With regard to the ears and hearing of Crocodiles – see my previous post. This post is just a short follow-up, with a bit more crocodile info…
Their nostrils can also close up to seal out the water when submerged. They have a long snout full of teeth! The fourth tooth (working from nose), on the bottom, is visible over the sides of the top lip.
The tongue of a crocodile is quite unusual in the fact it is fixed to the bottom of the mouth; it is immovable.
The double spikes along the length of the body and tail are called the scute. Each spike along the scute has bone…
The pattern of the scales on their head and snout are unique to the individual the same way our fingerprints are individual, or the patterns on a giraffe or leopard (etc)…
They really are (in my opinion) fascinating and magnificent creatures.
All other images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use by the pet owners.
If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages… . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Twitter (@AlisAnswers) . LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)
In the past 10 years we have lost several animal species – in this day and age we consider ourselves better than our predecessors, yet we are still the main cause of animals going extinct… we’re no better than those before us – in some ways we’re worse, as we are not doing what we do to survive; we are doing it for “fun” or “progress”. In what civilised or ‘advanced’ society is there place for this abominable behaviour? Yes, this post is looking to be an informative rant-type…
In the past century many animal species have been wiped from the planet, below is a selection (from the past decade) of those lost forever: (1) 2015 – Eastern Cougar (2) 2014 – Malagasy Hippopotamus (3) 2013 – Formosan Clouded Leopard (4) 2012 – Pinta Tortoise (5) 2012 – Zanzibar Leopard (6) 2012 – Japanese River Otter (7) 2011 – Western Black Rhinoceros (8) 2010 – Alatora Grebe (9) 2010 – Derwent River Sea Star (10) 2009 – Christmas Island Pipistrelle Bat (11) 2008 – Spotted Green Pigeon (Liverpool Pigeon) (12) 2008 – Caribbean Monk Seal
Many species that are extinct today is due to humans – we hunt to extinction, we destroy habitats, we remove animals from the wild for fashion or entertainment – we first make them extinct in the wild and then we deplete the captive animals until they’re gone… and many other reasons. The ICUN Red List contains information of the endangerment of species. We used to hunt sustainably for food, and in many countries/cultures this is still the case, but most of the hunting (at least in first world cultures) is for “fun” or “sport” and is unjustifiably cruel and unnecessary. The man that hunts to feed his family and/or community is not the reason Elephants and Rhino’s are depleting in number and becoming extinct; the cruelty of riding out with a pack of dogs to have them tear apart an innocent fox is not for any justifiable reason; the mind-set of people needs to change to make a difference… the bans we have in place need to be enforced to make a difference… we all want a better world but that won’t happen if we cannot really change.
We have bans (in certain countries) on things like fox hunting, whale hunting (whaling), shark finning, dog and cock fighting, removing animals from the wild (with conservation excepted), and many more abhorrent things – yet these bans are not universal, and often not enforced. If there are no consequences for these actions, or these consequences are not adhered to and/ or enforced, then what power do these bans have? Where then is the protection for these creatures?
Animals are a lot more important to their ecosystems than people give them credit for – the removal or addition of one species has an affect on everything around it. Take the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park for example – video link here(this is in no way my video) – thanks to wolves being back in the ecosystem, the rivers went back to how they used to be, plants that had been destroyed by the overpopulation of deer returned, because the wolves kept down the deer population – things went back to the way they were; back to how they should be. Why did the ecosystem breakdown in the first place; why did the wolves become extinct in Yellowstone? Because of us. Because of humans. Because we killed them off…Grey Wolf
The way we are going, the same thing will happen again and again, with more species. We, as a species, need to change before we are the only species left on a dying planet – small steps to ensure that other species don’t become myth and fairy-tales, instead of living, breathing creatures that share this planet.
As response to an interesting question from my lovely little 2.5 year old niece, “Do crocodiles have ears?” I have written the following post, for mummy and daddy to read/explain to her… and for the rest of you to enjoy too 😉
So, let Aunty Ali answer your question Scarlett! Yes, crocodiles have ears. They are internal (on the inside) only – they have no external (outer) ear like we do, but they have very good hearing! Their ears are not always easy to spot – can you find the ear in the picture below?
Their ears are located behind their eyes, in the upper part of their heads; just like with Alligators. They have flaps which cover their ears forming a tight seal, preventing water from entering the ear when submerged.
Due to the location of their ears, they can hear whilst in the water, with just the tops of their heads sitting above water level. Their hearing is so sensitive, they can hear their offspring making noises inside their eggs!
All images are open source, Google images, or my own – or photos donated for use.
If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages… . Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Twitter (@AlisAnswers) . LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)
Tortoises, or land turtles, are one of the most popular reptile species which are keep as pets. Nowadays, we have a bit more knowledge about these unusual animals, which allows us to take the best care of them that we can!
Tortoise species which are kept domestically, typically have lifespans of 60-80 years. Lifespans differ between species.
As previously mentioned in my Reptile Awareness 2015 post, reptiles are endothermic (cold blooded) and need to bask in the heat, to absorb heat, to get moving! A heat source needs to be fitted in the vivarium (enclosure) for this purpose – but at one end of the vivarium, and far enough away from the other end, that your tortoise can move into a cool spot when it likes. The natural source of heat is the sun, which naturally also provides UV, in a domestic environment, in the vivarium, a UV bulb should also be fitted. UV is a good source of vitamin D which aids in shell and bone development and growth. Without adequate heat and UV, your pet may become ill, or worse.
On a personal level, I would not recommend heat rocks or mats for any reptile species, as these can get very hot – if the animal is lay on a heat rock or mat when it’s too hot, it could cause harmful burns.
Before looking into diet, you need to know if the species of your tortoise is a herbivore or a carnivore. If it is a carnivore, ensure you know what you can and cannot feed your pet – including sizes (likely food source will be pinkies (newborn mice)). Most pet tortoise species (at least, that I have had the pleasure of caring for since I was 16) are herbivores. As with any herbivorous animal, you need to know what fruit and veggies and other greens are safe to feed your tortoise, and which are not!
Also, pellet foods supplement a diet vegetables and fruits and other greens; the pellets are filled with balanced nutritional requirements suitable for the tortoise species. The diet should also include fibrous plants like grasses and weeds.
Good greens, veggies and fruits include white nettle, dandelion (flower and leaves), corn poppy, apple, chickweed, bindweeds, chicory, clover, heather, sow thistle, rose petals, fuchsia, nipplewort, peach, clover, grape, honeysuckle, bittercress, melon, blackberry, raspberry, knapweed, leafy salads, lettuce, apricot, watercress, curly kale, brussel tops, dahlia, spring greens, pumpkin, coriander, parsley, rocket, carrot, parsnip, strawberry, carrot, tomato, kale, courgette, cabbage, and bell peppers. Leafy greens should be the bulk of the vegetation.
Don’t forget to provide fresh water daily for your tortoise, don’t put the water bowl under the heat lamp, to ensure your pet has cool water to drink. Tortoises like to bathe too, and will often sit in their water bowl .
The best types to buy are the bowls with ramps/staggered sides to enable your tortoise to easily climb in and out – not that they will always use the ramp! Often they will bathe themselves when they are shedding (they shed in bits like a lizard, not all in one like a snake), to help remove dead skin and relieve itching.
Tortoises have always been quite popular, however, some things that previous generations have done with their pet tortoises, were (unknowingly) not in the best interests of the animal… Such as, painting the shell – this is a big do not as the paint can block the air holes in the shell, and cause suffocation. Some tortoise species will go into hibernation during the winter months, they will wake come spring-time – your pet is not dead, and does not need to be buried or disposed of!
If you have any questions or comments; please post a comment below, or contact Ali’s Answers via one of my social media pages… . Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers) . Twitter (@AnimalFreak24) . LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)
In tribute to all the species kept in zoos and safari parks, enjoy some pictures of species that are wild, unusual, rarely seen (outside of zoos/ safari parks), and protected species/ last of their species.
Not everyone agrees with zoos or safari parks – there can certainly be improvements made; but on the other hand, we all enjoy visiting the zoo or safari park and taking in the exquisite and diverse animal species.
There is plenty to consider when you think about getting a pet… I doubt I will cover anything but I hope to get across some of the main things in this post. So I’ll just dive right in…
What kind of pet is right for you?
Species, breed, age, lifespan, lifestyle requirements, environment – these are all important factors to consider when thinking about a pet.
– what sort of pet would fit in with your lifestyle?
– is your home suitable for the pet you want?
– what type of pet is your home suitable for?
– do you have time to give the pet the attention and care it needs?
Think about what pet you want. Think about whether or not you can commit. Can you commit to…
– walking a dog daily, often multiple times daily?
– ensuring a cat is exercised daily?
– cleaning the glass, substrate, decor and filter of a fish tank?
– cleaning a rodent cage multiple times a week?
– the lifespan of the pet you desire?
If you cannot commit, either choose a different species or consider waiting until you are in a positions to commit fully to the pet you desire. If you do not have the time or the space for the kind of pet you want; then you may need to look into either waiting, or consider a different species/ breed.
There are many things to consider before adding a pet into your family.
Consider your finances – can you afford the pet you want? – Not just the one off payment for the pet and accessories; but the regular payments towards food, healthcare, replacement bedding, etc.
Space – Where will the pet live? Does it require specialised housing? Will it have free run of your home/ garden? Is your home suitable for the pet you want? Does this pet require large housing building/ buying? Do you know what housing type is best for the species you want?
Consider the positioning of any specialised housing – not near busy thoroughfares, or in direct sunlight/ under bright lights, anywhere too dark, too cold, too hot, etc. Does the housing need to be outside? Do you have enough outside space to accommodate the animal?
Socialisation – Do yo need to buy more than one due to the animal being of a social species? Does the animal need socialising outside of the home? What is the best way to socialise the species?
There are many things to consider! So do some research, ask a professional (nb. not every person who works in a pet store, etc. is a professional!), check out a few different individuals of the species you want, and be as prepared as possible before diving in to pet ownership!
If you have any questions or comments, or would like any more information or advice regarding this post; or if you have anything specific you would like me to cover in a future post, then either leave a comment below, or contact me via one of my social media pages:-
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)
People don’t think about safety during travel with regards to there pets, as much as they should; especially with dogs in cars. Travelling with our pets is something we almost all do at some point – even if it’s just a trip to the vets.
Safety is important when travelling – smaller pets ought to be in a safe, secure pet carrier; suitable for the size of your pet. Someone ought to securely hold the small pets in the carrier, or the carrier ought to be secured in your vehicle; so that the carrier does not move about too much or tip over.
Larger animals can be in larger pet carriers and crates/ cages, and secured in your vehicle. This can be a carrier that is mobile, or fitted in your vehicle.
Alternatives for larger pets, such as dogs and cats, are pet seat belts. These consist of harnesses and some way to fasten them into the seat belt buckle; some plug straight into the buckle plug, others have a loop in which the seatbelt goes through and plugs in as normal.
What is important to remember is that it’s not just your pet you put at risk by leaving them loose during travel. They could be a distraction and cause an accident without meaning to, and they are a weight that can be thrown into a person or out a window/windscreen if you get into a crash. Now my little Bedlington, in the image above, is 17″ to the shoulder and weighs upwards of 10kg – if he was lose in my car and there was an accident, 10kg slamming into a person could kill them; 10kg shooting out the window/windscreen could kill your pet too…
It is one of my biggest pet peeves (no pun intended) is seeing pets loose in a vehicle – the danger for the pet and people is greater than we tend to give credit to.
What is a behavioural problem?
(a) A natural behaviour that is undesirable to the owner, but very desirable to the animal.
(b) A natural behaviour that us undesirable to both owner and animal.
(c) An abnormal behaviour exhibited (and often done in repetition) that suggests the animal has an inability to cope with something in its environment (known as Stereotypical Behaviour).
Common Behavioural Problems:
– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D.)
– Coprophagia (eating faeces – not abnormal for certain species)
– Excessive Vocalisation
– Scratching/ biting/ kicking/ rearing/ bucking
– Tail Chasing
– Feather Plucking/ Fur Pulling
– Chewing (things that they are not meant to chew)
– Excessive Grooming
– Wind Sucking/ Cribbing
– Weaving/ Swaying
– Head Bobbing
– Neck Twisting
– Bar Biting
– Vomiting (and then eating it, and vomiting again)
– Coprophilia (playing with faeces)
– Coprophaga (repeated)
How can behavioural problems be approached?
(1) Educating the owner
(2) Modifying the environment
(3) Modifying the animal
I will be doing some follow up posts on some of these behavioural problems, and some ways to tackle them. If you have anything specific you would like me to cover then either leave a comment below, or contact me via one of my social media pages:-
. Google+ (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Facebook (Ali’s Animal Answers)
. Twitter (@AnimalFreak24)
. LinkedIn (Ali Holloway)