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Reptile Awareness Day is October 21st

Updated on February 25, 2015
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Louisiana has abundant wildlife, including reptiles such as snakes and turtles. All are welcome in Yvonne's backyard wildlife habitat.

Celebrate Snakes, Turtles, Lizards and Alligators

Did you know that October 21st is Reptile Awareness Day? That's right, every year we set aside a special day to be aware of the plight of reptiles of all shapes and sizes. This includes the cute little lizards, skinks and geckos as well as the sturdy turtles and tortoises. Don't forget about those beneficial snakes and the large alligators and crocodiles, too. The reason for the day is in hopes that the scaly and cold blooded ones of today won't go the way of that largest of reptiles, the dinosaur.

So let's all make an effort on October 21st, to learn a little more about just one of the reptiles of planet Earth. Come on guys. Do it for the Gecko.

Photo of Female Broad-headed Skink by Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved

Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.

Why Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day?

Leopard Gecko
Leopard Gecko

Well mostly because Reptiles Rock! Reptile Awareness Day is celebrated to promote awareness of all reptiles. Worldwide habitat loss threatens extinction of some reptile species, so it is important that humans learn more about different reptiles and their natural environments as well as any ecological challenges the reptiles may encounter.

Eastern Box Turtle Louisiana Postcard

What is a Reptile?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a reptile is:

1: an animal that crawls or moves on its belly (as a snake) or on small short legs (as a lizard)

2: any of a class (Reptilia) of air-breathing vertebrates that include the alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles, and extinct related forms (as dinosaurs and pterosaurs) and are characterized by a completely ossified skeleton with a single occipital condyle, a distinct quadrate bone usually immovably articulated with the skull, ribs attached to the sternum, and a body usually covered with scales or bony plates

Reptiles are also said to be "cold-blooded", which means that they can not regulate their body temperature and are at the mercy of the weather. That's why turtles, lizards and snakes sun themselves to get warm on cool days.

Green Anole on Hummingbird Feeder - Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved

Green Anole Sunning
Green Anole Sunning

Favorite Reptile Poll

Which is your favorite reptile?

See results

Louisiana Reptiles

Way down here in south Louisiana there are many reptiles. They come in all shapes and sizes from the tiny skinks to the large alligators. Check out some photos of our scaly friends. I've included links to more information about many of them, too.

Black Racer Sunning

Mediterranean Gecko Naturalized in Louisiana

Mediterranean Gecko Naturalized in Louisiana
Mediterranean Gecko Naturalized in Louisiana

Lizards, Skinks, Geckos

Many species of lizards live in Louisiana. Most common in our habitat are Green Anoles, Broad-headed and 5 lined Skinks and the imported, nocturnal Mediterranean Gecko.

Did you know that the smallest reptile is the tiny Leaf Chameleon?

Anole in Goldenrod Print

I know you've heard that snakes shed their skin, but did you know that lizards do, too. Check out the picture below.

Anole Shedding

Did You Know?

Habitat loss poses the greatest threat to most lizards in the Southeast.

Male Broad-headed Skink Poster

Baby Sea Turtle Hatches Video

This one made it to the ocean. That's cause for celebration.

Alligators

Alligators abound in the swamps of Louisiana. One of the favorite attractions in the Audubon Zoo are the white alligators in the Swamp Exhibit.

Alligator

Source

Wormsloe Foundation puts out one of the best series about animals of the southeastern United States. This one is excellent.

How Can You Celebrate Reptile Awareness Day?

Activities for Adults & Kids

1. Take the kids to a local zoo or wildlife park to observe reptiles.

If you can't physically take them there, then visit one virtually.

There's an Alligator Under My Bed

There's an Alligator Under My Bed

You can't go wrong with Mercer Mayer's books.

2. Teachers and home-schoolers, do a unit about reptiles. Here are some good ones.

Frogs, Toads and Turtles

Frogs, Toads & Turtles: Take Along Guide (Take Along Guides)
Frogs, Toads & Turtles: Take Along Guide (Take Along Guides)

These Take Along Guides for kids are great for nature walks or field trips.

 

3. Reptile Show and Tell

Teachers, let children bring their reptile pets to school and have a reptile show and tell. Here's one of the many anoles in my yard.

Green Anole Sunning

Source

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder
One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder

For small children, a story about one tiny sea turtle's life.

 

4. Print out some fun sheets or crafts to do at home or to be shared with your class.


5. Get Some Books & Read About Reptiles

The library is a good source or you could buy these from Amazon.

Look Out for Turtles

Look Out for Turtles! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Look Out for Turtles! (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

The Let's Read and Find Out Science books lend themselves to beginning note-taking skills.

 

Snakes of the Southeast

Another great Wormsloe Foundation Animal Book with excellent photos and information. This is one of my favorite reference books. I use it regularly.

6. Have a reptile themed party.

7. Donate to a reptile related cause.

8. Improve an area in your habitat (yard) to make it more reptile friendly.

9. Visit 5 hubs about reptiles. Here are a few:

10. The Most Important Thing is to Be Kind to Reptiles

on October 21st and every day of the year.

Pet Reptile Poll

5-Lined Skink Blue Tail
5-Lined Skink Blue Tail

Young 5-lined Skinks, like the one above, have bright electric blue tails. The brilliant blue color fades with age.

Do you have a pet reptile?

See results

Red Slider Laying Eggs - Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved

Red Slider Laying Eggs
Red Slider Laying Eggs

© 2012 Yvonne L. B.

Tell us how will you be celebrating Reptile Awareness Day - Or just leave a comment

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Understand completely - still got a lot of editing to do here as well. :-( And there are always those new hubs about our reptiles, etc., that we want to find time to write as well......

    • naturegirl7s profile image
      Author

      Yvonne L. B. 3 years ago from Covington, LA

      Thanks for the comment. Sorry about the missing parts here. This is one of the 200 squid lens transfers that I'm in the process of editing into hubs.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Although I keep snakes, I didn't know about Reptile Awareness Day - guess it hasn't made it to Australia yet!

      On a trip to Fiji recently, we saw some Hawksbill turtles, which are beautiful, but unfortunately endangered. Hopefully, we can get the message through that reptiles deserve to live too.