July 12, 2013
Visitors to Hasting Blue Reef Aquarium came face to face with sunbathing snakes and chilled out chameleons recently. The aquarium’s reptiles made the most of the hot weather as keepers took them outside to soak up the rays.
Discovering a two-metre-long python on your deckchair may not be everyone’s idea of fun but it turned out to be the perfect location for a spot of basking.
Blue Reef’s Chris Ireland said: “Snakes are cold blooded and need to warm up before they become active. In their displays we make use of heat lamps to achieve this, but there’s no comparison to actually sitting out in the sun and so we’ve decided to start taking them outside during the hot weather.”
“The deckchair is particularly effective as he material it’s made from heats up as well, just like a rock or stone would in the wild, and you can almost see the snakes enjoying the sensation of sunbathing.”
“We also brought out our veiled chameleon who enjoyed perching on the top of the chair and watching the world go by,” he added.
Native to Yemen and south Saudi Arabia, the Veiled Chameleon has eyes that move independently and can swivel almost 180 degrees as well as a gripping prehensile tail. Their tonges are upto 1.5 times as long as their bodies and are used to catch insects. They change colour both for camouflage and to attract a mate.
In addition to chameleons, the Aquarium is home to no fewer than four different snake species including the Carpet Python, Royal Python, Macklot’s Python and the Critically Endangered Jamaican Boa Constrictor.