Lizards

Heating and Temperature Control for Reptiles

Reptiles are often referred to being “cold-blooded”, which can be misleading.  More appropriately they should be considered poikilothermic or ectothermic. This means that, unlike mammals and birds, reptiles are unable to regulate their body temperatures internally and change their body temperature in adaptation to their environmental temperature. Because reptiles do not need to expend as much energy heating their bodies, they have a much lower metabolic rate than that of mammals. Each reptile species has what is referred to as its preferred optimal temperature zone which is a narrow temperature range at which they are active and undergo typical functions such as feeding, digestion, fighting off infections, and reproduction. Outside of this range these functions may be hindered or cease altogether. Some species will hibernate during colder months and during this time their metabolic rate will decrease.  

Ultraviolet Lighting for Reptiles

Ultraviolent or UV lighting is a type of light radiation outside of the visible light spectrum found at higher energies than violet light and it is found in 3 forms: A, B, and C.  UVA is used by reptiles to regulate their daily biological cycles and rhythms. UVC is damaging radiation that leads to skin damage and cancers. UVB is the most important light for reptiles as it is necessary for many reptiles to properly absorb calcium from their diet in order to utilize it for hardening their bones and other metabolic processes throughout their bodies. 

Basic Care: Water Dragon

Asian water dragons, also known as the green water dragon or Chinese water dragon, can make beautiful pets but they have specific care needs that must be met in order for them to thrive. Once they are used to your presence, they are generally tame and easily handled. While they occasionally fight among themselves or compete for superiority with cage mates, they are rarely aggressive toward human keepers. If frightened, they might give you an open-mouthed threat, which they rarely follow through on, or a light tail whip when picked up. If scared, they may turn dark or try to hide behind a plant or in their water, and they may still dash away.

Basic Care: Uromastyx

Spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx spp.), also commonly referred to as Uromastyx, are among the more popular pet lizards.  There are at least 14 different species of these desert-adapted lizards although only a few are being regularly imported or bred in captivity.

"Stick Tail" in Geckos

"Stick Tail" is a common term used to describe a leopard gecko that loses weight until the tail fat disappears leaving behind a thin boney tail.  "Stick tail" also affect fat-tail geckos, tokay geckos, and other species of geckos with robust tails that can store fat.  A similar wasting disease is known in crested geckos and other Rhacodactylus, and many other geckos.

Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis is a common intestinal infection of leopard geckos caused by the one-celled parasite Cryptosporidium varanii (also know in older references as Cryptosporidium saurophilum).  Cryptosporidiosis is a very common reason that a leopard gecko will lose weight, and as the tail fat disappears all that remains is a thin boney tail, a condition herpetoculturists often call “stick tail”.

Basic Care: Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos popularity as pets is easy to understand. They are small, cute, typically friendly and easy to handle. They come in a variety of color morphs are require less space than many larger reptiles. They're relatively long lived, many living into their late teens and early twenties. They breed easily in captivity. However, they are prone to problems with their eyes, skin, and skeleton if not cared for properly. 

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