Lace Monitor

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During the breeding season, a female lace monitor digs a hole in a termite mound and lays up to 12 eggs inside. The termites patch up the hole, keeping the monitor eggs warm inside. The female returns about nine months later when the eggs hatch to help the hatchlings dig their way out.

The lace monitor uses its long sharp claws to climb trees and seeks shelter in tree hollows.

 

Loggerhead Musk Turtle

loggerhead musk turtle

When threatened, the loggerhead musk turtle secretes a foul-smelling liquid from glands at the base of its tail that has earned it the nickname ‘stinkpot’. Growing up to five inches long, this omnivorous turtle is found in muddy-bottomed lakes, ponds, and streams in the southeastern United States.

Parrot Snake

parrot snake web

The parrot snake is long and slender with a distinctive lime green color. Native to South America, this snake is arboreal and spends most of its days in the trees looking for prey such as frogs, grasshoppers and birds. It can be very aggressive and will display dummy strikes if threatened to ward off predators. Though the parrot snake is not venomous, it has up to 36 teeth that can inflict a painful bite.

Eastern Indigo Snake

Eastern_Indigo_Snake web

This marvelous blue-black snake is the longest non-venomous snake found in the United States, reaching lengths of up to nine feet. There may be a slight red or cream-colored area on the chin or cheeks.  It hunts for small mammals, birds, frogs, fish, and even other snakes during the day.

Helmeted Turtle

helmeted turtle web

Making its home in temporary marshes, mud pits and watering holes of the savannah, the helmeted turtle is an aggressive predator of small aquatic creatures.  Groups of helmeted turtles have been known to work together to take down larger prey such as a bird.  At the end of the rainy season, the turtle burrows into a mud hole bottom until the rains return.

Florida Pine Snake

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The Florida pine snake burrows in sandy soils of pine woodlands and scrubland in the Southeastern United States. It primarily preys on pocket gophers, but also eats other small mammals, lizards, and eggs. Though non-venomous, it will inflate its body, rattle its tail and hiss loudly when threatened.

Matamata

Mata Mata Turtle (31) web

The matamata turtle sits camouflaged on the bottom of a stream and waits for an unsuspecting fish to swim by. Once a fish is within reach, the turtle thrusts its head forward, opens its mouth as wide as possible and sucks in the fish like a vacuum. The turtle swallows the fish whole.


 

Barbour’s map turtle

barbours map turtle web

The Barbour’s map turtle lives in clear flowing rivers found in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Often spotted basking in the sun on top of rocks and snags, the turtle will dive into the water when threatened. In this turtle species, females grow to more than double the size of males.

Thai Red Mountain Rat Snake

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The Thai red mountain rat snake spends most of its time burrowed beneath logs, rocks, and plants. In early evening and early morning, it comes out of hiding to hunt for small animals. To survive the cooler winter months, mountain rat snakes go into a hibernation-like state called brumation.

Blue Spiny Lizard

Blue Spiny Lizard (12) web

Closely related to the iguana, the blue spiny lizard sports sharp, pointy scales for defense. It also relies on camouflage to keep from being seen. When it’s time to win a mate, however, males will show off their blue throats and underbellies.