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Wriggles Cabin

African Spurred Tortoise

aka Sulcata Tortoise

 (Centrochelys sulcata)

"Scooter & Gaby"

 

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Conservation-Status-Chart.png

Vulnerable (IUCN 2.3)[1]

Order: Testudines

Suborder: Cryptodira

Superfamily: Testudinoidea

Family: Testudinidae

Genus: Centrochelys

Species: C. sulcata

Binomial name:

Centrochelys sulcata

(Miller, 1779)

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The African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), also called the sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise, which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert, in Africa. It is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world, the largest species of mainland tortoise, and the only extant species in the genus Centrochelys.C. sulcata is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world after the Galapagos tortoise, and Aldabra giant tortoise, and the largest of the mainland tortoises. Bill Branch reported a maximum size in the wild as 83 cm and 98 kg, but others state that they can reach 105 kg (231 lb). They grow from hatchling size (2–3 in) very quickly, reaching 6-10 in (15–25 cm) within the first few years of their lives. They can live more than 70 years.[Sulcata tortoises are herbivores. Primarily, their diets consist of many types of grasses and plants, high in fiber and very low in protein. Flowers and other plants including cactus pads can be consumed. The African spurred tortoise is native to the Sahara Desert and the Sahel, a transitional ecoregion of semiarid grasslands, savannas, and thorn shrublands found in the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. In these arid regions, the tortoise excavates burrows in the ground to get to areas with higher moisture levels, and spends the hottest part of the day in these burrows. This is known as aestivation. In the wild, they may burrow very deep; up to 15 m deep and 30 m long. Plants such as grasses and succulents grow around their burrows if kept moist and in nature continue to grow for the tortoise to eat if the soil is replenished with its feces.Its specific name sulcata is from the Latin word sulcus meaning "furrow" and refers to the furrows on the tortoise's scales.

Ambanja Panther Chameleon

(Furcifer pardalis)

 

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Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Iguania

Family: Chamaeleonidae

Genus: Furcifer

Species: F. pardalis

Binomial name:

Furcifer pardalis

(Cuvier, 1829)

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Ambanja Panther Chameleons are a locality from northwest Madagascar. Male Ambanja Panther Chameleon specimens are known to show lots of blue, green and red. Their body is typically green to blue with either red or blue barring. Body coloration can also show yellow and the eyes typically have red radiation patterns.Coloration varies with location, and the different color patterns of panther chameleons are commonly referred to as 'locales', which are named after the geographical location in which they are found. Panther chameleons from the areas of Nosy Be, Ankify, and Ambanja are typically a vibrant blue, and those from Ambilobe, Antsiranana, and Sambava are red, green or orange. The areas of Maroantsetra and Tamatave yield primarily red specimens. Numerous other color phases and patterns occur between and within regions. Females generally remain tan and brown with hints of pink, peach, or bright orange, no matter where they are found, but there are slight differences in patterns and colors among the different color phases.

Panther chameleons are zygodactylous: on each foot, the five toes are fused into a group of two and a group of three, giving the foot a tongs-like appearance. These specialized feet allow the panther chameleon a tight grip on narrow branches. Each toe is equipped with a sharp claw to gain traction on surfaces such as bark when climbing. The claws make it easy to see how many toes are fused into each part of the foot — two toes on the outside of each front foot and three on the inside.

Their eyes are the most distinctive among the reptiles and function like a gun turret. The upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through. They can rotate and focus separately to observe two different objects simultaneously; their eyes move independently from each other. It in effect gives them a full 360-degree arc of vision around their bodies. When prey is located, both eyes can be focused in the same direction, giving sharp stereoscopic vision and depth perception. They have keen eyesight for reptiles, letting them see small insects from a long (5–10-m) distance. Ultraviolet light is part of the visible spectrum for chameleons.Panther chameleons have very long tongues (sometimes longer than their own body length) which they are capable of rapidly extending out of the mouth. The tongue extends at around 26 body lengths per second. The tongue hits the prey in about 0.0030 sec. The tongue of the chameleon is a complex arrangement of bone, muscle and sinew. At the base of the tongue, a bone is shot forward, giving the tongue the initial momentum it needs to reach the prey quickly. At the tip of this elastic tongue, a muscular, club-like structure covered in thick mucus forms a suction cup. Once the tip sticks to a prey item, it is drawn quickly back into the mouth, where the panther chameleon's strong jaws crush it and it is consumed.

Female Panther Chameleons

(Furcifer pardalis)

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Ambilobe Panther Chameleon

(Furcifer pardalis)

(DeadheadxSpiderman)

"Kale aka Kaleidescope"

 

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Conservation-Status-Chart.png

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Iguania

Family: Chamaeleonidae

Genus: Furcifer

Species: F. pardalis

Binomial name

Furcifer pardalis

(Cuvier, 1829)

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Ambilobes have the largest variety of color of all the Furcifer pardalis. Ambilobe is a locality from northwest Madagascar between Ambanja and Diego Suarez. Ambilobe Panther Chameleons are occasionally referred to as Sirama Panther Chameleons after the neighboring town as well as by the designer name “Picasso” Panther Chameleons. This locale is generally divided into two main color patterns – Blue-bar Ambilobes and Red-bar Ambilobes. The overall color combinations are quite variable and consist of green, blue, yellow, orange and red but the red- and blue-bar ambilobes are divided based on the primary color of their bars.

Argentine Black and White Tegu

(Salvator merianae)

"Yaco"

 

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Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Teiidae

Genus: Salvator

Species: S. merianae

Binomial name

Salvator merianae

(A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1839)

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Also commonly called the Argentine giant tegu, the black and white tegu, the huge tegu, and lagarto overo in Spanish is a species of lizard in the family Teiidae. The species is the largest of the "tegu lizards". It is an omnivorous species which inhabits the tropical rain forests, savannas, and semi-deserts of eastern and central South America.

Tegus are sometimes kept as pets. They are notable for their unusually high intelligence and can also be house-broken. Like other reptiles, tegus go into brumation in autumn when the temperature drops. They exhibit a high level of activity during their wakeful period of the year.

Tegus fill ecological niches similar to those of monitor lizards, and are an example of convergent evolution.

As a hatchling, Salvator merianae has an emerald green color from the tip of its snout to midway down its neck, with black markings. The emerald green becomes black several months after shedding. As a young tegu, the tail is banded yellow and black; as it ages, the solid yellow bands nearest to the body change to areas of weak speckling. Fewer solid bands indicates an older animal. A tegu can drop a section of its tail as a distraction if attacked. The tail is also used as a weapon to swipe at an aggressor; even a half-hearted swipe can leave a bruise.

Tegus are capable of running at high speeds and can run bipedally for short distances. They often use this method in territorial defense, with the mouth open and front legs held wide to look more threatening.

Adult males are much larger than the females and can reach 3 ft (92 cm) in length at maturity. They may continue to grow to lengths of 4.0–4.5 ft (120–140 cm).

The females are much smaller, but may grow up to 3 ft in length, from nose to tail. They have beaded skin and stripes running down their bodies. Adult females can reach a weight of 2.5–7.0 kg (5.5–15.4 lb).

Salvator merianae has recently been shown to be one of the few partially warm-blooded lizards, having a temperature up to 10 °C (18 °F) higher than the ambient temperature at night time. However, unlike true endotherms such as mammals and birds, these lizards only display temperature control during their reproductive season (September to December), so are said to possess seasonal reproductive endothermy. Because convergent evolution is one of the strongest lines of evidence for the adaptive significance of a trait, the discovery of reproductive endothermy in this lizard not only complements the long known reproductive endothermy observed in some species of pythons, but also supports the hypothesis that the initial selective benefit for endothermy in birds and mammals was reproductive.

Tegus are omnivorous. Juvenile tegus in the wild have been observed to eat a wide range of invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and snails. They also eat fruits and seeds. As they grow they become more predatory and the protein content of their diet rises. They may seek out eggs from other reptiles and from birds' nests, and will eat small birds and other vertebrates. In adulthood tegus continue to eat insects and wild fruits, and it is assumed that such components include desirable or essential nutrients.

In captivity, tegus commonly are fed high protein diets that include raw or cooked flesh such as ground turkey, canned & dry dog food, commercial crocodile diet, chicken, eggs, insects, and small rodents. The inclusion of fruit in the diet is recommended. Though some captive tegus do not readily eat fruit, others enjoy banana, grapes, mango, and papaya. However, there is evidence that, as in most husbandry of carnivores, it is good practice to cook most of the egg in the diet, so as to denature the protein avidin, that occurs in the albumen. Raw avidin immobilizes biotin, so excessive feeding of raw eggs may cause fatal biotin deficiency.

As adults, they have blunted teeth and exaggerated lateral pterygoidal muscles which allow them to be generalist feeders. In captivity, they have been observed eating various feeder insects like mealworms, superworms, earthworms, silkworms, crickets and roaches, as well as vertebrate prey like mice, rats, fish, turkey (offered in a ground form), rabbit, quail, and chicks. Crustaceans such as crayfish are also readily consumed. Like all lizards, blue tegus need a properly balanced diet; incomplete prey items such as insects or ground meat require dusting with a mineral/multi-vitamin supplement. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to trouble shedding skin, lethargy and weight loss; a calcium deficiency can lead to metabolic bone disease, which can be fatal.

Predators of tegus are pumas, otters, jaguars, snakes, and birds of prey.

In 2012, the black and white tegu was reassigned to the resurrected genus Salvator as Salvator merianae.

S. merianae is called the "Argentine black and white tegu" to distinguish it from the "Colombian black and white tegu", which is another name for the gold tegu. Unscrupulous or incompetent pet dealers sometimes pass off gold tegus as black and white tegus.

S. merianae and T. teguixin can be distinguished by skin texture and scale count:

  • S. merianae has two loreal scales between eye and nostril.

  • T. teguixin has only a single loreal scale between eye and nostril.

  • S. merianae has round pupils, whereas Tupinambis species have reniform pupils.

Argentine Horned Frog 

(Ceratophrys ornata)

 aka Argentine Wide-Mouthed Frog 

"Barr"

 

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