||Four years old|
||New Caledonian Crested Gecko|
||Williamston, Michigan, USA|
Geckos (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) are native to Southern Grand Terre,
New Caledonia and at least one small surrounding island (Isle of Pines).
Crested Geckos are semi-arboreal, spending most of their time in small trees
and low shrubs. They will, however, seek out hiding places near the ground to
sleep during the day. Crested Geckos feed on both insects and fruits and in
most cases can be kept at room temperature. It's said their life expectancy
in captivity is fifteen to twenty years. Technically, Raptor is my second Crested
Gecko. My first Crested was (unbeknownst to me) ill when I purchased him at
a pet store. A few months later he passed and I was so sure that I was just
not meant to be a mom to exotic pets.
But my husband convinced me to attend a local reptile show and there I had a
long chat with a local Crested Gecko breeder. He assuaged my fears and that
day I went home with two little geckolings... Raptor and his brother Nimrod.
Now I currently have seven Cresteds.
Raptor is a very special Crested. Typically they grow to be eight to nine
inches in length and only about 60-70 grams in weight. Raptor is a
whopping ten inches long and has topped the scales at 83 grams. Raptor is
somewhat of a gentle giant. He doesn't mind being held once you can
actually catch him, and seems to enjoy being scratched along his back,
head, and jawline. But he'll grab at your hands if he's 'not in the mood.'
Their teeth are so small though so he never draws blood.
Occasionally I feed my geckos crickets and it is fun to watch them stalk and
hunt their prey. Raptor especially rushes to the front of their enclosure
when he sees me dusting the crickets with calcium supplement.
Their skin is neat. It's dry and not slimy, but it's not smooth like a
snake's. It's actually a little bumpy and the fringe on their eyes and back
bends and flexes. They also don't have eyelids, so they can't blink. They
lick their eyes to keep them clean and moist. When they are sleeping, their
eyes sink in slightly.
Because they are semi-arboreal and are sticky-toed, they can sometimes be
caught sleeping in strange positions. There is a never a dull moment.
Each gecko I have has its own unique 'personality' of sorts. Raptor is like
the patriarch. Though he lives alone, he seems to enjoy being perched high, as
if watching over everyone and everything.
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