Blackpool Keeper Academy 2016 Reptiles

At Blackpool Keeper Academy I completed a portfolio, covering elements of classification, behaviour, nutrition, handling and precautions.

Reptile Features:

•Vertebrates •Scales/scutes •Leathery eggs (little parental care so for protection) but they can be viviparous •Ecothermic.

Ecothermic means they are cold blooded animals. Reptiles fall under two categories…

1) Heliotherm (warm themselves in the sun so have heat receptors on their back)

2) Thigmatherm (warm themsves up by using an object so have heat receptors on their front)

Reptile orders





To begin the day, I prepared food for the reptiles. I cut up vegetables for the omnivorous and herbivorous reptiles.

In the theory lesson we found out about the different diets. For example Lizards:

•Carnivorous Lizard: Nile Monitor

•Omnivorous Lizard: Bearded Dragon

•Herbivorous Lizard: Uromastyx

I cleaned both the inside and outside of the tortoise enclosure. There are many considerations to take when caring for reptiles:

•Lighting (UV) •Temperature •Humidity •Group structure •Enclosure size/branching/substrate •Water
Tortoises are either herbivores or omnivores. The omnivores will scavage on dead animals and eat insects.

There are many ways snakes find their prey. For example, their fork tongues detect chemicals in the air. They can use heat detecting pits which detect infrared radiation meaning they can detect an animal up to 1m away!

Snakes kill their prey either by constricting (constrictors) or injecting their venom (venomous snakes). Flexible ligaments in a snake’s jaw means it can stretch up to 12 times the size of its head. Backwards facing teeth also ensure the prey remains in its mouth.

There are two ways you can determine the sex of a snake:

•Cloacal probing- A probe is inserted under the large cloacal scute in a direction pointing towards the tail.  

•Attempt to ‘pop’ the male’s hemipenes out of the cloaca. However, they may not go back in which causes great discomfort for the snake. Cloacal probing is more ethical.

The sex of a tortoise can be determined by a few characteristics:

FEMALE- short tail, flat plastron and small gular horn

MALE- long tail, concave plastron (mating), enlarged and upturned gular horn (for fighting for females) and englarged chin glands.

To differentiate between a male and female bearded dragon you have to wait until they are 7-8 inches long.

Lift up their tail and look at the vent. Males have two glands but females have one lower, larger pronounced vent.



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