Top 5 Creepy Crawlies to see when you visit the zoo
Published: Jan 4, 2016We have a whole host of creepy crawlies at the zoo. On occasion some of them have a break from being ‘on-show’, but there is always plenty to see in the Tropical House. We’ve come up with these top 5 must-sees during your visit.
Great Anglehead Dragon
A native to Bormeo rainforests this master of camouflage can often be found perching high above the forest floor. They are known as angle heads because of the distinctive angular shape of their heads. The females lay their eggs in a small burrow dug into the soil and can lay up four eggs at a time. It has a base of blue under green stripes and has the ability to change color in response to temperature or stress. Like all lizards, angle heads shed their skin through molting and are cold-blooded.
Curly tail Lizard
These lizards can be found in a range of habitats in the Bahamas from coastal and rocky areas to shrub and pine lands as well as populated areas. However, they do prefer the coastal areas. These lizards are ground dwellers and love living behind a pile of rocks or a dead log. The tail curling behaviour apparently plays many different roles for these lizards. It is documented as a territorial display, courtship display by males to attract females but also as a response to predators. Reportedly, it is believed that these lizards may curl their tail also to “fool” predators into attacking the tail instead of the head.
Black tree Monitor Lizard
The species is native to the Aru Islands in Indonesia, where it is known locally as waweyaro. It mainly inhabits humid forests and mangrove swamps. The black tree monitor is generally well adapted for living in trees. Its tail is particularly long, sometimes two-thirds of the overall body length, and is used to stabilize the animal in the branches. They are carnivorous, consuming insects, smaller lizards, and small mammals such as shrews. They may also take scorpions, eggs, and nestlings.
Red Tailed Racer Snake
This snake is robust with powerful, smooth scales on its belly that is ideal for climbing trees and across branches. As its name indicates, the snake has a green body with a red tail but is usually brown. The red-tailed greensnake lives and spends its life in the trees and in cavities in trees. It seldom descends to the ground. When the snake is stressed, it may inflate a bag of air in its neck, making it appear larger in size.
Madagascan Golden Orb Spider
Madagascar golden orb spiders are best known for weaving large, strong webs out of a golden-colored silk. The biggest webs can be six feet or more across. Only females construct webs. Once the web is stable, the spider will not stray far from it. Overall, golden orb spiders are rather docile, seldom exhibiting aggressive behavior. They pose no threat to humans, and their venom is potent enough only to other insects. Madagascar golden orb spiders are almost completely blind, only vaguely able to detect changes in light. Instead of using sight, the spiders mainly use their keen sense of touch to feel vibrations on their web and quickly track down tangled prey.