Okay, I’m sure all three of you that read this are probably tired of bugs. Well, fine. As an added bonus, I’ll even stay off the soapbox. It’s pretty hard to stay off of, but if you want the soapbox version I recommend this post instead.
We’ve got some friends in Tulsa that like to go to the zoo, so we joined them for a weekend jaunt. When you first get there, there’s a bridge with a bunch of turtles and buffalo fish, which are like a cross between carp and koi.
As always, I was all for visiting the elephants right off the bat. It’s a running gag between me and the other half because he’s allergic to them. Yeah, you heard that right. My soulmate is allergic to elephants. Top that for the best allergy ever!
Anyway, he actually came with me to see the elephants, then started getting sniffly so we had to vacate elsewhere. Bonus points if you can guess what we saw next.
Caecilians! You probably said Rumpelstiltskin, didn’t you? This one is a Typhlonectes species, probably T. compressicauda if I had to hazard a guess. These are legless amphibians that may live on land or in water depending on what genus they’re in. They’re actually sold as aquarium eels even though they’re not actually eels and their physiology and husbandry aren’t well understood.
Another aquatic animal sold as an aquarium pet is the red-tailed catfish.
This dude was about three feet long, but these catfish can get up to five feet long. Imagine that in your living room! They’re also notorious for eating just about anything that’s in a tank with them, which includes rocks, fish, and even sometimes actual food.
I’d bet he’d probably think this little guy was food:
This tiny three-inch long turtle is an adult bog turtle, also an unfortunate denizen of the pet trade. Bog turtles, however, are a threatened species that lives only in certain areas of the northeastern United States, in a specific environment known as a fen. It only takes a leap of faith to realize that a fen is a type of bog. Fun, isn’t it?
And by now you should have seen this coming. I’ve started talking about reptiles, so you know that there are more pictures coming. Here they are:
This one is an American Alligator. This next one is a smaller caiman. Unfortunately he was in a pretty small pool, but I suppose if they stuck him in with the fish, they’d have pretty good odds he’d eat the giant catfish.
They also had a water dragon (my third favorite lizard ever– free cookie of your choice if you guess the first two).
And snakes! Rattlesnakes specifically. This one is a Mississauga rattlesnake. If you look closely at the picture, you can see not only the triangle shaped head (which means a whole lot of not much), but also the cat-eye pupils and the pit between the nose and eye. Oh, and the rattle. I suppose that’s a distinguishing feature.
Okay, fine. I’ve had my reptile fun. On to tamarins!
Well, fine, just one tamarin. There were lots there; they were just ignoring me while they were playing, and we all know how much my camera likes moving things.
It was okay, though, because they had black bears to distract us from the unfriendly tamarins.
Err… Maybe the bear wasn’t as happy as the tamarins.
Honestly, there’s not much at the Tulsa Zoo that I hadn’t seen elsewhere except for the bog turtle. They do a great job of trying to make their location kid-friendly with indoor environments that are divided into biomes. Unfortunately, some parents are more childish than their progeny. I couldn’t sit for five minutes near the chimpanzee enclosure because I was too angry at the idiots banging on the glass and hooting at the poor things. The chimpanzees had more class than the people there, and I respect them for putting up with that without acting out. Oops, sorry, forgot I was avoiding the soapbox for this post… To make up for it, I’ll give you some more pictures like this interesting brown pelican named Diversion!
Well, his name isn’t diversion, but I bet he diverted your attention, right? How about a roseate spoonbill for the win?
Okay, we have more birds if you want. There were lots of birds, most from the western hemisphere, like Hedwig the Snowy Owl here. Not that I’m admitting to being a Rowling fan or anything. I do, however, advocate not keeping one as a pet.
And my favorite picture of all:
Because who doesn’t need a little love in this world?