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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.


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