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Animals Blog

Reptile and Amphibian Awareness Day 2018

Reptile and Amphibian Awareness Day 2018

This Sunday, 21st of October is Reptile and Amphibian Awareness Day and we invite you to the Tropical House at Fota Wildlife Park to learn more about the reptile species there, some of whom are endangered such as the Elongated Tortoise, Jamaican Boas and Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog during a special talk given by Ranger Julien Fonteneau at 1.30pm.

This talk is included in admission to Fota Wildlife Park

The Tropical House includes the below species of reptiles:

The Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) is in great demand in Asian food markets. Consequently, this animal is in serious trouble in the wild with conservation laws not being adequately enforced. Elongated tortoises are crepuscular, meaning that they are active in the twilight hours before dawn or after sunset. The animals’ large eyes are well-adapted to low levels of light. While their carapaces, or top shells, are somewhat elongated – as their name suggests – female elongated tortoises are generally wider and more rounded than males.

Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) One of the world's threatened amphibian species the Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog is listed as endangered by the IUCN. This tiny frog makes it home on the Western slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes and secretes a venom through its skin that's so deadly just touching it can kill you. The minuscule frogs measure only 4 tenths of an inch.

The Jamaican Boa (Epicrates subflavus) is the largest non-venomous snake found on the island of Jamaica and is only found there.  This boa can attain lengths of 8 feet. Jamaican boa males are larger than females. In the wild, they are found in limestone forest, rock crevices, caves, and trees.  Their natural prey includes introduced rodents and native bats and birds. It is a constrictor and immobilizes or kills its prey by squeezing it in its powerful coils and then, like most snakes, swallows it whole. They have a unique behavior.  This boa is known to hang by their tail from the roofs of caves waiting for bats to fly by, at which point they grab a bat from the air to eat.