tanks. These are appropriate for any of the subterranean ant species. However, there are also ant farms that are shaped like giant eggs but with a flat bottom. The conical top allows ants to build an anthill.

Some ant farm manufacturers include ants in the package, but others do not. If you have set up your ant farm and filled it with earth or sand, the next step is to get your ants. But how do you buy ants?

Well, there are ant dealers. That astounds most people. There are honestly people who specialize in the sale of ant colonies for ant farms. You can locate one of these on the Internet. Try to use the nearest ant dealer to you in order to save the ants trauma from long-distance travel. It is worth using a dependable ant dealer, because you will have more likelihood of receiving ants that will live long enough to establish an active, vivacious colony.

Before choosing an ant dealer, verify the dealer's past reputation. Search for testimonials and also look for complaints. You can do this by typing the firm's name and the word 'complaints' into Google. Any difficulties with the dealer should become evident quite quickly

Unfortunately, sometimes people receive dead ants even from trustworthy dealers, the issue is how the ant dealer deals with the problem.

The best companies will pledge that you receive your ants alive. These are the preferable ant dealers to do business with. Very often the conditions of the business deal are that if the ants are dead on arrival, they should be returned to the dealer, who will then issue a replacement colony.

Or possibly the firm will offer you a voluntary insurance that the ants will be delivered alive or be replaced free of charge. If he does, it is worth taking the insurance up, if you can not find a dealer with a free guarantee

Some ant dealers have shipping policies and to be honest, they all should have them. One of the most common stipulations is that they will not send the ants if the prevalent temperature is above 25c (80f) or below freezing.

Remember, that if your ants arrive on a cold day, they could not be dead or dying, they may just be languid because it is cold. It is quite common for cold-blooded creatures such as ants to become semi-dormant when the temperature drops below a certain level. To confirm whether this is their difficulty, allow them to warm up slowly in the warmth of a typical living room. If they do not 'come back to life' after fifteen minutes in a warm room, you have a dispute.


The Spitting Cobras

The spitting cobra is one of the most peculiar species of snake as it not only has a deadly bite but it also sprays venom into the eyes of prey and aggressors alike. Contact with the eyes can be very painful and even blinding, therefore, if you accidentally get cobra snake venom in your eyes, wash them out immediately so as to prevent permanent damage to the tissue.

The King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah, also distinguishes itself in this large family of snakes (elapids) by the fact that it feeds almost entirely on other snakes with mice and small birds also falling prey to its venom.

The King Cobra is also unique because of its size - it can reach 5.85m (almost 20 feet) in length, which makes it the longest poisonous snake in the world. The latest discovery of a new species of cobra was made in 2003 when it was identified by London Zoo as part of an illegal shipment of exotic pets.

Going by DNA reports, this new species of snake is similar to the red spitting cobra but differs in genes. It apparently originates from an area between Sudan and Egypt and it has been named the 'Nubian Spitting Cobra'.

Though highly dangerous when it is threatened cobras will not attack if you leave them alone, although the spit is very accurate for about two meters. Compared to the strike of a rattlesnake, the cobra is fairly slow in its attack and furthermore, many bites prove to be blank, that is without venom.

According to a study conducted on Malaysian cobra snake victims only 55% of the bites involved venom release and the same statistics indicate a mortality rate of 10% for people bitten, since the toxins injected into the blood of the prey destroy the nerves (neurotoxin) , which induces respiratory failure half an hour after being bitten, giving you 30 minutes to get help.

The colouration is variable from light green-grey to black, while juveniles are yellow and black banded. This snake can find a habitat all over south-eastern Asia.


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