How Do Turtles Breathe?

Most vertebrates have a flexible rib cage that allows the lungs to expand and contract during breathing. Not so the turtles, who long ago traded away flexible ribs in favor of a fixed, protective shell. Various species of turtles have evolved different means of drawing air into their lungs. Turtles have also developed indirect ways of obtaining oxygen during times when they are sealed away from contact with the air, as when hibernating or remaining underwater.

In turtles, the lungs lie just beneath the carapace and above the other internal organs. The upper surface of the lungs attaches to the carapace itself, while the lower portion is joined to the viscera (heart, liver, stomach, and intestinal tract) by a skin of connective tissue known as diaphragmaticus. The viscera themselves are also contained within a membrane that attaches to the diaphragmaticus. Groups of muscles rhythmically change the volume of the abdominal cavity. One set of muscles moves the viscera upward, pushing air out of the lungs. Then other muscles contract, pulling the viscera away from the lungs, which lets the lungs expand and draw in air.

When turtles walk about, the motions of their forelimbs promote the suction and compression actions that ventilate the lungs. A turtle can change its lung volume simply by drawing its limbs inward, then extending them outward again: Turtles floating on top of the water often can be seen moving their legs in and out, which helps them breathe. A turtle pulled back inside its shell has no room in its lungs for air. At these and other times, turtles use different strategies to obtain oxygen.

One aid to respiration is the hyoid apparatus, a system of bony and cartilaginous rods located at the base of the tongue. Raising and lowering the hyoid apparatus causes a turtle’s throat to

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Saved From the Coils of Danger


Man and beast are God’s creation. Rendering respect in their way of life is also rendering reverence to God. In some instances, man and beast come in contact unexpectedly and survival instincts kick in. What would you do if perchance this scenario would happen to you?

A Creature in the Emergency Room

It was around 10:00 in the morning in Emergency Room (ER) of RIPAS Hospital, when a male adult patient came in restless with a snake twisted around his left arm and the said man holding its head with his right hand. I was given the task of being the nurse in charge at the time.

Emergency Department

The number of patients who were coming in at the ER Department that morning was about more or less one hundred, divided in the Out Patient Department section, the day ward section, trolley areas, dressing and suturing room and the resuscitation rooms. There were ER doctors, staff nurses, nursing attendants and other health care workers present at that time. Specific staff assignments were given to each areas as well as instructions of duties and responsibilities.

A Strange Visitor

Here comes the patient with a snake in his hands. At first, this caused some degree of chaos in the ER upon seeing the patient in great anxiety and being restless. The situation later was controlled after the initial interview. Most of the ER staff when they saw the patient, avoided coming near him, the instinct to avoid being bitten naturally taking over. Two male staff nurses approached the patient from a considerably safe distance. Under instructions, he was led to the vacant resuscitation room. After a quick visual, the creature twisted around the arm of the man was found to be a rattle snake, one of the most recognized-and undoubtedly one of the most venomous-snake species in the

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Taking Care of Your Pet Mata Mata Turtle

Commonly known as the Mata Mata turtle, the Chelus fimbriata is a South American species of snapping turtle. They are commonly found in the Orinoco River and Amazon River basin. One of the weirdest types of turtles, the Mata Mata turtle looks roughly like a pile of dried and decayed wood and leaves.

It is characterized by a big triangular head, an elongated neck covered with scales, spikes and horns. Three barbels protrude under its chin and two sets of filamentous barbels jut out of the upper jaw. Its upper jaw is slightly angular and extends into a long snorkel-shaped muzzle. The snorkel muzzle is probably used in the same manner as a scuba diver’s snorkel. The brown or black carapace (upper shell) is quadrilateral and can reach 18 inches in an adult. The carapace is flat with extensive keels and serration. Three keels run parallel along the stretch of its shell, growing from each scute and end into a lump like formation. A wide smiley face, complemented with such enigmatic structure makes it look quite villainous, almost like Batman’s Joker. The plastron is unattached and smaller than its carapace. Chelus fimbriata hatchlings are vividly colored, identifiable by a brown shell and bright red-black stripes on their body.

How to Prepare a Home for Your Mata Mata Turtle

Mata Mata turtles inhabit slow moving rivulets and shallow ponds, marshes, stagnant pools, and wetlands around the Amazon River and tributaries in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Though Mata Mata is an aquatic species it tends to avoid deep water bodies. Shallow water with plenty of natural debris and a little vegetation is ideal for them. Their physical structure has evolved to offer an impressive camouflage in such an environment. These turtles are expert in just idling around. This is probably the reason they shun

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Leopard Tortoises As Pets – Right For You?

The Leopard Tortoise is one of the most popular types of tortoise to be kept as a pet, mostly because of its attractiveness due to the patterns on its shell, from which it gets its name in the first place. The pattern becomes less pronounced as the tortoise ages, but the adults still look pretty good, even if they’re not as striking as the young ones.

These are large tortoises, and there are very few larger species that are commonly kept as pets. This can create some problems as obviously not everybody has room for one of these animals in their garden. They also do not hibernate, so if you live in an area that gets cold during the winter, you’ll need enough space to keep your pet indoors for a few months every year.

Once you’ve overcome the temperature issue, most of their requirements in an outdoor enclosure aren’t too difficult to meet, but one common stumbling block is the hide box. At night or during bad weather, the tortoise will retreat into the hide box to sleep or shelter, and it needs to be heated, insulated and not let any light in. For a fully grown adult Leopard Tortoise, one of the best options is to convert a garden shed, although if this is done well and it’s large enough, you could also potentially house your tortoise in this shed during the winter.

It should go without saying that buying one or more Leopard Tortoises is a serious commitment. For starters your new pet could well outlive you, with many individuals surviving for more than 70 years. They are also not a cheap pet to own. Actually buying one is not too expensive, although obviously they cost significantly more than a hamster would. The main costs stem from their care, especially

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Decorative Cages for Reptiles and Other Exotic Animals

My name is Jay W. Nelmes, I was born in Petropolis Brazil in 1965. Although I did not live there long, I remember enough of this beautiful country that it has always intrigued me. My older brother John Charles is 16 years older than I am, so he had the opportunity to explore the jungle quite often and collect Butterflies as well as a vast array of other insects which he mounted in glass frame cases. His collection was fascinating and inspired me into the world of entomology.

With my attempt to imitate my brothers work, it was to no avail. His methods with the use of steam to open up there wings, and other methods to preserving them was something I never learned. We both departed when he had gone to England while I moved to the United States in 1970 at yrs. of age.

During my later childhood I still collected insects with the attempt to imitate my brother but never achieved the ability to do so. I then became attracted to the Reptile & Amphibian World since this began to intrigue me.

I began to build my first primitive cages for my first lizards which were anoles at age 14. The reptile world at that time was not common. So finding any at a pet store was not really available. The fish and bird world always seemed to be accessible, but not the reptile world, which made it all the more interesting to have and learn about.

Over the years I learned drafting, carpentry and electrical. I got married to my wife Tinamarie, and it was on our honeymoon where I learned she loved these types of animals when we brought home an Iguana on the train back home in CT in a Styrofoam cooler.

My wife became ill for several years

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Who Uses Snake Repellers?

Who uses snake repellers?

Snake repellers keep homes and other designated areas snake free and safe. There are a variety of snake repellers on the market that effectively remove snakes from locations they are not wanted. There are environmentally friendly repellers, natural repellers, homemade repellers, electronic repellers, chemical repellers and simple constructions like fences that are used to keep snakes off property. These repellers work by generating odors, feelings, sounds or smells that make the snake feel uncomfortable in the area so that they go elsewhere. In areas where snakes are pests, there are many different types of repellers, not only because the snakes react differently to different stimuli but also because there are several different types of users. These include:

The Farmer

The main aim of the farmer is to take care of his livestock and snakes threaten the sustainability of the livestock and to a greater extent the livelihood of the farmer. Snakes will eat eggs and smaller animals and some snakes can emit deadly poison that can kill very large animals. Snakes make homes in tall grass and in cozy areas on a farm where they are not easily seen and come out to feed. Losing livestock to snakes means a loss of income and so farmers will gout of their way to get the best in snake repellers to protect their investment. They usually use fences and electronic devices to keep snakes at bay.

The environmentally friendly

The environmentally friendly person would want to keep the snake away from their property without harming the snake or upsetting the processes of nature in any other way. They want to repel the snake just as much as the next person but they prefer to use natural elements to influence the activities of the snake. The urine or feces of predators are used

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Snake Behaviour Around Humans

A snake’s behaviour around humans is largely dependent on the type and breed of snake that comes into contact with a human. There are more than 2,000 different varieties of snake in the world that will all react differently when in direct contact with a larger species, such as being approached by a human. The main distinction in how any snake will behave is down to whether or not it is of the venomous variety. While less than 20% of all snakes are considered to be venomous, it is common to be concerned or worried when approaching a snake because of the connections to the minority that are venomous.

A basic instinct

Snakes, like most animals, have a built-in instinct that dominates how they behave, especially around humans. But unlike other many other species of animal there is thought to be only a minimal thought process that contributes to a snake’s actions, instinct will more often than not take over and a snake will react how it is instinctively designed to. In venomous varieties like the cobra, this makes them more dangerous towards humans and their aggressive approach to interaction will be displayed when they are disturbed.

For the non-venomous snakes such as boas, their behaviour around humans will greatly differ depending on what kind of situation they are placed in. Most non-venomous snakes are not considered aggressive in nature. However this is not consistent with all breeds and there are certain non-venomous snakes that will attack without provocation from humans. If the snake’s breed can be determined before any close interaction and it is identified as the non-aggressive type, they can in some instances be safe to approach.

When in direct contact with a human, a snake’s temperament will reflect how it is treated, which directly relates back to its instinctive nature. For

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