Although I have kept reptiles and amphibians since childhood, and worked in zoos for most of my adult life, I remain amazed by the array of herp-care innovations that are available to us today. True, not all are necessary (and some are downright ridiculous!), but many are indispensable to serious hobbyists and zookeepers alike. Advances in reptile lighting technology, for example, help private keepers to breed animals that, not so long ago, failed to thrive even in large zoos.
I’m particularly fond of combination hoods and fixtures, especially when I recall the rat’s nest of tangled wires and lamps that topped every zoo exhibit and holding cage years ago…thinking back to my early years at the Bronx Zoo, I cannot imagine how we avoided fires and electrocution! Combo hoods have space for several different types of bulb, allowing us to keep UVA, UVB, heat and night (red/black) bulbs in one place. In addition to the convenience factor, the movable sockets and integrated timers included in some models increase our ability to establish thermal gradients, natural day/night cycles and “dawn/dusk” periods. Today I’ll review a few reasonably-priced units offered by two well-known leaders in the field. Read More »