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"Science You Can Touch"
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Birds:

Cockatiel

Budgie Parakeet

Button Quail

Ring-necked Dove

Merlin

Red-tailed Hawk

Great-horned Owl

Timneh African Gray Parrot

Orange-winged Amazon

Insects & Spiders:

Indian Walking Stick

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Salmon Pink Bird Eater Tarantula

Giant Brazilian Rain Forest Tarantula

Curly Hair Tarantula

Chilean Flame Tarantula

Snakes:

Eastern Hognose Snake

Common Boa

Corn Snake

Gopher Snake

Ball Python

Other Reptiles:

3-Toed Box Turtle

Painted Turtle

Red-eared Slider

Snapping Turtle

Sulcata Tortoise

Blue Tongued Skink

European Legless Lizard

Desert Tortoise

Leopard Gecko

Bearded Dragon

Mammals:

Rabbit

Amphibians:

Tiger Salamander

Eastern Gray Tree Frog

American Toad

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Sulcata Tortoise
(Geochelone sulcata)

From the Sahara desert of Africa, this large tortoise may reach a weight of over 200 pounds. They are totally vegetarian, surviving on leafy plants and fruits. They have many interesting adaptations which allows them to survive in the harsh conditions of the desert. Our specimen was hatched in captivity.

Blue-tongued Skink
(Tiliqua sp.)
 

blue-tongued skink

Common in Australia, the blue-tongued skinks are docile and hardy lizards that have been beloved by herpetologists for many years. They are easily bred in captivity.  This is a tribute to the hardiness of these lizards, which can live for 20 years or more.  They are almost without fear, docile and intelligent and even friendly.  They have simple caging requirements, and are predictably voracious eaters.

European Legless Lizard or Glass Snake
(Ophisaurus apodus)

legless lizard

Legless lizards may look like snakes, but they are true lizards. Unlike snakes, they have movable eyelids, several rows of belly scales, and the ability to break off their tail when they are in danger. Although many members of this family lack limbs, this is not a characteristic of every species. They may live over 50 years in captivity.

European legless lizards, range from the Balkans as far as Istria (peninsula in northeastern Italy) and northeast Bulgaria. They are also found in Crimea, Caucasus and parts of southwest and central Asia.

In the wild legless lizards feed on a variety of small mammals, bird eggs and invertebrates such as insects and earthworms.

Did you know? Lizards have external ear "openings" and snakes do not.

Ring-necked Dove
(Streptopelia capicola)

 ring-necked dove

 

The Ring-Necked Dove is a widespread and abundant bird in the bush, savannah, farmlands, and woodlands of southern and eastern Africa. These doves are usually found alone or in pairs, although they do form larger flocks around sources of food and water, sometimes containing hundreds of birds. They are quite noisy in these groups, not only for the variety of calls they make throughout the day (and often into night), but also because their wings clap loudly when the birds take flight.

Ring-Necked Doves rest in treetops during the night and forage for food on the ground. They drink mainly in the morning. They feed mainly on seeds, but they also eat insects on occasion, especially flying ants. When they walk on the ground, their heads bob with each small step.

American Toad
(Bufo americanus)

American toad

 

The American Toad is probably the amphibian most often seen by people in our area. It enters lawns and gardens, and it frequently crosses roads.

American Toads are large, growing up to 4 1/2 inches long. Full-grown adults are usually chubby.

These toads varies in color, but are usually brown, brick-red, or olive-colored. They have patterns of lighter colors on their bodies, as well as brown spots. All of them have warts, and some have a light stripe down their backs.

Both male and female toads have a spotted belly, but the male has a darker throat.

 

Sonoran Desert Tortoise
(Gopherus agassizii)

Sonoran Desert Tortoise

The desert tortoise is native to the Mojave desert and Sonoran desert of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

The tortoise is able to live where ground temperature may exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) because of its ability to dig underground burrows and escape the heat. At least 95% of its life is spent in burrows. There, it is also protected from freezing winter weather while dormant, from November through February or March. With its burrow, this tortoise creates a subterranean environment that can be beneficial to other reptiles, mammals, birds and invertebrates.

Budgie Parakeet
((Melopsittacus undulatus)

budgie parakeet

 

Budgerigars are nomadic birds found in open habitats, primarily in Australian scrubland, open woodland and grassland. The birds are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks under favorable conditions. The species is extremely nomadic and the movement of the flocks is tied to the availability of food and water. Drought can drive flocks into more wooded habitat or coastal areas.

Naturalized feral budgies have been recorded since the 1940s in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the United States, but are much less common than they were in the early 1980s. Increased competition from European Starlings and House Sparrows is thought to be primary cause of the population decline

Although budgies in their natural-habitats of Australia eat mainly grass seeds, captive birds feed on either dry, sprouted and/or soaked seeds. A diet of only dry seeds is inadequate for them and/or any parrot species' optimum health

Inland Bearded Dragon
(Pogona vitticeps)

Found only in Australia, bearded dragons are widely distributed throughout the interior of the eastern states to the eastern half of South Australia and southeastern Northern Territory.

They occupy a variety of habitats including subtropical woodlands, scrublands, savannas, shore areas, and into the great interior deserts.

Bearded dragons are opportunistic omnivores. They live in areas where food may be hard to find, so they are not finicky eaters. Their stomachs are large to accommodate large quantities of plant matter, insects, spiders, and the occasional small rodent or lizard; about 20 percent of their total diet is plant matter.

Inland bearded dragons reach sexual maturity at one to two years of age. Breeding season is during the warm summer months of September through March.

Ball Python
(Python regius)

 

Found in Africa, ball pythons prefer grasslands, savannas and sparsely wooded areas for habitat. This species is known for its defense strategy that involves coiling into a tight ball when threatened, with its head and neck tucked in.  Favored retreats include mammal burrows and other underground hiding places, where they also aestivate. In captivity, they are considered good pets, for their relatively small size and placid nature make them easy to handle.

In the wild, their diet consists mostly of small mammals, such as African soft-furred rats, shrews and striped mice. Younger individuals have also been known to feed on birds. Females lay three to 11 rather large, leathery eggs. These are incubated by the female under the ground, and hatch after 55 to 60 days

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