In the Wild - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

March 19, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, Renaissance (1330-1550), Feudalism
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California Kingsnake: Lampropeltis getulus californiae

In the Wild Description:  Generally black or brown with white or yellow bands running the entire length of their bodies though they can vary widely in color and pattern o The bands differ in number and width o Some have stripes that run from head to tail. Stripes are much less common than bands. Sometimes the stripes are broken up into dot-dashes or even separated into spots.  Size: 2.5 to 4 ft  Weight: Up to 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) Habitat and Range:  Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico  Lives in rocky outcrops, semi-desert, brushy hillsides or pine forests  Mostly terrestrial (ground-dwellers), though they will climb low branches and shrubs Diet:  Carnivorous: Prey mainly upon rodents, birds, lizards and other snakes Adaptations:  Constrictor o Grab prey with their teeth and wrap coils of their body around the prey and squeeze o Don’t crush the prey and break bones but rather squeeze tightly so that the prey cannot breathe and suffocates o Can unhinge their jaw to swallow the prey whole utilizing rhythmic muscular contractions that pull the prey down into the snake’s throat and stomach o Special tube on the bottom of its mouth stays open to one side so the snake can breathe while swallowing  Highly sensitive forked tongue is used as a sensory organ  Variations in color and pattern may break up the snake's body outline so it is less noticeable to predators Lifespan:  20 to 30 years Ecosystem relationships:  Predators: o Nocturnal predators such as raccoons, foxes, coyotes, o Birds of prey such as hawks and eagles, as well as coyotes, bobcats and even other types of kingsnakes  Many are killed accidentally by passing cars or intentionally by fearful humans  Make a tremendous contribution to rodent control in the rural areas they inhabit


California Kingsnake: Lampropeltis getulus californiae Reproduction:  Breed in late spring and summer  Females lay eggs in rotting wood or beneath rocks and logs, where conditions are relatively warm and humid o Lay 3 to 13 eggs per clutch o After laying the eggs, females leave and do not provide any parental care  Eggs hatch after 2 to 3 months o Each hatchling is only a few inches long when it leaves the egg, looking like a miniature version of the adults Activity:  Crepuscular, but may switch to nocturnal during hot, summer months Other “fun facts”:  All kingsnakes are native to the western hemisphere  The “king” in their name refers to their willingness to eat other snakes, even venomous ones, including rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. Kingsnakes are able to eat venomous snakes because they are highly resistant to their venom. Conservation Status and Threats:  They are considered stable and widespread. However, it is important to conserve their habitat to maintain population levels, especially since they are so important for rodent control.  Commonly bred for the pet trade

At the Zoo Elvis hatched in 2010 and was purchased from a dealer as a juvenile in 2011.

What We Can Do  

Make sure you know the origin of the products you buy o Opt for fake leather or snake skin products Do your research before buying a pet o Make sure you are not purchasing a wild-caught individual. Captive-bred species are often easy to find. o Make sure you know how to properly care for any animal before you decide to buy it as a pet  Some things to consider include adequate housing, diet, temperature requirements, and lifespan  Some pets also require a lot of time and money to be properly cared for

References:  


California Kingsnake: Lampropeltis getulus californiae    e.pdf


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