Reptiles and Amphibians

The Florida Peninsula Cooter Turtle

This freshwater turtle is common in the coastal plain of southeast of U.S. and is found in just about any pond in Florida. A larger turtle than the red-eared slider, it grows on the average of 9 – 15 inches. This cooter is primarily a herbivore eating aquatic plants including algae and underwater herbs. It […]

The Red-eared Slider: A Southern U.S. Native and an Invasive Species Elsewhere

A native of Mexico and the southern U.S. the red-eared slider can be found in just about any lake. They are easily identified with a distinct red strip on both sides of their head. When young, these turtles eat insects and other aquatic organisms, but as an adult the red-eared slider becomes a herbivore (vegetarian). […]

Great Basin Gopher Snake

Many species of snakes live in the Mojave Desert in Red Rock Canyon, some are poisonous, many are harmless. A snake that you are most likely to come across during the day is the Great Basin gopher snake. This is because, unlike other species this snake is active during the day. And sure enough, I […]

When Gators Roar

In the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, two ten foot male American alligators confront each other on a hot and humid day in May. One male bellows at his opponent. The other arches its back and shows its gaping mouth. In an instant, tumultuous splashes expose the aggressiveness of the gators as they battle to […]

Giant Snakes Create Havoc in Florida

Snakes are popular house pets, especially with children. Burmese pythons are one of the many species of exotic snakes sold in pet shops. When purchased these snakes are small and manageable, but are capable of growing rapidly up to 8 feet in one year with proper care. This results in some people releasing their pets […]

My Adrenaline Rush

Adrenalin rushed through my body as I stepped out my back door and heard a sound I hoped I would never hear in my yard. It was a menacing rattle that warned me to stay away! I immediately froze, looked down and smiled. I first thought I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake at the back […]

Is it a Stick? A Blade of Grass? No it’s a Snake!

While walking around our home the other day, I saw what appeared to be a twig sticking up out of the ornamental bushes surrounding the air conditioner.  I went to pull it out of the bushes only to find that this “stick” was a black snake that poked its head out of the shrubs and […]