Turtles, crocodiles, lizards and snakes once belonged to the whole world. These ancient animals flourished in the Mesozoic era and dominated in all elements: on land, on land, and even in the air.
To date, flying reptiles are almost gone. Most reptiles died out at the end of the Cretaceous. And yet, we have the opportunity to meet with representatives of the ancient world. And the most brave can even afford to settle in the house of one of the descendants of dinosaurs.
True, most reptiles eat live food, so be prepared for the fact that feeding the pet pieces of meat will not work. We’ll have to supply him with mice, rat pups, chickens and rabbits. Not ready for such cruelty? There is an exit. Choose a chameleon or a red-eared turtle as your pet.
For most lizards, general containment rules can be defined. A chameleon, among them, will be distinguished by some exactingness. And, at the same time, only this lizard claims to be a creature that can become attached to a person. Iguanas, agamas, geckos, at best, will perceive the owner as a source of food, while a chameleon rejoices and just communicate. This lizard willingly goes to its hands, thanks to good vision it identifies the features of the owner, so that it recognizes it by face and distinguishes it from other people. To doubt that your amazing friend is glad to see you will not have to. he will be colored with all the colors of the rainbow to let you know.
To get acquainted with the view, it is best to purchase a Yemeni chameleon. They have been bred successfully for a long time under artificial conditions, so that there is more information on it, and it is easier to cope with moods. Be sure to take the baby bred in captivity. Raising a lizard is easier than taming an already adult. In addition, chameleons are very short-lived creatures (they rarely live up to 5 years), the younger the reptile is, the longer you can enjoy its company.
If you are not going to breed lizards, you should get a male. He is almost twice as large as the female. her length can reach 60-70 centimeters (the length of young ladies rarely exceeds 35 centimeters). but this is not the point. A female without mating is very likely to die when her eggs begin to form (in 4-6 months). Do not worry about the fact that one animal in a spacious aviary will be bored. Chameleons are solitary creatures. this is one of the most intolerant of each other species. Even in nature, they live in strictly delimited territories.
Terrarium will need a big one. Minimum length, width and height: 60X50X70 centimeters. At least two sides must be equipped with a ventilation net covering an area of half of each wall. You will also need lamps of a different spectrum: full-spectrum, ultraviolet range and daylight. They are located in different corners of the terrarium, taking care that the lizards can not get burned. Lamps with mirror coating or reflectors can act as heaters. The daily temperature in the terrarium should be at the level of 27. 30 degrees (under the heater. 36 degrees). At night, animals do not need additional heating, chameleons easily withstand fluctuations from 15 to 27 degrees.
Chameleons are not inclined to nibble the greens growing in the terrarium, so it is quite possible to decorate the house of an exotic lizard with living plants. Also, branches are fixed at different levels, the thickness of which depends on the size of the animal. But the bottom is best left clean, without substrate.
From additional equipment you will need a drip drinking bowl, from which water will constantly drip into a container standing on the floor of the terrarium (in nature, chameleons drink dew and raindrops). In addition, it is best to immediately accustom the baby to the feeders. There are two of them in the terrarium: in one there should always be ground eggshell (lizards are prone to rickets, so they require a large amount of calcium in the diet), and in the other they put fodder objects. As long as you are sure that your pets have learned how to peel the shell, do not forget to sprinkle their food with ground calcium gluconate each time. For its absorption, the lizard needs vitamin D3, which is synthesized under the influence of ultraviolet rays, so every week it is recommended that the chameleons be irradiated with a household UV irradiator for 10 minutes from a distance of one meter.
Initially, babies are fed with young crickets, and, as they grow older, they are added to the diet of zoophobas larvae, cockroaches, flies and caterpillars of fireflies. Insects with a hard chitinous cover (for example, flour flakes) are contraindicated for chameleons. At the same time, remember that animals are extremely capricious in food, they are bored by a uniform diet, so food must be diversified. Adults accustomed to feeding on individuals can be entertained by the appearance in a bowl of pieces of salad, dandelions, fruits and vegetables. It is sometimes useful to give newborn mice or rat pups. As for the norm of feeding, an adult chameleon is quite enough 5-8 insects per day. It is advisable to give food at the same time and make sure that the food does not remain in the terrarium all the time. A large number of insects can irritate the animal, or lead to the fact that the chameleon ceases to respond to it, like food.
All turtles differ in that they are able to stretch for several years in the most terrible conditions for themselves. And they will look vigorously and carefree. It is these reptiles that have earned the fame of unpretentious pets. Although in reality. these are real exotics, which are rather bad in our homes. Want to get a turtle? Make sure that the oldest creatures on earth are comfortable in your home.
Secondly, for a normal life the turtle needs hibernation. Some species (mainly land) fall asleep at temperatures above 50 degrees. It is clear that in our climate, it is almost impossible to provide such hibernation to a pet. This is a good reason to abandon the content of rare turtles. Central Asian turtles, well common as pets, hibernate at low temperatures. Providing them with a winter sleep of 8-12 weeks is not too simple, but it is quite possible and even beneficial for the owner. Whether to take on such a responsibility (if the wintering organization is not organized correctly, the turtle may well die) is up to you.
Secondly, turtles need ultraviolet and group D vitamins for normal metabolism (calcium cannot be absorbed without them). So besides an aquarium or a terrarium, you will need a quartz lamp. Quartzing sessions are carried out every two days for 3-5 minutes. In summer it’s easier: just make the turtles bask in the open sun (at least 30-40 minutes).
Thirdly, it is worth remembering that turtles grow quickly and, no matter how cute baby you choose, in a year it will be the size of a decent saucer, and in a year it can grow up to 25-30 centimeters in length. The minimum size of a terrarium for a land tortoise is 50 per 100 centimeters; for aquatic species, an aquarium of the same size is needed (the water level is at least 25 centimeters).
And fourthly, you should not choose a turtle in appearance. Yes, witty trionics with a movable proboscis instead of a nose are incredibly cute, but this is only as long as they sit in a closed aquarium. This aggressive nimble turtle will never become tame and, rest assured, it will not calm down until it has a bite of your whole family.
The best option for home maintenance can be considered a red-eared turtle. In nature, this species does not always hibernate, which allows it to maintain year-round activity in our homes. Another plus is that turtles are relatively mobile, curious, friendly, remember the time of feeding and their owner. It is important to ensure that the temperature of the water in the aquarium does not fall below 26-27 degrees. On the surface there must be an island on which turtles will spend most of their time basking under a lamp. The temperature on the shore under the reflector is maintained at about 35 degrees.
The minus content of the red-eared turtles can be considered their uncleanliness. As a soil, it is better to choose coarse pebbles so that animals do not stir up water. In addition, it will facilitate the cleaning of the aquarium. They feed the red-eared turtles, placing them in a basin of water (they can swallow food only in water). These voracious creatures are prone to fullness, so diet should be monitored. Already in their teens, the turtles begin to be fed every other day, mainly with low-fat fish (hake, pollock), cut into large pieces, so that the turtle had to work, tearing off the pieces. An adult turtle needs a piece 2 cm thick cut off across the carcass. At the end of feeding, you can treat the reptile with a treat: shrimp, dry food for turtles, liver, a piece of boiled egg or a flour worm.
Zoofobas. from 40 kopecks apiece
Cockroaches. from 40 kopecks apiece
Crickets. from 50 kopecks apiece
Medvedka. from 2 UAH apiece
Daily chickens. from 2 to 5 UAH apiece
Newborn baby rats. from 10 UAH apiece
Mice. from 5 UAH apiece
Author: Maria Lukina
tags: pets pet care animals reptile tortoise boa constrictor chameleon
How to make a terrarium for a land tortoise photo