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News in Youth Services

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cold Blooded Creatures

There is a buzz in the air around here.  Next week the library is being visited by reptiles.  That's right, live cold-blooded reptiles.  It's all very exciting.  Lucky for us, Jim Nesci, an experienced reptile handler and educator, will be handling and teaching us about reptiles.  I thought you might like to learn a little bit about the reptiles who may make an appearance at the library.

Snakes are always popular reptiles.  Personally, I am very apprehensive around these creatures.  Jim has an Albino Burmese Python that he brings to his shows.  These snakes are native to Southeast Asian jungles and grassy marshes and are among the largest snakes on Earth as they are capable of reaching 23 feet in length and may weigh up to 200 pounds.  They also are excellent swimmers and can stay under water for up to 30 minutes.

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise is one of the largest tortoises in the world.  A male can be 48 inches in length and weigh up to 200 pounds.  That's one large reptile!  The giant tortoise is mainly a herbivore, which means its diet consists of grasses, leaves and woody plant stems.  In the tortoises' natural habitat, there is very little fresh water so they obtain most of their moisture from their food.  These giants can live up to 200 years!  Now that's a lifetime.

One of the most famous reptiles is the alligator and Jim Nesci has
one named Bubba.  I did not realize that alligators are native only to the United States and China.  I also learned that Louisiana has the largest alligator population as reported by the 2005 Scholastic Book of World Records.  I would have thought Florida had the biggest population but I guess the Gator Boys were in Louisiana rescuing gators a few years ago so it makes sense. The average alligator reaches the length of 13.1 feet and weighs 790 pounds.  Lucky for us, Bubba is 8 feet and over 200 pounds (but that's still not a small alligator in my books!)  While I never personally want to meet up with an alligator in the wild, I still find them intriguing and enjoy learning about them.

Hopefully you'll be fortunate enough to meet these cold-blooded visitors but if not, the library has some great books and DVDs available so that you can learn more about these amazing (if somewhat intimidating - my opinion only) creatures!

Reptile books
Jim Nesci


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