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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Slider and other Semi-Aquatic Turtle Diets – Vegetables and Greens – Part 2

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  In Part I of this article, we discussed the role played by plants in the diets of popular North American “basking” turtles such as Red-Eared and Yellow-Bellied Sliders, Map, Red-Bellied and Chicken Turtles, and Cooters.

Useful Plants and Vegetables

As your turtles grow out of the hatchling stage, I suggest offering dandelion, bok choy, kale, mustard and collared greens, romaine, endive and vegetables such as shredded yams, carrots, and squash.

Prolific aquatic plants such as Elodea, Anachris, Watersprite, Duckweed, Water Hyacinth and various underwater grasses (i.e. Vallisneria), easily reared in outdoor tubs or ponds, are also eagerly accepted by many turtles. Keep a few guppies or minnows in your water garden to consume mosquito larvae, or net the larvae as food for fishes, newts and other aquatic pets.  Read More »

Snake Escapes – Recovering Cobras and other Snakes in Zoos and Homes – Part 1

Anaconda at the surfaceHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Snakes have a well-deserved reputation as escape artists and, once at liberty, they are nearly impossible to find.  Almost always, the escapee shows up by accident, no matter how hard one searches – even quite large snakes can virtually disappear in relatively small areas (please see photo – the 16 foot long anaconda pictured there “vanished” in about 6 inches of water on the Venezuelan llanos; I took over an hour to find her despite “knowing” where she was!).  However, there are a few tricks that can improve your chances of recapturing a lost pet…but first, if I may, a few related stories:

Cobras “Helped” out of Their Exhibit

My most dramatic snake escape/recapture began not due to carelessness but rather via a deliberate act of vandalism.  Amazingly, a visitor to the Bronx Zoo’s Reptile House (where I worked as an animal keeper) lifted his son up so that the boy could kick in the glass of the Spitting Cobra Exhibit!  This insanity took place on a crowded summer afternoon…when all such incidents seem to occur.  Read More »

Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators – Helping Injured Amphibians and Reptiles

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Wildlife rehabilitators are private citizens who care for injured, sick or orphaned animals and, whenever possible, return them to their natural habitats (un-releasable animals may sometimes be retained for educational purposes).  Such work has traditionally focused on birds and mammals, but these days a growing number of caring people are focusing their efforts on turtles, frogs, snakes, alligators and other herps. Read More »

Breaking Animal News and Observations Now Posted Daily on Twitter

JaguarHi, Frank Indiviglio here.  I’m pleased to say that I’m now posting several notes (“Tweets”) on Twitter each day, 7 days a week. I’ve worked with everything from ants to elephants, and so much interesting info comes my way – a lot of it through other zoologists and my own activities.  Twitter will make it easy to share this as well as breaking nature news and discoveries as they happen.  Things I’ve noticed in my collection or as I’m wandering about in the field, newly discovered species, interesting tidbits passed on by others, my take on some of the day’s news items…anything and everything animal-related will be mixed in. Read More »

Raising Springtails as Food for Poison Frogs, Mantellas and other Small Amphibians – Part 2

SpringtailHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Springtails are minute, primitive, wingless insects classified in the Order Collembola.  Over 6,000 species are found in most temperate and tropical habitats, where they figure importantly in the diets of Poison Frogs (Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Oophaga), small salamanders and newly metamorphosed amphibians of many kinds. Please see Part I of this article for information on procuring Springtails and their role in helping to save the nearly extinct Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis). Read More »

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