How can something cold blooded hold such a warm place in our hearts?
That’s the question the latest volume of Disney’s massively popular encyclo-pedia series aims to answer.
‘Wonderful World of Knowledge: Reptiles and Amphibians’ gives youngsters all the facts they could ever want to know about frogs and toads, tortoises and turtles, crocodiles and alligators, lizards, snakes ... and lots more.
Falkirk Pets at Home manager Kirsty Ryles is impressed by the latest offering.
Owner of a crested gecko called Nidhog, Kirsty loved the easy-to-understand diagrams and colourful pictures featured in the pages of the encyclopedia which really bring these fascinating creatures to life.
Kirsty said: “Kids love books about reptiles – especially wee boys. It’s just something a bit different from your usual small furry animals.
“Bearded dragons are your more common variety – we have a couple of them at Pets at Home along with some leopard geckos and crested geckos.”
The Pets at Home branch in Livingston recently acquired a corn snake and Kirsty and the staff in Falkirk are hoping to welcome their first snake in the near future.
Kirsty said staff were sceptical and a bit wary when their scaly new stock arrive on the scene, but were soon won over – many of them now caring for geckos and bearded dragons of their own. She laughed: “One of our members of staff has actually converted his entire attic to look after snakes and other reptiles.”
Despite their often weird, sometimes scary, appearance, reptiles and amphibians make great pets.
Kirsty said: “Lizards like our geckos are good pets for people of all ages, but they are great for children with allergies because they have no fur.
“Your average bearded dragon is more like a scaly dog than a reptile. It takes time to set up conditions for your reptiles and amphibians, but once that is in place they are fairly easy to care for and maintain.
“They eat live crickets and hoppers which we supply here in the store. Crested geckos eat mashed up fruit and fruity baby foods.”
Some varieties of reptile can live for well over 20 years, so they do require a bit of a commitment, especially as they grow and require a bigger vivarium.
Even if you do not have a reptile or amphibian of your own, you can still find out more about them by reading this week’s Disney volume and then take a trip down to Pets at Home to see some up close.
‘Reptiles and Amphibians’’ is the 11th in our series of Disney encyclopedias. Readers can pick up a copy for just £2.99 by collecting the token printed on page 15 of this week’s Falkirk Herald and taking it to a participating newsagent.
You can buy any volumes that you may have missed by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 328 4252.