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Uploaded:2019-08-22
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Jessi reveals the name and sex of the new baby rubber boa! Then checks in on Loki the water dragon, Jade the savannah monitor, and Yucca and Titus the red footed tortoises. Then everyone goes on an outdoor adventure!

Check out this episode of Journey to the Microcosmos! https://youtu.be/io731XY8fH8

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[CALMING MUSIC] [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC].

Hello and welcome to the Reptile Room at Animal Wonders! I'm excited to show you some of the changes we've made to their homes over the last few months and give updates on some of our new reptiles.

First, I want to check in with our new baby rubber boa. We've chosen a name and we had our vet check to see whether they were male or female. They're right in here.

This is Taffy, and Taffy is a female. The reason we know she's a female is our vet did something called probing. And they take a very soft little plastic... like pointer thing.

And they pass it into the cloaca, and they don't go up toward her body, they actually go down toward their tail. And if it goes deep, like 7 different scales, 7 scales deep [MACAW SCREECH], it's a male. And if it goes less than that, it's most likely a female.

And hers only went three scales deep, so she's most likely a female. So we landed on the name Taffy because I think it's a really cute name. Cuz "rubber boa," kind of stretchy and Taffy is stretchy, too.

So that is how we got it. Taffy came to us underweight and dehydrated, but she's doing really well now. She has been having a lot of fun in her enclosure, constantly exploring.

This really cool little tunnel she's made under the dirt tells me that she is just utilizing her entire enclosure, and I love that. She has eaten three times, which is great, and she is starting to gain weight. She's looking really healthy!

Because Taffy has been in captivity for so long, it's not in her best interest to try and be reintroduced into the wild. So she gets to be an ambassador and teach all about what makes rubber boas so amazing. There you go...

Enjoy! Enjoy exploring. Alright next up is Loki.

He's a water dragon and right now he's hiding way up here! Come on down, buddy. There we go, handsome!

Loki is growing bigger. We got him when I think she was between 6 months and a year, so he was quite small. And now he's about 2 years old and he's getting bigger.

He's not full-grown yet, but since he was bigger we have expanded his enclosure and we are going to expand again once he gets a little bigger than this. The most recent change for Loki's enclosure is we put in more sturdy branches because he's getting heavier. These branches just weren't holding his weight, so these in here - he can really just get his weight on, hold on to, and climb around.

We've also had some success with keeping some plants alive in here which is really good for him. We were having problems because he really likes laying on the plants, so the branches have really helped get him off those plants and really let them thrive. The other thing that allows us to keep live plants in here is it is a completely bioactive enclosure.

It has substrate and a drainage layer here. And the substrate is cycling really well. We have some mushroom growth down here, just means it's really rich and alive.

We have a cleanup crew: isopods, springtails, and some worms in there. And so it's a really healthy ecosystem right now. And the last thing we needed to add to make sure the plants were healthy was some LED lighting way at the top.

He also has UV for his health. Alright buddy, I want to show something off. When we first got Loki, he had a really bad case of rubbing his mouth on glass.

And that was because he was housed in too small of an enclosure and he didn't have enough places to hide. And these guys, they don't understand glass. And so he was trying to find a place that he was more comfortable, and so he's trying to get through the glass and he just rubbed his upper lip off.

You should not be able to see his teeth sticking out. He does no - He no longer rubs his mouth on the glass, and that's because we have put up barriers around and also given him lots of hiding places that he can really feel comfortable in. And so he just goes up there and just chills now.

And I'm gonna go ahead and put him in a travel crate, because we're gonna go somewhere after I show you the next animal! This is Jade the savannah monitor. This is a temporary enclosure.

It's not big enough. She's getting much bigger and she's gonna get a much bigger space. But for now, this is working fine.

She has a really hot lamp over here, she has lots of furniture that she can climb around. She just needs more space, huh? When we first got Jade, she was pretty small, and she was really feisty.

She was so feisty and and defensive that I would literally like just look at her, and she would hiss at me and start tail whipping. So we didn't really handle her much when she was younger. Now that she's bigger, she's calmed down a lot.

I just put this willow branch in there, and I like that she's investigating it. She's like, "What is this stuff?" Now I say she's calmed down, but she's not docile. She is very active and alert and she's a great eater.

She chases and hunts down insects mostly. and that is what you should see in a savannah monitor. These guys are fairly common in the pet trade. And what has happened in the past is people have overfed them and so they get overweight, and then they get slower and they seem tamer.

But a healthy savannah monitor should be active and should be moving around and kind of a little bit feisty, even into adulthood. Alright, I'm gonna pull Jade out because we're gonna go on an adventure! Now I use a spatula for safety.

She will still be attracted to movement and she could definitely bite my hand. So I use the spatula to block her head while I reach around. Do you want to come out of there?

There we go. There she is. Alright, should we go in a crate?

Yeah? Before we go on our adventure, I have one more reptile that I'd like to check in with... the tortoises! The red-footed tortoises.

This is Yucca, and this is Titus. And these are just amazing animals. They're super interactive.

They get tons of enrichment. They like pushing around their ball. They love new things.

I mean, I just gave them these willow branches and they're [SOFT LAUGH] chomping down. They really liked them. What I love about these guys is we had Yucca housed alone for many years, and she liked interaction with us.

But then we rescued Titus, and seeing their interaction together? They're, I mean, they are a social species. They just have so much to do with each other and say - communicate - to each other, it's just...

I love seeing that extra layer of behavior that we wouldn't see when Yucca was house alone. Are you adventuring? You're climbing the mountain.

Don't... Don't get stuck. Whoo, good job!

Red-footed tortoises, they have these really long legs. They are species of tortoises that lives in the rainforest. And so they have this cool adaptation that they can actually go up on their tippy toes to get out of like a mud... bunch of mud that they might otherwise sink in.

It looks like he's on stilts sometimes. You want some pets? Oh...

Oh, that's good stuff right... [SOFTLY LAUGHS] A little butt message right there. There you go, bud. Yucca, are you making a fort over here?

Oh, I guess there's better leaves over there. [SOFT LAUGHS]. Alright, we can come back to this and have some more playtime. But let's go on an adventure.

Let's go outside! Here you go, little one. Enjoy! [PLEASANT ACOUSTIC GUITAR SOUNDS].

We're on an adventure outside! Now that the tortoises are out, they're soaking up some sunshine, Loki's gonna come out, too. Hey buddy boy.

Let's go hang out in the tree. You can get some sunshine too, what do you think? It's so good to have reptiles getting natural sunlight, and I love seeing them healthy and happy. [PLEASANT ACOUSTIC GUITAR SOUNDS].

So the tortoises are stomping around and having a good time. Loki's just chilling on his tree over there. And I have a harness on Jade, the savannah monitor.

She's the only one that I'd be concerned about running and getting someplace that might not be safe. So we're gonna go on a little walk just right here and see what she'd like to do. Go go go!

Do your thing! Underneath! Can you see what's happened here?

She's actually pulled through. She pulled her front arms through her harness... um, because it's too big for her and she was trying to scoop her head and body. That's a natural thing that they would do is they would use this... like aerodynamic shape that they have to just go underneath foliage and get away from anything that might be scary.

But as she was doing that, her harness caught on the branches there and it just pulled it off of her arms. Should we run around some more? [SOFTLY LAUGHING] And she's wiggled out! No worries, I gotcha.

It's good to get outside and get some natural sunlight. So I think what we'll do is we'll just hang out together until we can find a better harness for you. Thank you so much for going on this adventure with us!

And thank you for watching Animal Wonders Montana. We're a Complexly production. If you want to keep imagining the world complexly with us, check out Journey to the Microcosmos.

With the voice of Hank Green over footage from Jam’s Germs, and music from Andrew Huang, Journey to the Microcosmos takes you on a dive into the tiny, unseen world that surrounds us. Check out their episode all about how microscopic hunters get their lunch at the link in the description. you.