Thursday, February 25, 2010
Some people, myself included, think keeping and breeding snakes is loads of fun...and it is. But it isn't all sunshine and rosie boas. Take today, for example: I just spent an hour cleaning snake cages...outside... in 30 degree weather. Fun! The plastic tubs, which I had left out overnight to soak, were covered with sheets of ice. While my hands are so frozen from the spray from the high pressure nozzle that I can barely type, my snakes are toasty-warm inside (I have two plastic tubs for each snake, so I can rotate them out for cleaning).
It's not fun, but it has to be done whether it's cold or hot or raining, whether I'm sick or busy with work or just in a lazy mood. It doesn't matter. Part of keeping any pet is responsible ownership and the larger the collection the more work there is. And I'm not done today with my snake-related chores. The plastic tubs need to dry, then I will line each one with newspaper or aspen shavings, clean and refill water bowls and put in new cardboard hide boxes. I'll switch the tubs out of the racks one at a time, moving each snake into a clean tub. Dirty tubs go outside to be cleaned for the next go-round. Later tonight I'll thaw some mice and rats for the 22 hungry mouths I have to feed...but that's a whole other story.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
There's a reptile expo coming up on March 6 & 7 in San Antonio. Stop by and check out some sweet captive bred reptiles and talk to the breeders.
Monday, February 15, 2010
It's time to schedule reptile presentations! If you're a teacher, faculty member or PTA member of an Austin area school and you'd like to have me come to your school next year please contact me. I also still have some dates available for this year.
I can also tailor a presentation for birthday parties, scout groups and other events.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
As of today, it's been exactly one month since I brought my snakes out of the brumation closet. Metabolisms seem to be in full swing for most of my collection and three of the six females I hope to breed this season have started their first post-brumation shed cycle. Once they shed I will start introducing their respective mates. If all goes well we'll have more clutches from the two pairs of Hondurans that bred for me last year. Their are also two more Honduran females and a pair of California kings that I hope will produce for me this year. We should see the first breeding within about ten days or so, much earlier than last year.
Friday, February 12, 2010
In a recent program that aired on the History Channel, one that was full of sensational errors and propaganda, some bozo speculated that the feral pythons in the Florida Everglades might mate with cobras (which MIGHT also have escaped in the area), creating a new giant super-snake. I'd like to address this right now: it isn't possible. Pythons and cobras are genetically incompatible. Ask any biologist who knows anything about reptiles, and they'll tell you that that's about as likely as a human and a squirrel hybridizing. You can certainly mix python species with one another (and even then, not all are compatible) and the same with cobras and related species, but pythons and cobras...it's not going to happen.
If you don't believe me, then riddle me this: pythons and cobras both come from Africa and Asia and can be found in the exact same geographical locations, yet, in millions of years they have never hybridized. So, sorry, Monster Quest, but the super-snake you're hoping to find is hanging out with the other creatures from your show—El Chupucabra, the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, Mothman, Champy and the like—in your imagination.