Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who Cares...and why should we?

Creepy. Slimy. Ugly. Dangerous.

Only a few of the words that describe many people’s negative feeling towards snakes, lizards, toads and other reptiles and amphibians.
They just have a tough time getting people to think of them in a positive light. Even their collective name--herps-- comes
from a Greek term meaning “creeping things”.
But they have their good points. While all snakes are predators, most are harmless.
They’re beneficial to humans because they prey on rodents. As a matter of fact, snakes are the world's most effective natural control on rodent population.
These animals called herps-- salamanders, frogs, lizards, snakes and toads-- are part of the balance of nature you learned about in grade school. Their health is an indicator of the health of the environment.
Don't think of the lowly toad as an unwanted guest. If you invite a toad to dinner, it will eat the things you most want to get rid of- slugs and mosquitoes are
among its favorite meals. Toads eat insects and invertebrates.
Lizards are probably the most familiar of all reptiles. There are over 3500 different
types of lizards throughout the world, existing in all climates.
Lizards are as diverse as their dwellings. They are often misunderstood and feared because of a lack of knowledge and exposure.
The truth is, lizards, like so many other reptiles and amphibians, are beneficial to humans. In many countries, lizards are welcome houseguests, catching and eating many annoying insects. They walk the walls and ceilings and live their lives unharmed by understanding humans.
Some lizards could become non-existent because of a lack of understanding. Beaded lizards and Gila Monsters, the only two poisonous species, are often killed out of fear. They are unlikely to bite pets or people. When they do, it’s likely to be in self defense. Left alone, both lizards are docile creatures.
Many countries use the lizard in ceremonies. Some Indian tribes of North America used
lizard tails in a recipe for love potions. They are also eaten and their skin used for leather. In the tropics, the Green Iguana is killed for its flesh and eggs.

Did you
Most snakes can swallow prey
that is 3 times or more their
own body diameter-- and,
the defensive skin secretions of
toads do not cause warts. In
fact toads are completely harmless
to human skin-- but a
predator that gets a mouthful
can become extremely ill.

No comments:

Post a Comment