Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day at SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica

Discussion in 'SeaWorld, Discovery Cove & Aquatica News & Rumours' started by Wendy, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Wendy

    Wendy Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 30, 2008
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    Today is Reptile Awareness Day and SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica are celebrating all things reptile.

    Two of SeaWorld's reptile residents are the African spurred tortoise and the American alligator. Other reptiles you can find at SeaWorld and Aquatica include iguanas, bearded dragons, turtles and more. These cold-blooded vertebrate are distinguished as having dry, scaly skin and typically lay soft-shelled eggs on land.

    The African Spurred Tortoise

    Aquatica’s African spurred tortoises, Hunu and Motu, these gentle giants are the third biggest type of tortoise in the world and may weigh more than 100 pounds.

    The sandy colored camouflage of the African spurred tortoise helps it blend in with its natural desert habitat along the Sahara’s southern edge. To cool off and escape the desert heat, the tortoise will coat its skin with mud and dig a shelter to spend the hottest parts of the day underground. Theses shelters are important for the other dessert animals that use them for protection.

    Although African spurred tortoises are capable of enduring the harsh desert, they are no match for habitat destruction. Populations in Africa have fallen drastically from 100,000 fifty years ago to no more than 20,000 today.

    American Alligators

    The name alligator was derived from the Spanish words "el lagarto," meaning "the lizard," which is what Spanish explorers called these creatures. No matter what you call them, alligators are one of the most successful groups of predators and have been for more than 230 million years! Alligators have changed very little since their prehistoric days and continued to prosper even when dinosaurs became extinct.

    Wild American alligators can go months without eating when it gets cold. American alligators feed on fish, turtles, mammals, snakes and birds. Their 80-tooth grin wears down with the food they eat and when they do, their teeth are replaced. An alligator can go through 2,000-3,000 teeth in a lifetime—now that’s a mouthful.

    Thanks to proper protection and management, American alligators are comeback champions. Once listed as endangered, their numbers have increased greatly

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  2. Tink

    Tink Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2008
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    'Gators and torts and turtles I can handle. It's the other reptiles that give me a problem. :eek:

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