Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Leo and Lucinda. MATING Behavior of Tortoises. Why do They LOVE to FIGHT?

Although turtles and tortoises typically do not display pair bonds or family group affiliations, social organizations exist in some species. Males who consistently win fights against other, usually smaller, males enjoy a higher dominance rank and greater access to extended copulation with females. Dominant males mate more often than less aggressive males. The female tortoise is able to store sperm in her cloaca, fertilizing her eggs for up to four years after copulation. Click for more from our website...https://crazycrittersinc.com/?p=8757 Crazy Critters Inc. was established to provide non-domestic, non-releasable animals with a safe and permanent home. The sanctuary has adopted animals including reptiles, birds, and assorted wildlife. Once brought to the facility, these exotic animals are housed in naturalistic settings. Allowing propagation that is used for conservation. Currently, this facility houses 16 species of animals listed on CITES. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international treaty to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. Adding, the Crazy Critters organization has produced offspring from species currently found on the IUCN's Red List. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Crazy Critters Inc. is a self-funded organization that depends on the greenhouse nursery to pay for the cost of housing exotic animals. The facility grows and sells species of plants such as succulent and cactus to support the care of the animals. Many too are listed on the IUCN's Redlist. We Grow Crazy Plants So We Can Care For Crazy Critters! Follow us on our journey as we build our Herp Haven called Crazy Critters! We share as we build, make mistakes, learn, and grow! Find us on most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and more! WEBSITE: https://www.crazycrittersinc.com/ Crazy Critters on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CrazyCritter... Crazy Plants on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CrazyPlantsN... Crazy Critters on INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/crazy_critt... YOUTUBE: https://goo.gl/V2bF1o PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/CrazyCritte... TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CrazyCrittersFL/ TUMBLR: https://crazycrittersinc.tumblr.com/ GOFUNDME: https://is.gd/STh3H5 We even have a BLOG https://goo.gl/TwBLnX Please like, share, follow and subscribe. If you or your company would like to help a cause like ours, please contact us. Or use our donation page! https://crazycrittersinc.com/donate-t... Feel free to contact us with questions requests and comments. Crazy Critters Inc. 22921 County Road 44a Eustis, Fl 32736 We are Amazon Affiliates! Here are links to our recommended products. Shop from here and we will receive ten percent commission! That is the same as making a donation!! If you do not like our recommendations, that is ok! Choose the brand of product you like after clicking these links We will still receive two percent commission! It is a win-win! Plants! Succulents https://amzn.to/2TrqQly Cactus https://amzn.to/2DNNGPU Orchids https://amzn.to/2TrkAKu Soil https://amzn.to/2FyE0u3 Succulent & Cacti Care Book https://amzn.to/2qVQrGj Animal Care Products Reptile Calcium https://amzn.to/2qWCtnt Reptile Lighting https://amzn.to/2OUP2sX Reptile Water & Food Bowl https://amzn.to/2PGInYP Soaking Pond https://amzn.to/2qXGZ5o Aquarium Heater https://amzn.to/2OT4ENV Pond Heater https://amzn.to/2qWmgin Aquarium Filter https://amzn.to/2KpWKuR Starter Kits For Your Animals! Baby Tortoises https://amzn.to/2DOPVSX Bearded Dragons and Other Desert Reptiles https://amzn.to/2Tt1tzN Snakes, Frogs and Lizards https://amzn.to/2S3dvhP Geckos and Insects https://amzn.to/2RYhlc6 Books! Miles and Miles of Reptiles. Dr. Suess Book https://amzn.to/2PEDuPP Turtles, Tortoises, and Terrapins Natural History Book https://amzn.to/2DBFoJI Diagnostic Imaging Book for adults https://amzn.to/2DzFxxC

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is native to North America, from Central America northwards to southern Canada, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts.
Three geographically distinct populations make up the total North American range of the species, one each both east and west of the Rocky Mountains, and one Central American.
Each of these populations has a distinct migratory pattern. Monarchs that live west of the Rocky Mountains will migrate to southern California for winter while monarchs that live east of the Rockies will migrate to Mexico.

Monarch Butterfly At Crazy Critters
This insect is the most widely recognized of all American butterflies with its distinct orange, black, and white wings.
Some argue that Monarch butterflies are the most beautiful of all butterflies. They are considered the “king” of the butterflies, hence the name “monarch”. 
While beautiful, this coloring actually sends a warning to predators that the monarch is foul tasting and poisonous. 

One of the most notable characteristics about the monarch is the astonishing 3000-mile journey some will make in the fall to their wintering grounds in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Mexico or to southern California, depending on which part of the United States or Canada they migrate.
Monarchs can travel between 50 – 100 miles a day; it can take up to two months to complete their journey to winter habitats. Millions of Monarch butterflies make the trip down to Mexico to roost for the winter. During the migration, tens of thousands will land on a single tree in certain areas along their migratory path.

The Metamorphosis…

The Monarch Life Cycle is called metamorphosis. This is the series of developmental stages that insects go through to become adults.
Butterflies and moths have four stages of life: egg, larva (the caterpillar stage), pupa (the chrysalis phase in a butterfly’s development), and adult. It takes a Monarch butterfly just 28 to 32 days to complete its life cycle.
Light, temperature, and humidity all play an important role in determining how long it will take a Monarch to complete its life cycle.
Warmer temperatures (so long as it’s not too warm), higher humidity (so long as it’s not too humid), and extra light (so long as it’s not too much light) generally aid in faster development.
Developing Monarchs usually prefer a temp of 70 to 80 degrees, humidity of 60% to 70%, and normal summer daylight/night patterns.

Monarch Butterfly Catapiller
 The Monarch butterfly’s life cycle is the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one.
In February and March, the final generation of hibernating Monarch butterflies comes out of hibernation to find a mate.
They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the Monarch butterfly.

In March and April, the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eating the milkweed in order to grow.
After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis.

Monarch Butterfly 
Although from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change.
Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.
The Monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation Monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two.

The fourth generation of Monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part.
The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of Monarch butterflies migrates
Most Monarchs live from two to six weeks as an adult butterfly, but the Monarch’s migration is the KEY to its yearly life cycle.

Monarch  Eating Milkweed Found At Crazy Critters
Monarchs can produce four generations during one summer. The first three generations will have life spans from 2 – 6 weeks and will continue moving north.
During this time they will mate and have the next generation that will continue the northward migration. The fourth generation is different and can live up to nine months. These are the butterflies that will migrate south for winter to either Mexico or southern California.


In their larval stage monarch caterpillars feed almost exclusively on milkweed and as adults get their nutrients from the nectar of flowers. The Monarch will always return to areas rich in milkweed to lay their eggs upon the plant.

Milkweed Found At Crazy Critters
The milkweed they feed on as a caterpillar is actually a poisonous toxin and is stored in their bodies.
This is what makes the Monarch butterfly taste so terrible to predators. Wherever there is milkweed there will be Monarch butterflies. 

Conservation Notes…

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Even so, the last two winters scientists recorded the lowest number of Monarchs there since annual surveys began 20 years ago.
Monarch numbers have dropped in tandem with rising use of glyphosate, an herbicide introduced in 1997 that kills plants without a genetically engineered immunity. This includes milkweed, the only food a Monarch caterpillar eats. 
Clusters of Monarchs covered 45 acres of their Mexican wintering grounds in 1996, but now their clusters make up less than two acres. It is predicted that one of the many effects of climate change will be wetter and colder winters.
If they are dry, Monarchs can survive below freezing temperatures, but if they get wet and the temperature drops they will freeze to death.
Because hundreds of millions of Monarchs are located in such a small area in the Sierra Nevada of Mexico during the winter, a cold snap there could be devastating.
IUCN has designated the Monarch migration a threatened phenomenon.
In 1986, the Mexican government created the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve which protects 62 square miles of forests in the Sierra Madres where hundreds of millions of monarchs spend each winter. The Biosphere Reserve was expanded to include 217 square miles in 2000. Local organizations are also working to stop the illegal harvesting of trees on the reserve to protect wintering habitat.
Other threats to the Monarch include habitat loss and loss of milkweed which they depend upon as larva to survive. Illegal logging remains a problem today in Mexico in protected areas and is devastating monarch winter habitat.

Monarch butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees. They will sit in the sun or “shiver” their wings to warm up.
As the world warms, suitable habitat will begin to move northward resulting in a longer migration.
This means the Monarchs may be forced to adapt and produce another generation to reach further north. It is uncertain whether they will be able to do so. Therefore, few Monarchs may be able to make the extended trip back to Mexico for winter.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Jamie aka J’Normous The Tortoises’ One Year In Review

Jamie was raised with two of the females in his group less than an hour away from Crazy Critters. Growing up with a wonderful family given this giant reptile the best disposition.
We celebrate Jamie and his group for everything they represent. They teach us that exotics grow and need so much. Also, helpin us relate to evolution, conservation, and the environment. 
Jamie’s group consists of three females. The group has produced over 150 offspring last year. We are committed to joining the likes of Bob Blome in Arizona who sends over 6,000 of these some years to Africa to help repopulate their native country. It is a huge exhausting undertaking. The paperwork is not easy. Fingers crossed we are as successful this year.
We have been the caretaker of Jamie aka J’Normous The African Sulcata Tortoise for one year this week.
It caused me to go back to the calendar. We have housed Jamie’s group, Captain Meanie Weenie, various aquatic turtles names Michelangelo, Donatello, etc… and many others for over one year.
We were not a non-profit organization until January. So when we began to adopt it was just to help people and save the environment.
Once we met Sandy, things changed for us. Because she saw the good that Ken and I could do. (RIP Sandy).
Sandy sent us a check in the mail. Our very first donation that covered the entire application process costs.
Them we met Susan, who saw the value in the greenhouse. And that the plants could help with the costs of diets, enrichment, healthcare, and so much more. She sent us a check to help pay for some of the agriculture costs of getting permitted.
TOGETHER, we are giving these exotic animals a safe, happy, and healthy home.
We could not have done half of what we are able to do without the support of you guys!
Here are some photos and videos from over the last year with Jamie and his group.

The first day we brought him to Crazy Critters we created this short video where we catch him burping while crunching down on hard carrots. 
Our first nest from one of Jamie’s females. She was already gravid when we picked them up.
Popeye is Jamie’s son. 
Jamie’s Offspring
Jamie comes out of his barn to see his new fence.
Jamie escapes and so does his females.
Preparing for the winter, we added new doors to Jamies’ barn.