When parents with children in the market pass by the terrariums, the children see cute lizards, snakes, turtles and ask their parents to buy them such a little animal. Lizards with land turtles are safe, there are also small, non-toxic safe snakes that will crawl around the baby’s hands. The main thing is that the parents should choose the amphibian consciously, given that the animal must be completely safe for the child.
The child can get a water or land turtle. For kids, safer land, if they bite, it does not hurt, because they are herbivores. Land turtles are calm, live up to 50 years. They are not aggressive.
A terrarium is enough for 1 individual, which will be 60 to 70 cm wide and 1 m long. The side should be such that the turtle could not get out on its own. In the house you need to maintain the temperature from 25 to 35 ° C all year round. It is impossible for the temperature in the house to get higher or drop lower, the animal will get sick.
In good conditions, the turtle does not hibernate in winter. Winter sleep is a protective reaction of an animal to adverse conditions, and if they are always the same in a terrarium, then there is nothing to be protected from. Experts recommend correcting the adverse living conditions of the animal and it needs to be awakened.
Each house should have an ultraviolet lamp. A sufficient indicator is UVB 8 (10%). Turn it on for 12 hours a day. 3 months pass and the lamp is changed to a new one. Land turtles are exclusively herbivorous. It is necessary to teach the child that they should not be given meat, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, cat or dog food, any leftovers from the table after eating.
Young animals eat once a day, and mature turtles every other day or once every 3 days. The decor in the house can be any, the main thing is that he does not injure the turtle. The best litter is coconut shavings (large), but an artificial lawn is also suitable.
The child needs to be explained that the turtle can be picked up, stroked, and gently talk to her. Do not drop, throw on the bed and especially on the floor. It is forbidden to step on an animal, trying its carapace for strength. If it cracks, the turtle may die. Even small cracks will grow together 1 or 2 g. A land turtle is the best choice for a child.
A teenager can purchase a water turtle. She needs an aquarium or a terrarium filled with water. Most often from 150 to 200 liters. Water should be enough for the turtle to swim freely. Water temperature is required from 25 to 30 ° C. On land should be 2 or 3 ° C more than in water. And water turtles install an ultraviolet lamp with UVB parameters of 8-10%.
Turtles living in the water are predators. The frequency of feeding is the same as on land. In the diet should be: meat (low-fat), fish, a variety of seafood and offal. In the photo is a red-eared turtle.
Trionics, for example, often bury meat in the soil of an aquarium. Meat, fish and other food are cut into pieces that the animal can immediately swallow. Filters are installed in the aquarium so that the water always remains clean and livable.
The child needs to be explained that these turtles are predators and can bite by the fingers, therefore, they are taken by the back of the carapace. Their reaction is excellent and fingers should not be brought close to the head. Trionixes have a soft shell, with sharp claws, powerful paws, and a long neck. All this the child should know so that the pet does not accidentally scratch it, does not bite it, and that, in turn, does not cause him any kind of injury, being scared and throwing the animal on the floor.
Beginners are not recommended to start Caymanova, with Panther, Grifovaya, with Star, Mata-Mata and other turtles, which are too difficult to contain. Of course, parents will also take care of the pet, but a large predatory turtle is dangerous for the child.
Parents give birth to a child small lizards, iguanas, different agamas, some types of geckos, with chameleons. For beginners, experts recommend bearded agamas. They grow medium. Pets are sand-colored with dark spots on the back, small soft spikes on the body. The child will be able to pick it up and is not injured.
The terrarium for it needs an average with an ultraviolet lamp (UVB 8%). The temperature in the terrarium is required to be maintained between 28 and 32 ° C.
Agama eats plants and insects. The main diet: crickets, with cockroaches + plant foods (1: 1). They are fed once in 2 days. Agamas are good-natured and when they know and are used to the owners, they show almost no aggression. Only the male can be nervous and overly excitable during the mating season, and especially when the female is nearby.
The child needs to be explained that the agama should be picked up carefully. She willingly sits in her arms; she likes to be stroked.
A green iguana is also good for a child. In length, it grows to 1, 5 m. She eats fruits and vegetables 1 time per day. The problem is that when the baby is in a new house, she is afraid of new owners and when the baby takes her in her arms, she starts to break free, scratch and will be a rather long tail.
They contain these lizards in a large terrarium, where there is lighting, water. It is necessary to ensure that the water is at a certain temperature.
In the suburbs, a child can catch up and bring home a fast or viviparous lizard. These species grow small. They feed exclusively on insects. The worms are driven off to the animal and after that the child can play with the pet.
Parents teach the child that you need to take the lizard carefully, do not squeeze, do not tear anything. It is best to talk in a calm voice, not to shout in her ear, how beautiful she is, cute, etc.
It is best for a child who is crazy about snakes to have a snake. He eats frogs and various fish. He will live in a terrarium with high sides so that he does not get out of it on his own. The terrarium needs to maintain high humidity.
Already a child will be able to pick up, stroke, talk with a pet. Snakes have glands that contain a strong smelling secret. If he empties them on the skin, clothing, it will be difficult to get rid of the unpleasant odor, therefore, they already have surgery, these glands are removed and he will no longer mark.
As pets, a variety of snakes or American dairy snakes are good. They are bright, attractive, do not show aggression. They are easy to tame and the child will be happy to talk with a beautiful snake. Snakes eat: rat pups, with mice and chicks. Pictured is an American milk snake.
Pythons with boas are large and they are potentially dangerous even for adults, therefore, children are not recommended to start them. Small crocodiles are easy to care for, but they grow quite large, and even with a pet is difficult, it can be aggressive. Therefore, experts do not recommend starting a child of such a pet.
1. Reptiles evolved from amphibians
If we trace the entire evolutionary chain, then the first vertebrate fish turned into tetrapods (tetrapods), tetrapods developed into amphibians (amphibians), and those in turn evolved into reptiles. All of these events occurred between 400 and 300 million years ago. And this is not the end of the story: about 200 million years ago, reptiles evolved into therapsids (animal-like reptiles), which later became mammals, and another 50 million years later, predatory dinosaurs evolved into birds.
Perhaps all of the above evolutionary metamorphoses explain the relative deficit of reptiles today, since their more developed descendants (mammals and birds) are unrivaled in various ecological niches.
2. There are 4 main detachments of reptiles
All living reptiles can be divided into 4 groups:
1) turtles, which are characterized by a slow metabolism and hard protective shells (shell),
2) scaly, including snakes, lizards and amphisbene,
3) crocodiles, which are the closest living relatives of modern birds and extinct dinosaurs,
4) beak-headed - strange creatures found only on a few remote islands of New Zealand.
Pterosaurs, who once ruled in the sky, and marine reptiles that dominate the oceans, died out together with dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
3. All reptiles are cold-blooded
One of the main features that distinguishes reptiles from mammals and birds is that they are cold-blooded, and their internal physiological processes depend on weather conditions. Snakes and crocodiles literally “fuel” basking in the sun during the day, and become lethargic at night when there are no available sources of energy.
The advantage of a cold-blooded metabolism is that reptiles need much less food than birds and mammals of comparable size. The disadvantage is the inability to maintain a stable high level of activity.
4. Reptiles have scaly skin
The coarse, scaly skin of reptiles causes unpleasant feelings in many people, but the fact is that it is an important evolutionary leap: thanks to this protective layer, vertebrates could be removed from water without risk of drying out. During growth, some reptiles, such as snakes, lose their entire skin, while others do several flakes.
5. Very few herbivore reptiles
During the Mesozoic era, some of the largest reptiles on Earth were herbivores, like triceratops and diplodocus. Today, oddly enough, only herbivorous reptiles are turtles and iguanas (both reptiles are only remotely connected to their ancestors dinosaurs), while crocodiles, snakes, lizards and tuatars feed on vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Some marine reptiles (such as combed crocodiles) can swallow stones that make their bodies heavier and act as ballast.
6. Most reptiles have a three-chambered heart
The heart of snakes, lizards, turtles has three chambers, which is an advantage compared to the two-chamber heart of fish and amphibians, but there is a significant drawback in comparison with the four-chamber heart of birds and mammals. The problem is that a three-chamber heart makes it possible to mix oxygen-rich blood and oxygen-free blood, which is a relatively inefficient way to transfer oxygen to body tissues.
Crocodiles, most closely related to birds, have a four-chamber heart, which, presumably, gives them a much-needed advantage during hunting.
7. Reptiles are far from the smartest animals on the planet.
With a few exceptions, reptiles are as smart as expected: more advanced than fish and amphibians, almost on the same intellectual level as birds, but noticeably inferior to medium-sized mammals. The brain size of reptiles is about one tenth compared to the rest of their body, which is typical for rats, cats, and hedgehogs.
An exception here are, again, crocodiles that have basic social skills and are at least smart enough to survive, which cannot be said of their extinct dinosaur cousins.
8. Reptiles became the first amniotes in the world
The emergence of amniotes - vertebrates that lay eggs on land or hatched embryos in the body of a female - has become an important transition period in the evolution of life on Earth. Amphibians that preceded reptiles had to lay their eggs in the water, and thus they could not dare to go deep into the land and populate the continents. In this regard, reptiles occupy an intermediate stage between fish with amphibians (which were once mentioned by naturalists as "lower vertebrates"), and birds with mammals ("higher vertebrates," with a more developed reproductive system).
9. In some reptiles, sex is determined by temperature
As far as we know, reptiles are the only vertebrates in which "temperature determines sex": the ambient temperature outside the egg, during the development of the embryo, can affect the sex of the cub. No one knows for sure how some species can benefit from having more representatives of a certain gender at some stages of their life cycle.
10. Reptiles can be classified by openings in the skull.
This is not so often used when working with living species, but the evolution of reptiles can be understood by the number of holes, or "windows" in their skulls. Turtles are anapsid reptiles, without holes, pelicosaurs and terapsids of the later Paleozoic were synapsids with one hole, and all other reptiles, including dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles, are diapesids with two holes.
Incidentally, the number of “windows” provides important information on the evolution of mammals, which share the basic characteristics of their skulls with ancient therapsids.
Is it worth keeping lizards at home
Lizards as pets are still a less familiar and well-known option, so before you start them, it is worth evaluating its pros and cons for you. After all, these reptiles are also living creatures that without human care and outside the home will not survive.
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By purchasing lizards, a person takes responsibility for their well-being, and it is worth evaluating in advance the advantages and disadvantages of such pets.
Photos of domestic lizards look very attractive, but will they suit you as pets?
The price of lizards depends on the species, age, gender, appearance and varies within very large boundaries. For example, if you want to buy a green iguana, you will come across offers from a thousand to 25 thousand rubles. And this is not the biggest price range even for one type of reptile. The upper price limit for the most exotic pets goes to infinity.
It is also worth considering that the cost of maintaining these reptiles will include the price of a terrarium and feed. Lizards, unlike cats and dogs, require the obligatory purchase of a "house" for them, the place where they will live, the necessary equipment and optional accessories.
How much you have to spend to secure a new pet depends on the type and size of the lizard.
Mandatory details include equipment that provides the necessary microclimate and plants for some exotic species. To optional, but desirable, various decorative elements that turn the terrarium into not only the lizard's habitat, but also the decoration of your interior.
When choosing a new pet, keep in mind what lizards eat at home. Among them there are both carnivores and those who prefer only plant foods or omnivores. It also affects the cost and ease of maintenance.
Pros of keeping lizards at home
A significant plus when choosing lizards as a pet is the absence of wool, fluff, feathers in the house. This means that there is no risk of allergic reactions in the owners or guests of the house.
Another plus is their constant presence in the terrarium. After all, this simplifies the maintenance of order in the house, ensures that there is no risk for the pet to receive accidental injuries from getting where it is not necessary.
Lizards are calm inhabitants of the house, not disturbing the owners with an unpleasant smell, loud noise, harassment in search of affection or game
In the diet, too, they do not create special problems, you can use ready-made feed or feed yourself, following the recommendations of specialists.
Watching these interesting reptiles helps relieve stress, gives pleasure to the owners.
Cons of keeping lizards at home
In addition to the already mentioned cost of acquiring a terrarium and the necessary equipment, a lot of space is required for its placement.
It is necessary to study well how to keep a lizard at home, because unlike cats and dogs, their habits and needs are completely unfamiliar to us. Some require a special microclimate, while others require a special diet, such as live crickets.
The need to be careful when caring for the terrarium and pets. Unlike the same cats and dogs, they do not become attached to the owner, no matter how long they live near you, and can be aggressive.
Types of Domestic Lizards
The world of these reptiles is so diverse that listing all the names of domestic lizards is difficult to list. Therefore, we name the main groups of lizards that may be kept at home.
Even within groups, different species can differ markedly in size and appearance, but still have some common characteristics, which we will call below.
So for appearance and size could be called iguanas. This is a relatively large species of reptiles, some of which can reach a length of one and a half to two meters. They have a harsh and slightly frightening appearance.
But at the same time, woody iguanas eat only plants, which facilitates their maintenance. Due to their origin from tropical countries, tropical forests, they are quite demanding on the temperature regime.
This is the largest family of lizards, numbering more than 100 genera and 1.5 thousand species. Therefore, in this family you can find specimens of both bright colors and discreet modesty.
The same scatter in the size of different representatives of the skinks: some barely reach 10 centimeters in length, others reach 70 centimeters.
All of them are quite unpretentious, calm, love solitude.
These lizards have a bright appearance that will make them a real decoration. In addition, they easily get used to people, are unpretentious, rarely get sick, which makes them a popular choice for keeping in the house.
These are small, but very mobile and funny lizards. Thanks to the special arrangement of their legs, they can run on any surface - from floor to ceiling.
Another unique feature of geckos for lizards is the ability to communicate not only with the help of tail swings, but also with the sounds made.
In this family you can find wood lizards, terrestrial and aquatic species. They also differ in diet. Among carnivores, there are both carnivores and those that feed on plants.
Each will need to create appropriate conditions to which they are quite demanding.